Iron Man 3 – (3D) Film Review

StarkExactly when did we enter the film season of “Bleak House?” There’s Oblivion, White House Down, World War Z and even the latest Start Trek installment, Into Darkness¬†which is well, dark. Apparently the screenwriters and studio heads in Hollywood need to double their anxiety meds. I know things are challenging in the real world, but really, we used to go to the movies to escape. Dystopia is the new black.

Which brings me to Iron Man 3. Tony Stark is back and he’s in serious mental transition. Pepper has officially ¬†moved in and they live in a cliff hanging spaceship of a mansion. She’s running Stark Enterprises, while he tinkers to create the next breakthrough suit. The picture gets off to a slow start allowing Robert Downey Jr. to chew the scenery.

Stark is bored and has developed a case of insomnia. Nothing really exciting is going on, but fortunately something that Stark has done in the past comes back to bite him. He snubbed a geek at a December 31, 1999 party and decided to spend time instead with a beautiful scientist of a brunette. Note to Stark, “Geeks have long memories and hold deep grudges.”

In this case the geek is Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce). He has managed to reprogram human genetic code and turn humans into bombs. The ultimate drone. He partners with a not shy terrorist known to all as The Mandarin. Together they plan to take over the world. Yes I know, again. I wonder if one day that fool’s errand of a plan will actually be pulled off. Stark vows to stop him. Finally, something to do.

Although the picture is entertaining and is full of action, it was just too much Tony Downing, Jr. for me. The Avengers approach gave us Tony in more digestible chunks as opposed to having the Iron Man in nearly every frame. It’s tiring and despite all the effort of the filmmakers to give us something else to think about and watch, ultimately it fell well short.

There are some bright spots. Don Cheadle as Colonel James Rhodes, the fully sanctioned government Iron Man who hilariously flies around the world to foil plots based on wrong CIA evidence, and Ben Kingsley, playing an over the top role within a role as The Mandarin. Even Gwneyth Paltrow’s Pepper moves from behind the desk to field work.

It’s hard to argue against a Hollywood formula that takes in $337 million dollars in three weeks. There are more Iron Man films in the works, but I’d be happier if they put him in with the others more often.

The 3D choice was obviously produced and released to increase the ticket price. Nothing outstanding or unique in that effort. In fact I wished I’d seen it in the traditional experience. The film score was forgettable.

Official web site is an improvement to what we usually see. A single landing page with a nice, clear set of choices along the bottom that load quickly and keep you interested. Worth exploring.

Photo credit: Marvel and Paramount Pictures