The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

Series starts to show signs of rust in ‘Iron Man 3’

Courtesy of Marvel

“Iron Man 3” begins months after the alien attacks of last summer’s “The Avengers” film. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) has been experiencing panic attacks as a result of the invasion on New York City and in response, has buried himself in work on his Iron Man suits much to the chagrin of his girlfriend and CEO of Stark Enterprises, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow).

Meanwhile, a new terrorist group led by the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) has been responsible for numerous explosive attacks across the globe. The Mandarin hijacks the airwaves, playing videos of warning with ominous explanations as to why these attacks were warranted. But when Stark’s head of security is gravely injured in a Mandarin attack, Stark makes the mistake of putting himself and Potts in danger with a public proclamation of his home address telling the Mandarin, “I’ll leave the door unlocked for you.” And the plot begins to unfold.

“When is he going to put on a real Iron Man suit and fight some bad guys?” Despite my belief that those words should never be uttered during an “Iron Man” film, I found myself asking that very question about 45 minutes into the latest installment of Marvel’s newest superhero movie.

Don’t get me wrong, the film delivered on some of the expectations one looks for in a superhero or specifically an “Iron Man” film. There were plot twists (some more obvious than others), the destruction of beautiful and incredibly expensive looking buildings, the clever quips and Tony Stark-isms we all know and love ezpressed via relationships with Potts, Col. James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) and a new character to the series, an intelligent, young boy named Harley (Ty Simpkins).

Stark’s self-aware arrogance, which Downey Jr. so instinctively portrays, was the film’s saving grace. His relationship with Harley was refreshing enough to get me through to the action scenes but the film could have benefited from a better blend of the two.

I very much enjoyed the first “Iron Man” film, which also did not feature Tony Stark’s famous suit until late in the film, however in that case I was not bothered by it. In “Iron Man” it was necessary to establish the character of Tony Stark and as it was an origin story for the franchise, it was fun to see him work on the suit from the remote, middle-eastern cave and see how he used the building of the first suit to escape from captivity. After his escape there was an entire storyline with Obadiah Stain as the primary villain and Stark was forced to use his new suit for a large part of the remainder of the film. We essentially got two movies in one without it feeling like they took on too much. In “Iron Man 3” it was his own stupidity and poor planning that led to a largely suit-less film.

The lack of suit-wearing could be a result of the directing change from Jon Favreau (“Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2”) to Shane Black (“Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”). Perhaps it is a result of trying to mix things up from previous films. Or perhaps it is a result of it being the third movie in a franchise series which seems to be difficult to do well. Even Francis Ford Coppola could not make a satisfying third film for “The Godfather” trilogy.

I’ve also noticed a trend in franchise movies of late; the broken hero who must pick himself up by his bootstraps, overcome whatever psychological or physical problems they may be experiencing to finally save the day in the end.

I found this trend present in “Iron Man 3” and “The Dark Knight Rises.” Only “Skyfall” seemed to pull of this trick somewhat successfully.

The Mandarin’s blatant allusion to Osama bin Laden and Islam in general, was probably the most irritating aspect of the film. These days, Islam and terrorism are as synonymous as the Soviet Union and communism were during the Cold War, and as a result, all film bad guys have to fall into those categories. Additionally, the climactic scene seemed like a huge advertisement for drone warfare which I won’t delve into, but again it was frustratingly transparent.

Comic book geeks will probably also be disappointed with the creative direction they take for the Mandarin’s character.

“Iron Man 3” had its moments, it kept a good meter on the comedy but ultimately fell short of the previous two films which seemed more cohesive and exciting. That being said, the film was still entertaining so if you want a fun movie experience there will be plenty of scenes to keep your attention as well as cheesy ones to crack jokes about with friends.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Andrew O'Connor-Watts, Managing Editor

Comments (0)

By commenting, you give The Inquirer permission to quote, reprint or edit your words. Comments should be brief, have a positive or constructive tone, and stay on topic. If the commenter wants to bring something to The Inquirer’s attention, it should be relevant to the DVC community. Posts can politely disagree with The Inquirer or other commenters. Comments should not use abusive, threatening, offensive or vulgar language. They should not be personal attacks or celebrations of other people’s tragedies. They should not overtly or covertly contain commercial advertising. And they should not disrupt the forum. Editors may warn commenters or delete comments that violate this policy. Repeated violations may lead to a commenter being blocked. Public comments should not be anonymous or come from obviously fictitious accounts. To privately or anonymously bring something to the editors’ attention, contact them.
All The Inquirer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Activate Search
Series starts to show signs of rust in ‘Iron Man 3’