Saturday, October 19, 2013

'Iron Man 3' Review -- Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 2

(Photo Source: Marvel)
As you very well know by now, I spent quite a few weeks recently reviewing all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films leading up to the premiere of the spin-off series on ABC, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Well, the show has a small handful of episodes now under its belt--and I'm finding myself really enjoying it.

But since I watched all the Phase 1 films, it seems only fitting that I would also watch and review Phase 2 as well. And the first and only movie from this second chapter is out on DVD, so it's time for me to continue my Marvel reviews...

Iron Man 3
(Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase 2)

I'm going to start off this review with something I always seem to bring up in these reviews, and that's the suit Tony Stark wears--or rather, how he gets into and out of it. Iron Man 2 had the "Iron Man in a Suitcase," and The Avengers managed to top that: when he walked into his house, all the tech/gadgets around him were taking the suit apart piece by piece. Visually speaking, it was stunning to watch.

For Iron Man 3, it's the complete opposite. Here, it's a new way to get the suit on: all the various parts of the suit fly to him. I wonder if this has been intentional on the part of the filmmakers that each time we see Stark, there would be a new idea for the suit in this regard. I hope they continue with these ingenious ideas in future movies he's in.

I know that doesn't mean much in the grand scope of things, but it's something cool that I always love to see. So now that I've gotten that out of the way, on to the characters!

Ben Kingsley plays the villain in this film. Or rather, the face of villainy since he turns out to be a fake and not really the bad guy. He's just playing a role, being the face of the operation. But it's Aldrich Killian, played by Guy Pearce, who's the real Mandarin. He makes a very striking comment at one point. He says that anonymity is his mantra, and that "The second you give evil a face--bin Laden, Gaddafi, the Mandarin--you hand the people a target." Something about that really struck me.

When you look at real life, it may seem scary when we don't know exactly who the enemy may be in the fight against terrorism, but when we have someone like Osama bin Laden with 9/11, there's a face attached to the evil now and it makes it all the more powerful, "hand[ing] the people a target," as Killian says.

Tony Stark has some anxiety attacks in Iron Man 3. He says, "Nothing's been the same since [the Battle of] New York." So it seems he's having post-traumatic stress disorder from the epic battle in The Avengers, even having nightmares where he relives it. I'm not trying to take away from that, but at the same time, I'm trying to figure out why he hasn't had episodes like this before. He's been in battles before, he's even been captured by terrorists. Why only now is he experiencing this issue? I know the Battle of New York was huge and all, but still.

One of the best scenes in the entire movie is when all those people are falling out of the airplane. Iron Man manages to collect them all, miraculously. During this entire sequence, my eyes never left the TV screen--I was completely riveted and couldn't believe everything that was going on. It was beyond extraordinary, seeing Stark go about the way he managed to save every individual. I also felt the same when Stark's house was attacked. Unbelievable to watch.

And during the climax, they make it seem like Pepper dies. I'll admit, even I believed it. But I'm curious about what's going on with her at this point because she has extra strength or something, managing to finish off Killian.

With this being the third movie in the Iron Man series, it feels very much like a conclusion to a trilogy because Stark blows up all his Iron Man robots and he has that device in his chest removed. But of course, it's not the end for him because we all know he's going to be in The Avengers: Age of Ultron. I'm curious to see how this ending will affect his involvement and what all he does in Ultron.

And I can't end the review without bringing up the post-credits scene: Stark is in a sort of therapy session. And Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner makes an appearance! There's humor in even the most dramatic of scenes, which this is another example of.

Iron Man 3 has a different director than the first two films: Shane Black instead of Jon Favreau. And I have to say, even with the terrorist element (which if you've read my Iron Man review, you'll know I wasn't a fan of whole terrorist storyline), this is a fantastic movie. It's cohesive, funny and has fantastic visual effects. There are many intense moments throughout, which keep building toward the end, which makes it all the more engrossing.

Now that I've seen Iron Man 3 and am watching S.H.I.E.L.D., the next in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise is Thor: The Dark World, which I can't wait for! I'm not sure yet if I'll be able to see it while it's in theaters, but either way, I'm looking forward to the second Thor, as I absolutely loved the first.

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 2 Reviews:
Iron Man 3  /  Future Releases: Thor: The Dark World | Captain America: The Winter Soldier | Guardians of the Galaxy | Marvel's The Avengers: Age of Ultron

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 1 Reviews:

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