Directed By: Shane Black
Written By: Drew Pearce, Shane Black
Release Date: May 3rd, 2013
Run Time: 2h 10m
Link to IMDb
Ladies and gentlemen, we have our first pair of good Marvel movies that came out back to back! First Avengers, now Iron Man 3! It’s just a shame that Thor 2 would ruin that streak.
And my day. But that’s for tomorrow.
Iron Man 3 is one of my favorite films in the MCU. It’s story, character development, and it’s action are all among the best in this entire series. Though it does suffer from the same issues as many Marvel movies, such as the lackluster cinematography and poor villains, but it’s so much fun that I barely care.
To start off, I’d like to address the biggest controversy this movie is criticised for: the butchering of the Mandarin’s character. Many people got excited when they heard that Iron Man’s arch nemesis was coming to the big screen. Finally, a villain for Tony to face that we’ll remember!
Then came the big reveal that the Mandarin is nothing more than an actor. And the real villain were these other dudes.
Here’s the thing: I believe that any adaptation should make changes to the source material to make the adapted version better. Some things work in one art form but not another. For example, the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings trilogy cut out a large portion of Frodo’s journey to meet up with Gandalf at the prancing pony. This is a good change because, let’s face it, not a whole lot of important things actually happened in that chunk of the story. With it gone, the story became shorter and kept the audience engaged.
However, not all changes are for the best. For example, having Batman pull out a gun and shoot people isn’t a very good change. It is such a far departure from the character that it’s simply jarring, and it’s not used in any clever way. It’s only there because Zack Snyder wanted to be edgy and stand out.
The change of the Mandarin’s character works really well. It’s a clever subversion of your expectations, it’s executed well, and it’s simply fun. Sure, it could’ve been cool to see the actual Mandarin in action, but this version works really well.
And if you complain about this and like Guardians of the Galaxy, then congratulations! You’re a hypocrite. The difference between the Guardians comics and the movies is as distinct as the difference between fry oil and vegetable oil. Similar, yes, but undeniably distinct.
Now, with that out of the way, let’s talk about why this movie kicks so much ass! Starting with my absolute favorite: Tony Stark himself.
His characterization in this movie is downright phenomenal! This continues the story of The Avengers brilliantly, as Tony has begun suffering from PTSD and panic attacks after the Battle for New York. This makes him feel grounded and relatable, and it’s a perfect evolution of his character. He was already an emotional wreck, and now he has to deal with PTSD and a group of terrorists that want him dead!
And his incredible intilect is put on full display throughout the entire movie! Time and time again he’s forced to deal with dangerous situations, sometimes without the help of his suit! For example, there’s an action scene later in the movie where Tony needs to kill a super powered meta human lady with nothing but his wits and the surrounding objects.
All while handcuffed. Does that sound thrilling? Because it absolutely is!
Even with his suits, Tony gets some incredible action in this movie! Watching him fight through his collapsing house with only a few functional systems in his suit is exhilarating! Watching him hop from suit to suit, as the main villain is strong enough to destroy them in a single shot, is incredibly creative and fun! Silly, yes, but fun!
That’s a strong summary of the whole movie: it’s a bit silly, but god is it fun to watch! It’s creative, well written (as well as spectacularly acted), and it’s engaging from start to end. If it had more interesting cinematography than the MCU norm and a more interesting final villain, this could easily have been the best MCU movie!
Which is only made more apparent by being released right next to one of the worst movies in the series.