Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Movie Review: Iron Man 3

Tony Stark had to start all over again to defeat The Ten Rings group in this
installment of the Iron Man saga.
Beware: You will see some spoilers here, so read at your own risk.

This is the first time I'm gonna do a movie review for Stu Traveled. I was invited to watch Iron Man 3 through a bloc screening sponsored by AppLabs right on my birthday, which happens to be the first screening day of the said movie.

The third installment of the Iron Man franchise started with a flashback scene featuring Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) at a New Year countdown party with Dr. Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall), who was into a botanic research on regeneration. They met a certain Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), who wanted to work together with Stark for what would become the Extremis virus. Fast forward to Christmas, a certain The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) of The Ten Rings terrorist group initiated a series of suicide bombings which curiously left not even a speck of the bombs in the sites. Stark issued a public challenge on The Mandarin to attack his mansion, which, as seen in the trailer, The Mandarin accepted. Presumed dead, Stark actually escaped from the attack and found himself in Rose Hill, Tennessee, where a bombing prior to the latest one (the scene where Tony's friend Happy Hogan [Jon Favreau] was severely hurt) took place. At Rose Hill, Tony, with his Iron Man suit crushed in the attack, had to start from scratch to get back at The Ten Rings, which happens to be led by Aldrich. Maya, whose research helped form the Extremis, was working beside Killian to create more viruses that turned ex-soldiers into suicide bombers. Add to the problems Tony faced was the anxiety disorder he got due to the events in The Avengers (if you haven't watched The Avengers, better grab a Blu-ray disk of the flick to get an idea about what happened to him). Thanks to a kid named Harley (Ty Simpkins), he and Stark repaired the suit, in time the terrorist group turned their attention on the President (William Sadler) and Tony's girlfriend Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow). Tony and Rhodey (Don Cheadle) aka War Machine/Iron Patriot (whose suit was used by Aldrich's henchman Eric [James Badge Dale] to kidnap the president) went to battle sans the latter's suit. In the end, Rhodey got his suit back and escorted the president to safety, and Tony, thanks to a barrage of suits, beat Killian.

At first, I didn't have an idea about the significance of the opening scene. I knew Aldrich had a significance in the movie, but it was until the latter part of the film where it became clear that he wanted to show Tony what he just passed up. Also, I laughed out loud at Tony's conversations with Harley. It's a heartfelt moment to see the billionaire Stark talking to a kid that casual. The final scene was kinda intriguing to me because after the surgeons successfully removed the Extremis virus on Pepper (she was injected with the virus by Aldrich), they turned to Tony to finally remove the shrapnel that was inside his chest. The arc reactor at the middle of his chest, as we all know, is powering the electromagnet that is keeping the memory of the explosion that we saw in Iron Man 1 from piercing his heart. With the shrapnel removed, so is the electromagnet and so is the arc reactor. Tony, after marrying Pepper, threw the reactor to the sea. With that being the trademark of Iron Man, the final scene is suggesting that the Iron Man saga will end there. It left me some questions leading to Avengers 2. Will we see Robert Downey Jr. play Iron Man minus the arc reactor there? The only thing I know is that Marvel, Paramount, and Disney are still considering an Iron Man 4.

For this film, Happy Hogan, i.e. Jon Favreau, who actually directed the two prequels, passed the torch to another director, Shane Black. Black, for me, responded to Favreau's call. He even made IM3 more entertaining than at least IM1, something we should be expecting in the final part of a trilogy. He also succeeded on developing an Iron Man suit-less Tony Stark in the movie, showing another side of him. The Stark we saw in the film is almost like the pre-Iron Man Tony we saw in the first comic books. Black showed the lighter side of Stark, and he succeeded in not compromising the Iron Man we know.

On a scale of 1-10, I will give the perfect 10. That's how you should end a saga.

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