"Iron Man 3" (2013)- Movie Review

Written and directed by Shane Black
Also written by Drew Pearce
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Guy Pearce and Ben Kingsley

‘A Unique Twist’

Twists are risky ways of surprising an audience by doing something out-of-the-ordinary. In the world of film, they are used on rare occasions due to the sheer problems that they can cause. These days most filmmakers stray away from such things as surprises. Why? They can result in severe implications, either invigorating a movie’s quality or completely bringing it down.

However, that doesn’t stop filmmakers from trying to succeed. The twist formula has been used extensively around the world. Some of the most acclaimed films such as “The Usual Suspects” and even “Psycho” have incorporated it to create memorable moments in Cinema.

Although its not up to the standard set by the mentioned motion pictures, Shane Black’s “Iron Man 3” offers a unique, thoroughly creative twist that sparks originality and redeems the franchise. It’s a clever approach that lifts an otherwise average super-hero movie into a fresh, distinct blockbuster. Ironically enough, it also brings the film down in a reasonably significant way. The director, Shane Black, gets more than what he bargained for: pros as well as cons as a result of the movie’s twist.

In the film, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) faces a dangerous terrorist (Sir Ben Kingsley) that not only pushes him to his limits, but also questions the existence of Stark’s alter ego: Iron Man.

Summer blockbusters are usually covered in conventionality and unnecessary loud explosions from scared people screaming their heads off to huge action sequences in nearly every scene. “Iron Man 3”, however, is very different from that. The film maintains the same goofy tone of it’s predecessors, but there is something that makes it more unique than the other movies in it’s franchise: a twist. It isn’t a predictable surprise, but an unexpected almost shocking turn of events that display original filmmaking. Shane Black, the director, takes a huge risk by throwing in the kind of twist that has the ability to divide audiences. For the most part, he succeeds in bringing the “Iron Man” series back to it’s roots, but one just can’t shake off the consequences of  his decisions.

What could possibly go wrong? The twist produces problems despite creativity. Apart from that, however, the movie is a fun, reasonably entertaining entry from Marvel that represents pop-corn entertainment at its best.

The screenplay, written by Drew Pearce and Shane Black, is woven together impressively. Although its lacking depth, the script excels due to witty and humorous dialogue that explodes in nearly every moment. In terms of characters, the filmmakers have a firm grasp on most of their personalities. Tony Stark, the lead character, is especially well-developed and has grown as a person since the predecessors of this movie. Its these little changes that make “Iron Man 3” a fascinating, if not perfect movie.

One of the greatest achievements of this film is just how self-aware it is. Most movies of this type take themselves quite seriously when the subject matter isn’t meant to be serious. “Iron Man 3″, on the other hand”, knows what it is and maintains a distinct tone throughout. There are moments where the movie does explore solemn subjects such as Tony Stark’s anxiety breakdowns, but otherwise its all meant to be fun, emotion-free entertainment.

Everyone in the cast is at the top of their game and seems to be having a great time. Robert Downey Jr. turns in his best performance yet of Iron Man, expertly portraying the vulnerable as well as playful side of the character. Downey Jr. is the perfect Iron Man, and at this point its hard to think of anyone else who could have carried this role as seamlessly. The actor’s charm, sarcasm and wit combined with Shane Black’s similar direction make the two a magnificent pairing. Its as if the two are a perfect match, without which the movie wouldn’t be as effective.

Ben Kingsley pulls off a daring, multi-layered performance as the ‘Mandarin’. The British actor has an unstoppable force of power allowing him to steal every scene he appears in. It’s definitely a difficult job to play a threatening villain, but its even more tough to play a completely different character as well. Here, it is on rare occasion that an actor manages to balance two characters, creating a fascinating and creative persona that is very memorable. From unique mannerisms to an unusual tone of voice, Kingsley completely immerses himself into his roles and is one of the shining stars of the movie.

The supporting actors are great: Guy Pearce pulls the rug above an otherwise mediocre character, making himself noticeable, Gwyneth Paltrow continues to excel as Tony Stark’s love interest, and young Ty Simpkins has magical chemistry with Robert Downey Jr. despite limited screen time.

Taking everything into account, “Iron Man 3” is an admirable entry into its franchise and worth watching for its twists and surprises. Its far from a perfect film due to the consequences it’s twist produces such as lack of characterization for a main character. Regardless, there’s no dying the spectacle and thrills that this movie offers. Comic book fans and general movie-goers may be divided in their opinions, yet the film will definitely spark conversations over the next few years. Its all vivid, colorful entertainment: nothing more but nothing less…

3/5 stars

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