Ironman 3

ironman posterI like my action heroes with a little angst. I have to believe that if you’re going to blow up buildings and take out innocent civilians while attempting to save the world, you’re going to earn a little PTSD along with all the kudos. It shows you have a heart, or in the case of Ironman’s Tony Stark, at least an electromagnetic cup with a bunch of shrapnel in it.

Ironman 3 came roaring into theatres last weekend, setting off a chain reaction of summer flicks that will continue well into cicada season. Last summer we had The Avengers, where Ironman joined up with Thor, Captain America, the Hulk and a few other superhero types in really tight outfits. The big climax culminated in an all out battle to save the world from aliens and other Loki-driven demons that happened over the skies of NYC. Although the day was saved, the experience was traumatic enough for Tony Stark that he starts twitching if anyone even mentions the words “New York.”

Back in his modernistic, cliff side workshop, Tony has given up on sleep and spends his days and nights creating a variety of Ironman suits that will reassemble in midair like a magnetic K9 playing fetch with various limb-shaped frisbees. The plot gets complicated quickly, involving flashbacks and terrorists and lots of things blowing up, but it is the wildness in Tony Stark’s eyes as he tries to do anything he can to keep from having to talk about wormholes and that guy with the big hammer that makes this Ironman stand out from the others. Robert Downey Jr. has always been perfectly cast as the egocentric millionaire genius, but in this film, he shows the cracks that begin to appear in the iron facade as he tries to deal with the bang from that gang of other superheroes.

The film is fast and funny, with a stand out performance by Ben Kingsley as the bin Laden-like villain The Mandarin. Mustering all the gravitas of Ghandi mixed with the cold-bloodedness of a Hans Gruber, Kingsley speaks in a Gene Hackman-like accent that is both weird and totally appropriate. I wish The Mandarin had a few more scenes, as he is one of the truly original movie villains to come along in a while.

The film jumps from location to plot point without too much regard for continuity, but no one really expects a well-ordered outline in a comic book movie. There is a great rescue sequence that takes place in midair as Ironman tries to save multiple people falling out of an airplane all at the same time, which he dubs the Barrel of Monkeys scenario. I like my movie stunts with a side of humor and this one is a classic.

My favorite scene in the whole film barely lasts two minutes, and I have not seen it mentioned in any reviews, which I find a-Pallying. Tony breaks into a TV truck to try to download some information and is discovered by a star-struck technician who bears a very strong resemblance to Richard Dreyfus in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I actually thought it was him until I heard the actor speak and realized it was Max from Happy Endings! (which if you’re unaware of, you’ve probably already killed it because they’re going to cancel it for low ratings and how come you never watched the funniest show on TV?) Gary the technician actually has a tattoo of Tony Stark on his arm (which Tony thinks is Scott Baio) and is clearly writing fanfic in his basement involving Tony and Bruce Banner. We never see Gary again which is a real shame, because I would watch an entire movie where Adam Pally just stalks Robert Downey Jr.

No shaky-cam problems to report, as Hollywood seems to have abandoned this technique in favor of extremely expensive 3D explosions. Your stomach will be fine, although your eyeballs might catch on fire because at 2 hours and 20 minutes, this a pretty long time to wear the 3D specs.

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you this, but just in case you’re an idiot, do not leave the theater until you have read all 10,478 names in the credits involved in this production. It will be well worth your time.

Barf Bag Rating: ZERO BAGS

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2 Comments

  1. Was Gary the guy getting the Tony Stark tattoo at the end of Avengers?

    • I don’t know but that would be pretty awesome if it was! I will have to rewatch The Avengers – thanks for giving me an excuse to do that!


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