Iron Man 3 [2013]

Iron Man Three, as it is titled during the end credits, takes an inherently ridiculous storyline but tells it with such aplomb that you'll forgive and forget most of it by the time you walk out the cinema.

We catch up with Tony Starks after the events of The Avengers. If Robert Downey Jr.'s overacting doesn't clue you in this is a scarred version of the egotistical douche we've all come to love over the course of 3 films and 1 cameo (FYI - He appeared in the post-credits scene in 2008's The Incredible Hulk). Giving familiar characters new challenges is a good but frankly is nothing new to this genre. Sophomore entree's in superhero franchises have been known to explore this arc  right from Superman II [1980] to Spider-man 2 [2004] and even this years X-Men sequel The Wolverine.

While battling his inner doubts Stark has to overcome adversaries while keeping his loved ones out of the way of harm. Again standard fare for the genre. If you haven't guessed by now, yes, it is getting tiresome.

Fortunately for us Jon Favreau has handed over the directorial reins to Shane Black. Though only his second time behind the camera, the alumni of classic 80's-90's fare such as Lethal Weopen [1987] and The Last Boy Scout [1991], has such a grasp of characterisations and tried-and-tested techniques that he surpasses his predecessors work. Not sure who to fault with some of the action though, is Marvel's cost-concious approach or the directors limited experience in shooting big budget action? I still wish he had more input on the script so he could think of better ways to resolve plot points instead of turning to convenient methods. 

This isn't a spoiler since the marketing has played up the presence of The Mandarin as Stark's nemesis here. Comic book fans will probably know the character as shell heads arch nemesis.

Sorry to sidetrack a bit but it bothered me how a character who, from his creation, has been portrayed as of oriental origins is here made out to be of middle eastern descent. I'm willing to excuse it for the sake of keeping up with the times. If this was the 80's I wouldn't be surprised if his background was changed to Russian! What irks me though is Marvels insistance in earlier interviews that the character, as written in the comics, isn't what audiences want to see. Er, no Marvel. I'd much rather see that instead of this travesty. My hunch is the emergence of the Chinese box-office as a major contributor to movies success as well as their funding of this particular film are the real reasons his origins were changed but who am I to know.

Whatever the reason it doesn't change the fact that this is perhaps the biggest wrongdoing of this script. I can live without his magical 10 rings. I can make do with his origin being changed but the character we see here is a slap in the faces of not just comic book fans but movie fans in general. I won't go into detail for fear of spoiling it for you but such screenwriting no-no's aren't even fitting in an M. Night Shyamalan movie.

There's no doubt Iron Man 3 will make boat loads of coin. Heck, it might even surpass the second installment in terms of critical praise but it also exposes how frail the universe they've created is. The balancing act of "grounding it in reality" and then turning around and giving us a holographic CSI re-creation is not defies the very logic they're trying to establish but plain lazy storytelling. 

The argument will surely be raised that "it's just a movie based on a comic book character" but I can't help but be distracted and peeved by it.

Iron Man 3 screen in Singapore cinemas starting 25th April 2013.

Iron Man 3 Singapore Movie Review Poster

About The Author: Sarhan Rashid
Sarhan Rashid's picture

I'm always greatful for being an 80's baby. We experienced a simpler time while being on the forefront of technological achievements. The internet is one such achievement which has impacted my life. Having worked in the information technology (IT) sector for close to a decade it has truly shaped my world. Besides working as a Project Manager on Singapore CMS (Content Management System) Web Design and online advertising campaigns I enjoy movies, music, travelling and tech gadgets.

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