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Iron Man 3 Review

Marvel once again kicks off the summer’s blockbuster season with a bang, bringing Robert Downey Jr’s famed Iron Man franchise to a close. It’s hard to follow such hits as Iron Man and last year’s Avengers, but new director Shane Black manages to make Iron Man just as relevant as any other superhero.

Robert Downey Jr. is once again back playing playboy-billionaire Tony Stark, who has manufactured hundreds of Iron Man suits in his spare time. Tony has been getting bored, and nothing really interesting has happened since his Avengers days; his relationship with Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow) is very routine, to say the least, and there is a bit of tension between the two. That all changes when a call from an old colleague, Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) brings old relationships back to center stage. Couple that with random terrorist attacks from a mysterious villain, The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), and you’ve got a recipe for disaster that can only be fixed by Iron Man. The government also gets involved, and the Iron Patriot (Don Cheadle), aids in Iron Man’s dilemma.

This time, it's more personal for Tony Stark.

This time, it’s more personal for the Iron Giant

The story this time around is more personal, and the marketing has made that claim clear. Tony Stark spends less time in the suit, and more time interacting with other characters. This allows for character development, something that RDJ has never had trouble with. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Robert Downey Jr IS Iron Man. There is no one else who would have even come close to performing at the level he does in this role, and he has become synonymous with the brand. He is at his best this time around, and he makes the other actors want to do perform better as a result. Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts is given a smaller role this time around, but she comes full circle near the film’s climax.  You will definitely not see it coming. Don Cheadle shines brightly as the Iron Patriot, and the scenes with him and Downey make an excellent pairing, almost like a buddy cop comedy. Guy Pearce as mysterious researcher Killian is chilling, and he is very mysterious yet captivating. Early on the film, Iron Man finds himself stranded in Tennessee of all places, where he teams up with a young kid named Harvey (Ty Simpkins), and the scenes with the two together evoke a father-son mutual relationship. Every actor shines on screen, whether they have a small role or not.

This is a good thing, because later on, the plot drags. There is less of an emotional stake in the film for a lot of the characters, except for Downey, and the energy really drains from the film later on. The movie seems to be lacking the spark that the first one had; the quick wit, the fun energy, is not here this time around. The film’s final action scene is a beauty, but lacking substance. Not to mention, some of what the film does with the plot is explained barbarically, sometimes going beyond belief, even for a superhero film. There’s something missing, but it’s hard to explain. One twist in the middle of the film may make Marvel fans upset, but I won’t spoil it here. I, myself, found it excellent, and it was very well-hidden prior to the film’s release.

Negatives aside, Iron Man 3 is a great finale for one of pop culture’s most recognizable icons. RDJ is back in top form, as are most of the other actors, and even though the film is lacking in terms of storytelling, and it pales in comparison to the first film, it’s still an enjoyable summer blockbuster that anyone can enjoy.

Overall: 3.0/4.0

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2013 in Movie Reviews

 

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My Summer Box Office Predictions

Robert Downey Jr. returns in Marvel's Iron Man 3

Robert Downey Jr. returns in Marvel’s Iron Man 3

With the summer movie season kicking off this weekend with the anticipated release of Iron Man 3, I thought I’d run down the lineup for each weekend’s major releases and predict how well they will do domestically.

May

May 3: Iron Man 3

The first blockbuster of the summer is the final chapter in Marvel’s Iron Man franchise. Starring Robert Downey Jr., it hopes to recapture what made the original Iron Man such a marvel (pun intended), after the somewhat disappointing second outing. Tracking looks good, with the film already dominating worldwide markets, even beating the record previously set by Marvel’s The Avengers the same time last year. Although The Avengers set the record in the U.S. for opening weekend, Iron Man 3 doesn’t hold the same power, and I would set it at around a $150-$175 million opening weekend, for a domestic total of north of $350 million. This would become the summer’s biggest hit.

May 10: The Great Gatsby

The second weekend of May is much quieter, although still with a smaller anticipated hit, Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. I would expect Iron Man 3 to top it this weekend, with a second weekend of around $60 million. Not all hope is lost for Gatsby, however, and with stars like Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire, as well as a big fan base for the classic novel, it should still perform well (the film was delayed from its previous release date of Dec. 25 last year, to open up for Academy Award season). I would place Gatsby at around a $40 million opening, and closing at $120-$130 million.

May 17: Star Trek Into Darkness

My most anticipated movie of the summer goes to J.J. Abrams’s successor to the wildly popular reboot of the Star Trek franchise. The

Star Trek Into Darkness brings the Enterprise Crew back into action.

Star Trek Into Darkness brings the Enterprise Crew back into action.

2009 hit went on to achieve over $250 million domestically, and the sequel looks to do the same, if not better. Marketing is doing well, with it being pitched as a sequel to end all sequels, and with a mysterious villain played by British fan favorite, Benedict Cumberbatch, it should perform well. It should top the weekend with an opening of $110-$120 million, putting it on track for a $270 million finish, hopefully opening up room for a third installment (Abrams’s next project is the seventh film in the Star Wars franchise).

May 24: Fast and Furious 6

May’s fourth weekend is a crowded one, with three wide releases that should all perform fairly well. The Fast and Furious franchise has never been my favorite, but with the success of last year’s Fast Five, the franchise is still alive and well. This installment features Vin Diesel and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, two acclaimed action stars. If history will repeat itself, Fast 6 looks on track for an opening of $80-90 million, and closing with a $220 million gross. A seventh installment is already in the works for a release date of June of next year.

May 24: The Hangover: Part III

Everyone’s favorite Wolfpack is back in the third outing of this raunchy R-rated series. Marketing seems pitched at parodying franchise endings, calling this the mother of all trilogies. Still, it might reflect that audiences are getting tired of the Wolfpack and their games, so Part III doesn’t look like it will wind up anywhere near Part II’s gross. And with heavy competition, that only looks more inevitable. Expect Hangover 3 to see an opening of $50 million, and end with a franchise low of $150 million.

May 24: Epic

May is slightly light on family outings, and if March’s The Croods is any indication, animated films are still as relevant as ever. Epic portrays an action-oriented fantasy world, which might not connect with audiences, similar to last November’s Rise of the Guardians, which just barely scraped $100 million. Epic might break that trend, being a summer release, but expect it to get $40-$45 million its opening weekend. And with long legs until the next animated outing, Pixar’s Monsters University, it seems poised to reach $160 million domestically.

May 31: After Earth

The dynamic duo of Will Smith and his son Jaden return in this apocalyptic tale of a father and son stranded on a deserted planet. With so many action flicks in May, audiences may grow tired of the trend, and may pass on the strange premise and pairing of actors. Still, After Earth should do moderate business throughout June, and an opening of around $40 million seems likely, with a finish of $120 million.

May 31: Now You See Me

This action-drama featuring magicians who perform robberies on stage and reward their audience with the prize money, could be this summer’s sleeper hit. With such stars as Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Isla Fisher, and Morgan Freeman, it should do decent business for audiences looking for something fresh. Tracking indicates an opening of around $20-$26 million, with a finish of around $55-$60 million.

Next month features Pixar’s next smash hit, as well as a Superman reboot, and another White House action movie. Stay tuned as we track the rest of summer’s big blockbusters.

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2013 in Other

 

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