|Is it good? Or is it's success purely because of The Avengers|
While every day I grow more, and more disenchanted with Marvel's comics due to their recent horrible mistreatment, of some of my favorite characters like Captain America, and Spider-Man. One thing that I can almost always count on though to be good fun from Marvel are their Marvel Studios produced films. While some are better than others, I have yet to find myself "disappointed with them since (unlike a certain other comic company's movies) they lack any pretense that they are anything more than fun blockbuster titles. Now that the franchise has become a mega-hit, we have entered into Phase 2, kicked off by the third Iron Man movie. Iron Man 2 ended up being considered one of the weakest movies in the Marvel Studios franchise, so with this one, new director, Shane Black had practically no where to go but up.
Plot Synopsis and Acting Quality
Taking place some time after the war with Loki and the Chitauri, battle has taken its toll on Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr), making him obsessed with his work on the Iron Man suits for future encounters with the unknown, and causing him to develop crippling anxiety attacks. Things get even worse when a terrorist calling himself the Mandarin orchestrates a series of bombings throughout the country, one of which injuring a friend of Tony's. With his house in ruins from an attack, and his armor's power depleted, Tony must unravel this mystery, while battling both the Mandarin's forces, and his own inner demons.
Honestly, the plot is rather jumbled, and messy, with many subplots and characters being introduced, and quickly forgotten, as well as a few plot holes existing (any that involve not calling the other Avengers do not count).While this movie does indeed improve on Iron Man 2, it still has many of the same problems, with the major one being that the villains are not interesting, and their motivations make little to no sense. Without spoiling anything, the villain of this movie is INCREDIBLY overpowered to the point where he can do things like damage Tony's armor despite Thor, nor Loki, nor the Chitauri army being able to crack it with magical weapons, sorcery, or alien technology in previous movies; not to mention the villain is omnipotent to the point where he knows practically everything.
Once again, Robert Downey Jr turns in an excellent performance as Tony Stark, switching between charismatically quirky, to serious and focused, to vulnerable and scared. The rest of the acting is good, but not particularly noteworthy, with the exception of one surprise character who will make viewers burst out laughing with the sheer hilarity of their performance. And of course, the humor in this movie is still top notch, Shane Black proves to be an excellent writer for this movie, giving Tony and the franchise itself perhaps some of their funniest moments to date.
Art Direction and Cinematography
Iron Man is an absolute visual spectacle with its many expertly made, frantic, but coherent action sequences. People like Michael Bay need to take notes from Marvel Studios, because they are proving to be everything that movies like Transformers want to be, except much better. The cinematography is above-average good, with each scene feeling well edited, and well shot, as come to be expected.
It's better than Iron Man 2, but of all the movies in the Marvel line-up, this may be still somewhere in the (low) middle in terms of quality. The visuals, and humor are great, but the story and antagonists are sorely lacking in both personality, and characteristics. If you're looking for the next best comic book movie...you'll be disappointed, but if you're just out to have a good time, I definitely recommend this movie for either a matinee or an evening showing.
- Strong lead performance from Robert Downey Jr.
- Excellent humor, common to Shane Black movies.
- Fun, coherently shot, action sequences.
- Numerous notable plot holes.
- Dreadfully weak (but still overpowered) villain.
- Inconsistent nature of many plot elements.
- Too many subplots going on at once.