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Iron Man 3 Review – In STARK Contrast To Its Predecessors

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Robert Downey, Jr. returns to the big-screen as Tony Stark as he reprises his role in the third installment of Marvel’s Iron Man franchise. This is in fact the fourth time that Downey, Jr. is playing the role of Iron Man if we also include 2012’s superhero ensemble The Avengers. As we write this Iron Man 3 review though its almost as if he only played the character of Tony Stark and gave the Iron Man suit a miss this time.

Over the past three years the world has regularly been treated to superhero summers with Thor, X-Men and Green Lantern showing the way in 2011. The Avengers, Batman and Spiderman doubled the fun in 2012 setting things up for bigger and better 2013. Iron Man 3 is thus the start of the superhero summer of 2013 which also has the much awaited Superman reboot Man Of Steel, The Wolverine and Thor 2 – The Dark World among its action packed lineup. In that respect things seem to be off to a bad start as Iron Man 3 turns out to be a disappointment and a far cry from its predecessors which together grossed more than a billion dollars in box-office collections globally and resurrected the career of Robert Downey, Jr. In a manner similar to young Tony Stark’s ways the film is much like a one-stand night or as Kyle Smith from the NyPost says

It’s like watching a great company switch CEOs from Steve Jobs to Donald Trump.

The movie’s adrenaline pumping trailers seemed to indicate that Tony Stark had finally met his match in the Mandarin who seemed to be as intellectually gifted as Stark himself. If Iron Man’s fight with Whiplash in Iron Man 2 was anything to go by this seemed like an exciting proposition but as anyone who has seen the movie would admit, the result was big let-down.

Part of the problem with Iron Man 3 is that it had a new director with Shane Black taking the helm from Jon Favreau (Tony Stark’s bodyguard in the film) who decided to opt out of the project and only serve as executive producer. A new director taking charge of directorial affairs for the third edition of a successful franchise is always risky. Iron Man 3 was also an attempt by Marvel to continue their build up to Avengers 2 which has been announced to release in 2015. The movie begins sometime after the events of The Avengers, which has left Tony Stark in a state of post-traumatic stress resulting in severe insomnia and anxiety attacks. The rest of the film is all in flashback with Stark narrating one the most costly mistakes of his life to an audience which is really trying to follow what the movie all about. Those who are patient enough to stay in the hall till the end of the post-credits realize that the movie was actually not being narrated to the audience but to Bruce Banner aka the Hulk clearly signaling the development of Avengers 2.

What’s really frustrating and irritating about Iron Man 3 is that the suit is now just a robotic device. Tony Stark who seems smart enough to take on Batman is left to being just a technology genius who can control the Iron Man suits with a Google Glass like device and other sensors embedded in his skin. This is nothing less than cheating. Its almost akin to watching a Superman movie where Clark Kent merely uses his robotic clones to save the day. What does work for the movie though are the CG effects which have now been mastered by Hollywood and all action movie studios.

If you are thinking that this negative review and many others who have similar things to say about the movie is going to result in Iron Man 3 not succeeding financially, then that’s certainly not the case. The film which was made on a budget of $200 million has already recouped the same and will end up making a decent profit. That’s just the plus side of being associated with a successful franchise but don’t expect Iron Man 3 to be make it to the hall fame of superhero movies.

So what’s the final verdict of this Iron Man 3 review? Watch the movie if you are new to the franchise, like the idea of seeing dozens of robotic Iron Man suits in action or if you are looking for a time-pass flick. What we would recommend though is to save your money and take your friends to watch Man Of Steel which is out on June 14 and promises to be superhero treat like never before.