Friday, 5 February 2016

MCU Filmathon: Iron Man 3

We begin Phase 2 and currently Robert Downey, Jr's last solo outing at Iron Man in his third instalment. Being a direct follow up of The Avengers it follows a troubled Tony Stark as he confronts The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), his arch nemesis from the comics and is forced to face an enemy he created back on the eve of the millennium. Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) who is a scientist and has created 'Extremis', a serum brought from the comics but in this film it is used to biologically enhance the human form and give them special abilities!

We'll start with Tony Stark, let's just say it's a huge improvement from Iron Man 2 as he has left the snarly remarks and cocky personality behind and developed into a character struggling to come to The Avengers. He is plagued by nightmares of nearly dying as he past through the portal into another galaxy and finds it difficult to adjust to life as we see when he suffers a panic attack of some kind when he's eating out with Rhodes. But we also see him activate his suit in his sleep and become hostile towards Pepper which proves how unstable he is if he can't control his suits. This unusual side of Tony is some of the best acting Downey has produced so far as we see him weakened and exposed which is conveyed well by Downey. This is also portrayed well when he gives his address to The Mandarin through the media in a Stark-like manner. This shows Tony stepping over the mark and leads to a jaw dropping sequence of Stark's house being destroyed and Tony presumed dead as he fly's away to rural Tennessee to search for The Mandarin. It is a huge improvement from Iron Man 2 as we finally see how Stark is suffering with anxiety and even doubting himself and his ability to defend the World!
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For the majority of the film The Mandarin comes across as the main antagonist and so he should
being the great villain he is. But a twist that has upset many comic book fans is the fact he is just an actor and only a cover for Killian as he develops the Extremis Serum. Although Ben Kingsley as usual produces a great performance and near enough outdoes everyone in almost every scene he's in. He makes that transition from evil mastermind to oblivious actor perfectly creating tension and humour throughout the film. You can clearly see Kingsley is loving the role and even in the most serious Iron Man film we need some comic relief and he delivers that well and at appropriate times. Despite how well Kingsley did I don't like the fact that they ruined the great character and I will talk more about this later in the review!

Colonel James Rhodes played by his second actor Don Cheadle wasn't given a lot of time to prove himself in Iron Man 2, but in this one he definitely comes into his role as The Iron Patriot, a change War machine. You can finally see the friendship between Tony and 'Rhodey' as it took a little while to develop from the re-casting of James Rhodes' character in Iron Man 2. And we can really see James as more independent and more than just a side character. I would love to see a spin-off with James Rhodes but I fear it may be too much like another Iron Man film, but as we know he's going to play a larger part in the upcoming phase 3 and it's good to see him finding more of a stride in this film. Other characters like Pepper Potts also prove themselves to be more worth while as we see in the final confrontation. She has been captured by Killian and fed Extremis Serum which she uses to save Tony's life. So many times we've seen it the other way around and despite how cheesy it was I did enjoy watching Pepper finally getting some action and saving Tony, for once!
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As for Aldrich Killian, he is one of the things I don't like about this film. Guy Pearce who plays the
part well, but it's more or less his involvement in the story. For a start, the reveal that he was in fact The Mandarin of the MCU was a stupid idea, and although I have said I enjoyed Kingsley's take on him, I do think that it is an insult to the character that they twisted it up and said that this guy was in fact The Mandarin. Another being his ability when he takes in the Extremis Serum. I mean, breathing fire is just over the top and wrong. When I watched this film I didn't notice the twist about the Mandarin, but actually reading up on the comic book history of Iron Man it infuriates me that they did this to him. I can imagine how angry long term comic book fans must have been at this film, considering the hype for the first site of Iron Man's arch nemesis.

The story itself was good and carefully planned out up until the destruction of Tony's house. From there on it was a little basic with the whole "Everyone thinks the superhero is dead but in fact is seeking revenge" kind of thing. Although I would say the structure is different to the way Marvel have done their films in the MCU and is mainly centred around Tony's struggle against himself.

That's it for Iron Man 3! Some parts were a little too ranty when it got to Aldrich Killian and such but I hope everyone will like it. Next week we'll get started on Thor: Dark World!

I salute you for reading! :)

2 comments:

  1. Agreed with a lot of your points. I honestly love this film, it's my favourite Iron Man movie, and only below Guardians, Thor and AOU as my favourite in the MCU. I don't think Killian saying "I am the Mandarin" was a literal statement though, but I can see the upset caused by him being the villain over Kingsley. Looking forward to the rest of these, mate!

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    1. Thanks Greg! I can see as well that it probably wasn't a literal statement but it isn't a name that should be taken for granted, I think that's why it upset me a bit. :P

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