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Published on June 1st, 2013 | by Ernie1
Iron Man 3 Review
Summary: Spectacular special effects. Borderline kid friendly. Not executed as well as other Marvel movies.
“What was your favorite part of the movie buddy?” I asked my 7 year old Tony Stark wannabe.
“Can I say ‘everything’?”
[SPOILER ALERT] “The end, with all the Iron Man suits.”
Perhaps I should start from the beginning.
As soon as my son was old enough, I introduced him to movies I’ve enjoyed. It started with A New Hope (Star Wars Episode 4), then The Empire Strikes Back, and finally, Return of the Jedi. Once we completed the original Star Wars trilogy, I figured he was ready for the comic book super heroes from my youth, starting with the original Iron Man. We watched all of these movies on DVD. It wasn’t until Iron Man 2 that I took him to a movie theater for that kind film, and from then on we’ve seen all of the Marvel movies – as well as the Green Lantern (DC) – on the big screen.
Well, with April’s showers extending well into May, last weekend brought the opportunity for me to finally take my son to see Iron Man 3. We got to the movies, grabbed a few snacks and I took him to the restroom before the show (to make sure we wouldn’t have to leave the movie in the middle…it’s not my first rodeo). Right from the start, he was intrigued by many of the trailers – Fast & Furious 6, The Wolverine, Thor: The Dark World, and The Lone Ranger. (Man, that mouse has some summer lineup coming!) As soon as the lights dimmed, I could see he was excited and had the focus of Iron Man’s pulsar blasts.
The plot revolves around the emergence of a new global terror threat in The Mandarin. His attacks have all been some sort of explosion, but upon investigation of the blast sites there is no evidence of typical explosives. That is, until one of these blasts affect Tony Starks bodyguard and good friend, Happy Hogan. Tony attempts to investigate, but in his haste, also threatens the super-villain. The Mandarin initiates an attack on Stark’s home. Our hero barely escapes and must regroup without the use of his metal suit or advanced tech. He is assisted by a young boy who exhibits a bit of ingenuity. The young boy helps Tony Stark realize what he has to do in order to save the world from its latest super-villain.
Without spoiling the rest of the plot, I’ll just tell you that my son enjoyed every minute. He was intrigued by the tech, the explosions and the role of the young boy assisting Iron Man. He went so far as to ask my brother and his grandmother if they would take him to see it again…in 3-D.
I, on the other hand, found the movie to be overly formulaic: big bang in the beginning to show off some new technology for Tony Stark, followed by a battle where the protagonist is left questioning himself, all leading up to a final battle scene with all the spectacle of a July 4th celebration. Sure, you can make the argument that all of these uber-comic-book-superhero movies have the same formula. You can also make the case that the same goes for music or any mass media form of art. However, the point is that while the formula can be simple, it’s the execution, interpretation and application of the formula that determines the quality of a formulaic film.
That’s where Iron Man 3 falls short. There is no attempt at adapting the formula for nothing more than what it is. I understand you can’t go into a movie of this kind and expect the same sort of quality in story as an Academy Award winner like The King’s Speech, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect a higher quality storyline or plot, or at least for the film to be executed in a manner that would be on par with the quality of previous Marvel films.
I enjoy the entire movie going experience – especially watching my son in awe of the on-screen action. I’ll always take him to see the movies he wants to see as long I feel they’re appropriate, but it would be better if we could enjoy the film itself as well as the experience of going. That’s how I felt about Iron Man 3.
I know it’s not the most kid friendly of movies, especially for a 7 year old like my son, but it’s not like taking him to see The Silence of the Lambs either. On that note, I give it 3 stars in the Kid Friendly category.
As far as ‘Dad Friendliness’, what can I say? My boy is 7 and my days of sitting around all day watching Thomas the Tank Engine and Caillou are over (unlike some dads on this blog). In that category, it gets 4 stars.
I attempted to not delve too far into the story so as not to ruin the plot for any of you that are planning on seeing the first of this summer’s blockbusters. I fully enjoyed the first two movies in this trilogy as well as the Avengers. Unfortunately, this was a far cry from those movies, so I it gets 2 stars for Cinematic Value.
In honor of Tony Stark and Iron Man I give it an overall rating of 3 Arc Reactors (stars).