By Charly SHELTON
“Iron Man” is the reason we have Marvel movies today. The success of the first Iron Man movie in 2008 led to the creation of all the other movies that played into The Avengers and beyond. The lackluster X-Men movies were popular but not enough to get the ball rolling on a Marvel Cinematic Universe, as were the Fantastic Four movies. And we don’t talk about the first Hulk movie. Let’s just pretend that one didn’t happen.
Marvel movies were looking bleak until “Iron Man,” so I am grateful to Robert Downey Jr., Jon Favreau and the rest of the team that made it happen and those who have joined on to keep it going this long. I preface my review with this because we may be looking at the end of the “Iron Man” series.
That’s not a spoiler from the movie. It is left wide open for anything to happen, with the comment, “Tony Stark will return” appearing at the end of the credits. But RDJ’s contract is up after “The Avengers 2,” and we don’t know whether he is going to sign a new one or move on. If he does move on, we don’t know if Kevin Feige, head of the Marvel Studios, will do what he has teased fans years ago – “James Bond the role,” bringing in another actor to don the Iron mantle and become Tony Stark for the next few films, maintaining the character (and the franchise) without having to reboot the series. Either way, this is a critical junction. If “Iron Man 3” does well, which it already has and I’m sure will continue to do so, that may sway the vote on whether or not we get an Iron Man movie in Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe line of films. Also, this is a great film to see, regardless of box office figures.
This story, the third in the saga of the Armored Avenger, is where it all hits the fan. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is anything but careful. He has been playing it fast and loose for years and it’s all about to catch up to him. He will learn that there are consequences to everything, regardless whether or not he remembers what he did. I know that is vague but to avoid spoilers it must be. When you see the movie (and I do expect you, Dear Reader, to heed my advice and rush out to see it as soon as you are done reading this article), you will know that this all makes sense. Iron Man is at the end of his rope. After the events in New York (in “The Avengers” movie), Tony is a mess. He doesn’t sleep, he can’t focus on anything – he just tinkers with his suits. He has gone from Mark I armor built in the caves of the Ten Rings to every variation you can think of with each suit created for a specific use. He is now working on Mark 42, a suit that tracks his body and can fly onto him from anywhere.
Enter The Mandarin (Sir Ben Kingsley). Vengeance from the east to be visited upon America in the west is his only goal. He is destruction. And he is bombing America with a high tech bomb that leaves no casing or identifiable parts. The top tech mind in the world versus the highest tech bombs ever. And Tony is running on no sleep.
Yes, this description is a touch vague but everything happens so fast in this movie that if I say anymore, it will be giving it away. It’s a great movie with some awesome twists and turns, some great action sequences and some even cooler tech. I wish half of this tech existed now. It’s incredible. I want every single toy.
The film is released in 3D and IMAX, which is really cool. The 3D is, not surprising, not really necessary. It rarely is anymore. If you are willing to pay the upcharge for 3D, just pay a few bucks more and go IMAX 3D. The huge screen will really do the film justice like no other. But if you aren’t interested in the bells and whistles and only want to see it in 2D, it is still going to be a great movie.
I took my girlfriend to see it and she actually enjoyed it. She hates comic books, super heroes and anything else fun. But she enjoyed this movie because not only is it cool to see Iron Man kick some Mandarin butt with Iron Patriot by his side, but it is a character-driven film that really lets you into Tony’s world. You get to know him as a person, not just as an Iron helmet. (I’m sorry, fellow nerds. I know it isn’t actually made of iron, rather a titanium alloy. Why it isn’t made of adamantium or Uru metal yet I don’t know. The iron helmet is meant as an allegory.)
I love this movie. I have seen it twice already and I’m going to see it at least three or four more times in theaters.
Rated PG-13, I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars.