Gwyneth Paltrow and Robert Downey Jr. In Iron Man 3
With five successful movies leading up to The Avengers, a movie that was not only entertaining, but also one that featured an ensemble of superheroes. While, managing to keep a nice balance between building character and telling an overall story. Granted, it was nothing new, but Avengers proved to be successful and ultimately is now in the top five grossing movies of all time. So it’s really no surprise that Marvel moved swiftly forward with a phase two. Unfortunately, Iron Man 3 is a movie with two incredibly strong opening acts, but hits a speed bump in it’s third and never really recovers from it.
Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) is having issues sleeping at night and is ultimately in different state of mind since the events in The Avengers took place. He stays up late at night and does nothing but work on his suit trying to perfect it in the event that another alien race might swoop down and attempt to take over earth. Granted, after living through some of the things he has seen this actually not a big surprise. Had an alien race tried to squash New York like a bug I’d doing everything I can to be prepared for the next invasion as well. However, Tony’s life is suffering from his PSTSD which is later determined on in the film to be “high Anxiety” which this diagnoses given to former arms salesmen by his faithful computer program JARVIS doesn’t really make much sense because Tony is having flashbacks as well as not being able to breathe. So with an unclear diagnosis, one can only imagine what he is going through. We do however; know that tony isn’t paying any attention to Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) the one thing he claims he “can’t live without”.
The only screen time Tony and Pepper are given together is when he’s working in his shop or when saving her from the many dangerous situations she gets into. As well as the many situations the mandarin (Ben Kingsley) puts her in. it’s almost a slap in the face considering the two previous films built on this relationship in ways other films failed to do so.
So while Pepper is away making the money at Stark industries she meets Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall) whose character is nonetheless used a plot device to further explain whom the Mandarin is. Hansen works for another scientist by the name of Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) whom not only has had a past with Tony, but also looks like a young Brad Pitt straight out of True Romance. Hansen is the creator of a biological product called extremis that when entered into the human body recreates DNA and fills in any holes it finds. The product works great on plants as seen in the opening flashback sequence, but what it does to humans is rather scary. Imagine if you lost an arm or a leg, it would regenerate into a molten lava charcoalish nub then slowly change back to your natural skin color and form that arm or leg color in a mater of moments. I suddenly felt like I was watching Terminator 2 all over again.
However, the Maya Hansen character takes a back seat in this loosely adapted version of the graphic novel, instead of being the driving force behind the story, she’s reduced to a plot device and most of her dialogue is in many fruitless scenes with pepper Potts that just seem to go nowhere and build up to nothing. All the while Rebecca Hall is perfect for the role in every sense of look of the character and is believable as a bio- engineer. Her character just lacked the necessary screen time to justify her being here at all when writing the character flat out might have worked to the film’s advantage.
Iron Man 3 despite its many hiccups throughout the film is quite enjoyable and very light hearted, all-the-while being funny and serving as a good character profile for Tony Stark. The film also takes what was bad about Iron Man 2 and improves upon it. No longer are characters talking over each other, nor is Tony Stark’s problem that his electromagnet needs an upgrade. In fact the film takes what was so good about the first film and it implements further. The iron man is once again vulnerable, and instead of being in the Middle East he’s in Tennessee fighting Foe at home. The acting is particularly good from all parties involved, However Rebecca Hall’s accent did slip a couple times, but, unless you’re paying close attention you won’t notice it. I wouldn’t say Iron Man 3 is by any means my favorite marvel film yet, but It’s definitely worth a look if you’ve enjoyed the last two Iron man movies. I do however; hope that Marvel picks up the pace for Thor: The Dark World; we don’t need another superhero movie that has a bad third act.