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Wick's Review

Created May 16, 2013 11:21PM PST • Edited Dec 21, 2019 02:24AM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Really Great 4.5

    Ironic Man returns for a third iteration with his emotional suit of armor in place, humorously deflecting intimacy from friends, foes, lovers and ex-lovers. OK, not all gets deflected. There are several close calls, even a few breakdowns. Hell, there are panic attacks. Hey, it worked in the Sopranos. Works here too.

    There’s also plenty of high flying, super-powered action, all of it up to snuff, marvelous Marvel snuff.

    Robert Downey Jr’s voice-over opens and closes IM3, with his knowing patter filling most of the rest of this very long movie. This a good thing, a very good thing, resulting in an Iron Man that exceeds the first sequel, if not necessarily matching the origin movie, still Viewguide’s second ranked all-time movie.

    Sure, the physics are absurd, with the physical chemistry especially laughable. However, Marvel deals in super-powered story elements better than any canonical source since the Bible, so the whole insane contraption holds together. It even tees up future iterations, Stan Lee and Robert Downey Jr. willing.

    Their arc reactor clearly has lots more irony to generate.

  3. Great 4.0

    All hail Robert Downey Jr., superstar. Half a billion dollars per picture is his typical box office these days, with Iron Man 3 on track to exceed $1 billion. It’s not an accident. The guy is fit and funny, no doubt ad libbing extensively once again. “Dads leave. No need to be such a pussy about it.” is a Hollywood bon mot if ever I’ve heard one. Who better to deliver it than Hollywood’s super Ironic Man.

    Gwyneth Paltrow continues to underwhelm as his better half, though this is her best Pepper Potts yet. Speaking of underwhelming, Don Cheadle’s Rhodie lacks gravitas.

    Guy Pearce, OTOH, makes a first rate bad guy, without which an avenger movie can’t reach greatness. Pearce has been such a great star for so long now (think back to Memento), that he’s become a welcome sight whenever he appears on screen.

    Notable others in the huge cast:

    • Rebecca Hall disappoints as one of Tony Stark’s old flames. But then, she always does.
    • Jon Favreau is a hoot again as Happy Hogan, now Stark’s chief of security.
    • Ben Kingsley is devilishly good as a Bin Laden-like superstar terrorist.
    • Stephanie Szostak jumps off screen as a baddie. It’s been three long years since I first noticed her in Dinner for Schmucks. Where’s she been?
    • Paul Bettany fades into the background voicing Iron Man’s robotic suit.
    • William Sadler looks appropriately presidential as the POTUS. Miguel Ferrer is sufficiently smarmy as his Veep.
    • Dale Dickey’s Okie face gives any movie character.
    • Ty Simpkins is a terrific and prolific child actor. Let’s hope he avoids becoming a Hollywood casualty.
    • Half a dozen Themselves include Bill Maher and Joan Rivers.
    • Stan Lee makes his cameo as a Pageant Judge. Don’t blink or you’ll miss him.
  4. Male Stars Perfect 5.0
  5. Female Stars Very Good 3.5
  6. Female Costars Very Good 3.5
  7. Male Costars Great 4.0
  8. Really Great 4.5

    Iron Man 3 is dogged by a certain world-weariness, both ours in knowing Iron Man’s shtick and tricks, and Tony Stark’s after all the blows he’s taken as Iron Man in the previous two iterations. Thus, it doesn’t have the joie de vivre that made the first iteration such an up experience.

    It does however have plenty of snappy patter, much of it creditable to Robert Downey Jr., and several new tricks up its sleeve. Not the least of these is to effectively satirize the 21st Century phenomena of cowardly terrorist superstars. That sort of courage and savvy is classic Marvel.

    BTW, stick around for the de rigueur Marvel apr├ęs-credit scene. This one doesn’t seem to tee up another Avengers, instead offering a comical dialog between Tony Stark and a fellow Avenger.

  9. Direction Really Great 4.5

    Shane Black enters a new level of superstardom as the writer-director of IM3. Working with Downey on Kiss Kiss Bang Bang clearly paid off.

  10. Play Really Great 4.5
  11. Music Good 3.0
  12. Visuals Perfect 5.0
    • 6 dozen stuntmen
    • 600 visual artists
    • 6,000 total crew

    OK, that last is little more than an educated guess, though the total crew easily numbers in the four figures. It’s a big show, a Big, Big Show.

    Oh yeah, the 3D is subtle but worth it.

  13. Content
  14. Risqué 2.2

    Tony Stark appears to be in a monogamous relationship with Pepper Potts, meaning most of the saucy situations come from reflecting back on ex-lovers.

  15. Sex Titillating 1.7
  16. Violence Fierce 2.5
  17. Rudeness Salty 2.5
  18. Supernatural 4.0

    The reality liberties seemed more extreme in IM3 than in the first two movies. In particular, the Iron Man suits that fly in parts to Tony Stark, only to unfold onto him, push the boundaries of willing-suspension-of-disbelief even for a Marvel movie.

    As to the rest of the liberties, please refer to my Reality commentary from the first Iron Man movie.

  19. Circumstantial Supernatural 3.4
  20. Biological Fantasy 4.3
  21. Physical Fantasy 4.2


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May 12, 2013 2:01AM

Regarding Tripod’s Review
Tripod unbound. So many quips to consume, reading your review felt a bit like listening to Downey in the movie.

I’m working on my review now. Gonna go somewhere in Great territory.

May 4, 2013 8:31PM

Regarding BrianSez’s Review
Downey’s “wise-ness balances his wise-ass-ness.” Great line in a great review. Got me looking forward to seeing the movie, that’s for sure.