DVD REVIEW: Iron Man 3 @ 4 October 2013 06:35 PM
Before we attend to details about the movie itself, I want to draw your attention to an item I spotted in the lab scene (6:17). When Tony asks for the Christmas music to begin, there's a quick shot of the record player. Nearby, there's a red album cover on the table.
This vinyl gem is A Charlie Brown Christmas, the read-along storybook and record album with dialogue from the sound track. It was released in the late '70s on the "Charlie Brown Records" label, a division of Disneyland/Vista Records. You won't see this factoid anywhere else, nor should you. Apparently talented visionary genius types like Tony Stark like Peanuts -- and cool cartoon records.
Anyway, I wish the entire film was such a delightful surprise. Iron Man 3 was certainly entertaining in the current superspetacular movie-as-theme-park-ride way, but there are some serious story flaws that I suspect sprang from whoever forced the filmmakers to add the "twist" of the Mandarin being an actor.
I do not object to the idea as a comic book fan as so many have, but because you can tell that the rest of the film seems to have been reconfigured to make this micro-managed plot splotch work.
It may be a guess, but if the film were not reconfigured, that would make the two years of work by the entire cast and crew seem less than what they are clearly capable of. The film works so well up until the scene in which the fake Mandarin is revealed, I cannot believe that such an experienced, accomplished team did this by design.
Something's fishy, no matter how much the director and screenwriter valiantly try to make excuses for the situation on the otherwise fascinating audio commentary (which reveals more about the personalities of the duo than the film).
Robert Downey, Jr. is the heart and soul of the film, optimizing both the dramatic and comic aspects. The Pepper character is just as strong, caring and competent as ever, though her sports bra superpower moments also seem added -- Pepper was plenty strong already folks, without supplements.
The special effects are of course, top of the line, especially in the home destruction scene. What is truly remarkable is the nail-biting aerial rescue as the people plummet through the sky. This is what makes this kind of film great. Yet, the climactic battle scene is just one explosion after another, with as many Iron Man suits as they could fit into the scenes -- again, seeming to come from someone saying, "Let's cram in a lot of suits? That'll make it better!"
Again, I have to wonder if the climactic battle was always between Tony and Killian. Guy Pearce is a superb actor in the right role, but he doesn't come across as the "real" Mandarin. He's much better as the smarmy, creepy toady of the real boss (as he was in Bedtime Stories). No matter how things burst into flames and explode, Pearce as a super villain never gets very scary, just very very moussed and veiny.
I sure hope that in the next Avengers movie, Sub Mariner finds the Iron Man chest thingy that Tony threw into the ocean at the end. We need an Iron Man 4. This film made enough money to finance it. Let's hope this is not the last time we see Downey don the suit.
• Audio Commentary
• Marvel One Shot: Agent Carter
• Iron Man 3 – Unmasked
• Deconstructing the Scene – Attack on Air Force One
• Behind the Scenes Look – Thor – The Dark World
• Deleted and Extended Scenes
• Gag Reel
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