On Monday night, I had the pleasure of taking B to a press screening of Iron Man 3.
I questioned my sanity on taking an almost 7-year to see the movie without screening it first, but then realized that a) I would probably let him go see it anyway (he’s seen all of the other Marvel movies) and b) it would be really nice to spend some quality time with him. Plus, I’m trying to score some last minute points for Mother’s Day (ahem, which is May 12th).
I was a little tentative going into this movie. I loved Avengers and the first Iron Man movie, but I was kinda “eh” on the second one. I don’t really remember many details from it, except that it involve race cars and Mickey Rourke. I’ve seen it more than once and that’s still my recollection of the plot. So basically, I went in with low expectations. HOWEVER, I was pleasantly surprised — and here’s why.
1. It’s fun and it’s funny.
We all know that Robert Downey Jr. is great at playing Iron Man. He definitely brings a special kind of wit and charm to the movies, but I felt like this movie was just plain fun and there was a lot of humor. Truthfully, I don’t see Marvel movies for the plot or the because I am a super fan. I go for the fun and stay for the hot guys (and girls). This movie brought the fun. It was also funnier than any of the previous movies. It was like all of the all characters also discovered their sense of humor.
2. The bad guys keep things interesting.
I know absolutely nothing about comic books, but I do know there a little bit of a twist to the whole “Mandarin/Extremis” storyline that people may not expect. Since I am not a die-hard, I loved it – but if you are a stickler for the how the movie matches up with the comics you may not be crazy about the change. One thing you can’t deny though is that Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce, and Rebecca Hall (among others) each bring a little something interesting to the “typical” bad guy role.
Ben Kingsley, in particular, is a standout — he pretty much steals every scene he’s in — and rightfully so.
3. RDJ + a little kid = pure magic
A good chunk of the movie involves RDJ interacting with a little boy, Harley (play by Ty Simpkins), with STELLAR comedic timing.
He’s adorable and they have great chemistry together. I think it works because Tony doesn’t treat the kid like a kid (why would he?). I will warn you, from a parental point-of-view, that at one point he calls the kid a “pussy” — which, I’m pretty sure is as vulgar at the movie gets. B has no idea what that means, it didn’t really phase him, but it did kind of surprise me!
4. RDJ = Don Cheadle = Buddy Cop Throwback
After watching the comradery and banter play out between between RDJ and Don Cheadle throughout this movie it shouldn’t be surprising that the writer/director, Shane Black (who might be a little bit obsessed with Christmas), also wrote the first Lethal Weapon movie. Tony Stark and James Rhodes (War Machine/Iron Patriot) get to build on their relationship together in this movie and it definitely feels a lot like watching Murtaugh and Riggs do their thing — and a that’s a good thing. I wasn’t sold on Don Cheadle in Iron Man 2 (he replaced Terrence Howard), but he is given a lot of good material here and runs with it.
5. There’s A LOT of action
This is NOT a slow movie, which shouldn’t be a huge surprise. We start with Tony and Pepper’s house in Malibu being blown up — and that’s just the beginning. I did see this in 3-D, but I can’t really tell you what was so 3-D about it (so save your $$). The “Extremis” special effects are very cool and the whole “Air Force One” being blown up scene (which is featured in a few of the trailers) could have been SUPER cheesy, but instead I found it cheerworthy.
Not to spoil it, but if any of you are really looking to seeing Gwyneth Paltrow hurt, on fire, and/or with her sports bra on (or if you REALLY hate her) – you will be very happy.
If you are like me and actually like GP – you will also be happy because she continues her great chemistry with RDJ and takes on a lot more here than in the past movies. It’s reported that RDJ pushed for her to have a bigger role in the film, so all of you haters (and lovers!) can thank him.
There are a few things that I didn’t LOVE about the movie (mainly, I’m not 100% sure what happened to Guy Pearce’s character) but I do recommend going to see it. It doesn’t necessarily build on the Avengers plot line (there is zero S.H.I.E.L.D. presence) – but “the other guys” and “New York” are mentioned and Iron Man has some definite PSTD related to what happened in New York throughout the movie.
And of course, you MUST stay through the end credits to see the final clip. It’s short and sweet, but definitely made everyone smile.
So do you go see it? Do I really have to answer that question? Of course you do.
Disclosure: While my guest and I were given free admission to this movie, I did have to pay for my own popcorn… and the review and opinions in it are my own.