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Iron Man 3

2013

Iron Man 3 Poster
  • Black doesn’t have a grand sense of style and seems to have conferred much of the design to his C.G.I. team, but his logical sense of plotting underpins the gyrations and gives the impossible 3D combat the feeling of logical consistency. But that’s ultimately a minor pleasure; the movie’s great pleasure is in Black’s copious and insightful writing for Downey—in the prominence of Downey’s voice and the emphasis on Downey’s persona.

  • Without shifting completely into camp, Iron Man 3 relaxes a bit between its astoundingly spectacular set-piece battles, rescues and stunts.

  • ...A madly creative, darkly comical, and fiendishly self-aware actioner with muscle to spare, as the new heir apparent to the throne-of-summer blockbuster. The famed scribe that penned Lethal Weapon, subsequently birthing the boom era of the buddy-cup flick, Black gives the narrative, the language, and even the direction a much-missed dose of personality and clarity.

  • This installment actually flirts with satire, sending its hero-in-a-can (Robert Downey Jr.) on a vengeful mission against a mad, bearded jihadist (Ben Kingsley) before yanking the rug out from under the neocon story line. There are some good laughs as well, most of them involving Downey's brutal put-downs of cute little kids.

  • Black despite lack of experience as an actual action director is well suited to something like this given that his approach has always being centered in keeping so many balls rolling and bringing attention to themselves so to distract the viewer from how generic his material often is and he does that rather well here for two thirds of running time until the film mostly falls apart (even an expert like Black can do so much with these things ridiculous running times).

  • Not sure why I feared that blockbuster filmmaking would muffle Shane Black's authorial voice—after all, that voice was established in blockbusters like Lethal Weapon, The Long Kiss Goodnight, The Last Boy Scout, etc.—and it's a pleasure to report that it mostly hasn't been, at least in the time between the expected Marvel plot/action beats. The least expensive scenes in Iron Man 3 are the most entertaining, with lots of Black-style hardboiled dialogue and witty deconstruction.

  • When Stark gets stuck with a kid sidekick, Black gives him his nastiest insults; the biggest laugh comes when he calls this fatherless boy a “pussy.” It’s odd for a filmmaker to try and defeat the very cliches he once helped create. But if “Iron Man 3” doesn’t have a heart — as though that’s a bad thing — it has a sense of humor that triumphs over the occasional requisite bloat. It’s not another “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” but it’s closer than we deserve.

  • One-time action-movie wunderkind Shane Black (of “Lethal Weapon” fame), who directed the film and co-wrote the screenplay with Drew Pearce, strikes a tone of pseudo-edgy frat-boy black comedy that’s so retro it’s almost charming. (This movie is simultaneously a conclusion and a comeback story; Black hasn’t made anything in Hollywood since directing Downey in “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” in 2005.) Ludicrous and overblown as the whole thing is, it comes with a half-convincing tone of elegy...

  • How is this different from what fans are expecting? Not by much—or not radically so. But the shift in tone, more impulsive and nervier, can be attributed to director Shane Black, once the king of Hollywood A-list screenwriters with Lethal Weapon... Given the keys to the franchise and a role in the writing, Black has massively upped the verbal sparring and kept the broad inventiveness of comic-book malleability in mind.

  • The film’s secret weapon is writer-director Shane Black, the man behind (yes!) Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and one of the best-paid writers in Hollywood. The script is consistently smarter than it needs to be... Iron Man 3, the rare blockbuster you can watch without making excuses, is subtle when it wants to be, and dazzling when it wants to be, and full of stuff blowing up when it needs to be.

  • Where former actor Favreau was good with helping organize riffing and keeping a potentially unwieldy production on track, new co-writer/director Shane Black melds the particular sense of humor he established himself with in “Lethal Weapon” and “The Last Boy Scout” with a firm sense of structural cause-and-effect. The trade-off is that the film, eventually, has to shut up and explode: the now-planned-out riffing of the first half ceases as the generic action setpieces take over.

  • This new Iron Man movie is probably the strongest of the series. The emphasis is on flip fun all the way. The script by Black and Drew Pearce is precision engineered towards snarkily subverting cliché rather than forging a genuinely ripping, coherent and engaging story with any great depth and moral ambiguity. But it does what it does very well, particularly in the scenes Downey shares with a dirt poor Spielbergian scamp at whom he spits withering (and hilarious) insults.

  • The result is a film which never settles into a comfortable groove. It tries to be an angsty ‘Dark Knight’-style game changer, an ’80’s-throwback action romp, a nudge-wink pastiche and a CG-fuelled spectacular. It’s undeniably entertaining – and worth seeing for Kingsley alone – with the misfires never fully overshadowing the moments of glory. But in the wake of the triumph of ‘The Avengers’, ‘Iron Man 3’ still feels like something of a disappointment.

  • A couple of days after seeing the film, I can't recall a single beautiful or even memorable shot, though there's a skydiving action sequence two-thirds of the way through that's one of the greatest airborne setpieces in movie history. Given the amiable glop that surrounds it, I can't imagine how it found its way into the movie, though; most of the action isn't so much directed as covered, and its themes are articulated with about as much care.

  • Black mounts only one truly spectacular setpiece: the annihilation of Air Force One, and the daring midair rescue of its plummeting passengers. Playful and awe-inspiring, the sequence also doubles as a metaphor for the way Iron Man 3, in its desperate attempts to please, frantically juggles so many characters and crowd-pleasing components.

  • The funniest and most inconsequential of the Iron Man films to date... All that jokiness and mile-a-minute banter starts to work against Iron Man 3 as the story moves along, as the flip tone makes it hard to believe anyone is ever in real danger.

  • "Iron Man 3" pummels. It's loud, frenetic, filled with fast-moving, quick-cutting action involving so many figures in motion that one's eyes start to feel like badly abused pingpong balls after a bit... New director and co-writer Shane Black finds himself stuck between the rock of sensationalist expectations and the hard place of concocting a genuinely engaging action narrative. The end result of the exercise is a lot of sound and fury, signifying ... well, you know.

  • The movie suffers from separating Downey from three of his best verbal sparring partners ― Favreau, Paltrow and Paul Bettany (as the voice of the uber-computer Jarvis) ― for much of the pic’s running time... Perhaps fittingly for a movie that introduces a new generation of remote-guided Iron Man suits, “Iron Man 3” all too often feels as if it were assembled by a machine.

  • “Iron Man 3” is conspicuously meant to be escapist entertainment (a pathetic conceit given what it says movie people think about real life — or rather the real lives of their customers). But Mr. Black and his colleagues, like other filmmakers who use the iconography of Sept. 11 and its aftershocks, want to have it both ways. They want to tap into the powerful reactions those events induced, while dodging the complex issues and especially the political arguments that might turn off ticket buyers.

  • The big problems with Iron Man 3 are less specific to the movie itself than they are characteristic of the hypermalaise that’s infected so many current mega-blockbusters—too much plot, too much action, too many characters, too many pseudo-feelings.

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