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Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Sean Kelly

My Thoughts on Iron Man 3

IronMan3

The second phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe begins with Iron Man 3.  Taking place sometime after the events of last year’s The Avengers, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) has been feeling the effects of PTSD and spends his time working on his Iron Man suits, while becoming increasing distant from girlfriend Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow).  A new threat emerges in the form of the terrorist The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), who has been behind a number of attacks.  Somehow connected to The Mandarin is shady businessman Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), who developed a virus called Extremis, which creates regenerating super-soldiers.  Returning in the film is Col. James Rhodes (Don Cheadle), whose War Machine armour has been upgraded into the Iron Patriot.

After the all-star superhero extravaganza that was The Avengers, the question is whether there can still be interesting solo adventures for the heroes involved?  It is obvious that the Tony Stark of Iron Man 3 is now living in a different world than the previous two films.  There are no shortage of references to the events of The Avengers and much of the film deals with Tony Stark trying to cope with the traumatic experience of barely surviving an alien attack of New York City.

The inclusion of The Mandarin has been something that I have been waiting for since the first Iron Man film.  He is generally considered to be Iron Man’s archenemy and I was looking forward to their showdown in the film.  Despite the name, The Mandarin, as depicted by Ben Kingsley, is more the image of a middle-eastern terrorist than the Asian magician of the comics.  I don’t really want to go into spoilers about the film, but I don’t really think that the reinterpretation of The Mandarin in this film truly respected the character.  While he’s probably not as iconic a Marvel villain as someone like Doctor Doom, I think that The Mandarin has enough importance in the Iron Man mythology, that he should have received a better portrayal.  I can understand if they were going a more grounded in reality portrayal, but the film also has characters that regenerate limbs and breathe fire.  I think there is room for an Asian sorcerer.

Even though my issues over the portrayal of The Mandarin knocked a few points off my overall opinion, I still thought that this was an OK enough film.  As a summer action film, I thought that Iron Man 3 did its job by the end.  There’s a lot to suggest that this is the final solo Iron Man adventure, but based on the box office numbers, I’m sure we will still see plenty more Iron Man to come. 

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Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).