I very much like the intent of Iron Man 3, but I don’t think it really pulls any of that off. I’m insanely interested in films and such of over-the-hill protagonists. Now that they’ve had their fun in the first couples films, and with a new director in the insanely cool Shane Black, they attempt to make something more “adult” and combative to who Tony Stark is, and exactly what his “Iron Man” alter ego is doing to him as a person. I love explosions and epic fight scenes in my superhero movies, but what I like even more and find extremely fascinating is the moral, personal and emotional obstacle one would have to deal with being this other character and how much it zaps out of you and changes you as a person.
Now, I can’t say that the film completely nailed this, but the intent was larger than just some runner in the background, and actually fed into the main “superhero vs. baddie” A story that of course all superhero flicks have. Tony Stark is obviously a drastically changed person since he became Iron Man, and all these events he’s gone through have delivered him cases of PTSD, panic attacks and just a general wearing down of the character. Tony Stark and Iron Man are the perfect character to tackle these issues with, since he’s a playboy figure who was an alcoholic (more on that later) and in just the general sense that this is the fourth time we’ve seen RDJr. as Tony Stark, with that connection and history having been built to make it faithful that they’ve taken Tony down this road where we’ve literally seen how all this shit has piled up in his life, and finally now it’s too much. I know from some of the comics there’s been one or several storylines about Tony dealing with his alcoholism, which I think would/would’ve been an amazing element to introduce to add another layer to his character. I know they briefly touched on it in previous films, and I also know that Disney would probably never let a hardcore alcoholism story attached to their most popular superhero to dominate a film, but whatever, I can dream.
Now for the film outside of that, it was pretty enjoyable, if not amazing, but definitely a welcome capper for these set of films (I think when we get a new Iron Man film it might tackle something a little different in theme from these past ones). It’s definitely better than the second, which was disappointing, but I think Black expertly tried to change things up by kinda making it like an international thriller type storyline that just happened to have superhero types involved. Also, I was mainly looking forward to this “twist” that I saw everybody complaining about when it first came out in theatres, and hey, it was all fine by me. This is where I talk about the twist, if you care about not getting spoiled on these types of things, but it’s not really much of a “twist” anyways. I think it was a cool idea to have Ben Kingsley as the figurehead, with the even more badass Guy Pearce pulling the strings from behind and being the actual villain. I think people were just crying about the twist because they were deceived by all the marketing that clearly billed Kingsley as the main baddie, and of course that wasn’t the case.
The ending makes it seems like this is the end of the Iron Man films, and we all know that isn’t the case, but like I said before, this seems like a closed off section of Iron Man that we’ll probably see a new direction whenever they do decide to make a new one. Nothing’s in the pipeline now, so it won’t be a long while since we see one, especially since Marvel/Disney’s got a cavalcade of new superheroes they’re pushing, even with Iron Man being the Don Mega. It seems as well that RDJr. is just content playing Iron Man/Tony Stark in bit part cameos in the other films, with obviously a bit heavier load in the Iron Man films. I still remember when the first trailer for the first Iron Man trailer came out and how incessantly I watched it. I couldn’t believe my eyes, it was the coolest thing ever. It seems like it’s been longer than just five years, but that’s how good RDJr. is as Tony Stark. A role he was seemingly born to play, a mirror of himself in some aspects, troubled, demonized, but always coming out on the other side.