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Go see Iron Man 3

1 May was Worker's Day and that's all well and good. What's more important is that it was also Iron Man 3 day and because there was no work to go to (thanks Worker's Day, you're awesome) we got to enjoy Tony Stark's new adventure all day long! Okay, I'm lying; we got to enjoy it for the 130 minutes we would have on any other day.
Iron Man 3 is the first of the post-Avengers Marvel movies to hit our screens this year and we've all been waiting to see how it would turn out after last year's team up. Tony Stark's previous solo adventures have been the most successful of the Marvel movies and cinema-goers really like the character. Iron Man 3 lives up to the hype in most ways and misses the mark in one critical way that's bound to upset the comic book fans, but casual fans won't notice at all. But hey, it's Robert Downey Jnr as Tony Stark; he's a nutcase and he's Iron Man so, of course, the movie's awesome.

Go see Iron Man 3Go see Iron Man 3

The movie focuses more on Tony Stark as a person instead of just the suit and this is great because it give us a good story and a better understanding of the man. Tony is suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder after the events of The Avengers, which took place in New York. The world has changed significantly now that people know that aliens exist and that there are other worlds out there; some that Earth can ally with, like Asgard, but most that are probably hostile. This frightens Tony and he experiences anxiety attacks whenever New York or wormholes are mentioned.

Tony's past is also catching up with him

Tony feels helpless knowing that the safety of those he loves can be threatened at any moment and does the one thing he knows best: spend all his time working on improving his Iron Man armour in his hi-tech workshop. It's not like the nightmares that he has allow him any sleep anyway. His manic demeanour causes tensions between him and his girlfriend, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow). Tony's past is also catching up with him in the form of the appearance of an ex-fling who heralds the surfacing of the villain, who Tony spurned in the past. You know how these intelligent, socially awkward people are - you play one cruel trick on them and they spend years plotting revenge. The villain of the piece is Aldrich Killian (Guy Pierce), a megalomaniac with a creepy grin and superpowers that he developed in his lab. He immediately puts those to use in becoming a terrorist of sorts. Guy Pearce (Prometheus) plays a good villain; he's creepy, crazy and sports cool tattoos.

As a fan of the comics, I enjoyed the movie but it's hard to overlook the liberties that were taken with the classic Iron Man villain, Mandarin, played by the excellent Sir Ben Kingsley (Schindler's List) in what could've been a great role, but turned out to be rather demeaning instead. In a movie that does everything right this is a huge flaw. Again, only those familiar with Iron Man's stories will pick this up and be bothered by it, as the movie is still good regardless. Speaking of villains, I have no clue what Maya Hansen's (Rebecca Hall) role in the movie is other than being Tony's ex-fling. Her story pretty much doesn't matter at all. Villains have always been the Iron Man franchise's weak point and that doesn't change too much in this instalment.

In some ways this isn't an Iron Man movie at all - much like last year's Skyfall wasn't really a Bond movie. This is actually a good thing because it shows us a Marvel world in which Tony is just a dude with a boatload of problems, people he cares for and fights to fight. You can spot Shane Black's (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) directorial signature all over this feature. The tone is definitely darker than Jon Favreau's (who reprises his role as the lummox chief of security, Happy Hogan) take on the Iron Man universe. You can spot moments of Lethal Weapon-style buddy cop chemistry between Tony and Rhodey (Don Cheadle). The action sequences are also from the era of excessive explosions. Shane Black's directorial style works well for a movie about a Tony Stark who has to rely more on his wits than his mechanical suits without skimping on any of the action.

A solid supporting actor

Don Cheadle (Crash) is a solid supporting actor as Tony's best friend, Colonel James Rhodes. He should never be the lead in anything because he's that really great guy every hero needs at his side. His Iron Patron armour is an eyesore though. It's super ugly and annoyingly American. Gwyneth Paltrow is more than just a pretty face and business brain in this instalment as Pepper Pots. She's the damsel in distress who acquires her own shiny armour, as it were, instead of relying on Tony in his armour to save her. Ty Simpkins (Insidious) steals the show as 10-year-old Harley Keener, who Tony encounters when he's stranded whilst investigating the people who want to kill him. The banter between the two is hilarious and both characters are amazingly snarky and witty. I always have to give a nod to Paul Bettany (Priest) as the voice of Tony's AI system, Jarvis.

3D technology is lost on most filmmakers. Iron Man 3 is another example that slapping a few 3D effects on a movie in post-production is a terrible move. If you can see this one in 2D go for it and save yourself some money.

This is Tony Stark's best outing so far and is just great to see. Iron Man 3 is an amazing movie and heralds more good things to come from Marvel this year. Go see it today if you haven't yet. Go see it again if you have already.

About Charles Siboto

Charles Siboto is a delightful, youngish person. He firmly believes that kindness matters and cannot abide people who are asshats.

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