Sunday, May 12, 2013

Iron Man 3




Based on the Marvel Comics by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Don Heck, and Jack Kirby and from the Extremis story arc by Warren Ellis, Iron Man 3 is the third installment of the Iron Man story in which Tony Stark faces with a new, mysterious enemy who is eager to wreak havoc into Stark’s life. Directed by Shane Black and screenplay by Black and Drew Pearce, the film picks up where The Avengers left off as Stark must deal with his role as Iron Man as he’s once again played by Robert Downey Jr. Also starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, James Badge Dale, Ty Simpkins, Jon Favreau, and Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin. Iron Man 3 is a thrilling and adventurous film from Shane Black.

The film revolves around Tony Stark battling an unknown enemy known as the Mandarin who is wreaking havoc on the world as he’s targeting the U.S. President (William Sadler). Yet, things become more complicated as Stark is dealing with anxiety issues relating to the events in The Avengers as he starts to alienate people close to him. Meanwhile, Stark is also dealing with the presence of Adrian Killich (Guy Pearce), who has been known for creating a virus that can help regenerate body parts, as he wants to go after Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) to get Starks to help fund his work. It’s all part of a world in which Stark becomes overwhelmed as he has no idea what to do while eventually realizing that he’ll need to do things to help those he care for.

The screenplay by Shane Black and Drew Pearce explores not just Stark’s anxieties as well as his obsession to perfect the Iron Man suits he wears but also to use it so he can protect Pepper. Yet, he’s also dealing with the sins of the past as it relates to Killich who made an offer to Stark back in New Year’s Eve 1999 only to reject the offer while on that same night, he had a one-night stand with a botanist named Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall) who would be one of the people that would create the Extremis virus. These sins would come back to haunt him as Stark tried to target the Mandarin in which one of his bombs put his former bodyguard Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) into a coma. All of these incidents and the presence of the mysterious Mandarin would cause a lot of issues for Stark as he finds refuge in a small Tennessee town where he befriends a boy named Harley (Ty Simpkins) who would help Stark get back on his feet.

The script allows the Tony Stark character to not just face his demons and flaws but also face more brushes with death as he finally comes to the conclusion that he’s not just invisible. It’s not just Stark that is given a great character arc as the script also pays attention to Pepper Potts who grows into a much stronger woman who can put on an Iron Man suit and be helpful. There’s also a bit of buddy-comedy elements when it comes to Stark and his friend Colonel James Rhodes aka the Iron Patriot (Don Cheadle) who would later help Stark out in battling the Mandarin. Upon Starks’ eventual confrontation with the Mandarin, it becomes much more complex than it actually seems as it relates more to Killich’s work with the Extremis virus.

Black’s direction is quite typical of what is expected in an action blockbuster but Black does things to make it so much more. Notably as he creates scenes that are fun and full of humor while keeping the action thrilling as well as have some meaning. Black does create some unique shots that are simple including the scenes involving Starks and Potts while opening the film with this very humorous New Year’s Eve party in Switzerland that would set the tone for the entire film as it’s narrated by Stark. Many of the compositions are simple while the humor has the right note of just being unexpected but also natural where there is that sense of improvisation. Overall, Black creates a very solid and enjoyable action-blockbuster that manages to do a lot more than what is expected in its genre.

Cinematographer John Toll does excellent work with the film‘s cinematography as it‘s mostly naturalistic in some of its exteriors while using some more stylish lights for the scenes at night. Editors Jeffrey Ford and Peter S. Elliot do terrific work with the editing to create some rhythmic cut for the action scenes as well as a few montages for the flashback scenes. Production designer Bill Brzeski, along with set decorator Danielle Berman and supervising art director Desma Murphy, does amazing work with some of the set pieces such as the Stark mansion and the places set in Tennessee and Miami. Costume designer Louise Frogley does nice work with the costumes as it’s mostly casual with the exception of the Iron Man suits.

Visual effects supervisors Mark Bakowski, Erik Nash, Saravanan Stalin, and Christopher Townshend do brilliant work with the visual effects from the scenes of Iron Man flying in the air to some of the intense action scenes. Sound designer Ann Scibelli and sound editor Mark P. Stoeckinger do wonderful work with the sound from the layer of sound effects is used to some of the intimate moments in the mixing such as a bar scene where Stark gets information about the Extremis virus. The film’s music by Brian Tyler is very good as it‘s filled with bombastic orchestral music to play out its actions while music supervisor Dave Jordan brings in a few late 90s pop songs for the 1999 opening sequence as well as some funk music.

The casting by Sarah Finn is amazing as it features a massive collection of actors as it includes appearances from Miguel Ferrer as the vice president, Ashley Hamilton as an Extremis soldier, Shaun Toub reprising his role as Yinsen from the first film in the 1999 party scene, Paul Bettany as the voice of J.A.R.V.I.S., and Stan Lee as a beauty pageant judge. Other notable small roles include James Badge Dale and Stephanie Szostak as a couple of vicious Extremis soldiers, Jon Favreau as Stark Industries security officer Happy Hogan, and Ty Simpkins as the boy Harley who helps out Stark in repairing the Iron Man Mk 42 suit. William Sadler is terrific as the American President as someone who is threatened by the Mandarin as he tries to maintain some sense of order. Rebecca Hall is wonderful as Extremis co-creator Maya Hansen as a botanist who had good intentions for the virus only to go into conflict of her own about working for Killian.

Ben Kingsley is great as the Mandarin as a mastermind terrorist who creates mysterious videos with great intimidation as Kingsley brings a lot of chew-scenery to his performance as the Mandarin. Guy Pearce is excellent as Aldrich Killian as a businessman who has a grudge towards Tony Stark as he uses the Extremis virus to become something that is very menacing. Don Cheadle is superb as Col. James Rhodes as a man who is concerned for Tony Stark while dealing with his new role as Iron Patriot as he would deal with the Extremis forces.

Gwyneth Paltrow is brilliant as Pepper Potts as she goes from someone who is dealing with Stark’s anxieties to being a woman that got tired of being pushed around as Potts finally gets to kick some major ass. Finally, there’s Robert Downey Jr. in a marvelous performance as Tony Stark/Iron Man as someone struggling with his role as well as with his own demons as Downey just adds more layers to the characters as someone who is flawed and vulnerable as well as finding a way to get back up.

Iron Man 3 is a remarkable film from Shane Black that features another winning performance from Robert Downey Jr. Thanks to a fantastic script and a brilliant supporting cast, the film is definitely a major improvement over its predecessor while being something more than just a typical blockbuster film. It’s also a film that has something for everyone while not wanting to take itself too seriously. In the end, Iron Man 3 is an excellent film from Shane Black.

Marvel Phase One Films: Iron Man - The Incredible Hulk - Iron Man 2 - Thor - Captain America: The First Avenger - The Avengers (2012 film)

Marvel Phase Two Films: Thor: The Dark World - Captain America: The Winter Soldier - Guardians of the Galaxy - The Avengers: Age of Ultron - Ant Man

Marvel Phase Three Films: Captain America: Civil War - Doctor Strange - Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - Spider-Man: Homecoming - (Thor: Ragnarok) - (Black Panther)


Shane Black Films: (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) - The Nice Guys - (The Predator (2018 film))

© thevoid99 2013

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