I admit it: I enjoyed it. I liked Iron Man 3.
I type this a bit sheepishly. After all, this is not an intellectual film by any measure. It’s not the kind of film you can follow by going to a café to drink a glass of something smartly sophisticated while discussing the deeper significance of the grainy imagery or the avant-garde cinematic elements or the existential angst of the main character.
Iron Man 3 is the kind of film your senses – hearing and vision, at least – are assaulted by, yet you are spellbound, and afterwards it would be more appropriate just to go get drunk, or, better yet, go laser gaming. Or maybe both.
In my own defense, I must add that I didn’t ever intend to see Iron Man 3 (or any Iron Man film, for that matter), but today is my son’s 15th birthday, and it was his choice.
Yet it was good fun. It moved so quickly sometimes that I didn’t know what part of the screen to watch next, and probably missed half of what happened.
That isn’t to say it has a complicated plot, because it doesn’t. It moves in a simple straight line, which I expected, given that the story is based on a comic book. But the “action” part of “action movie” was clearly taken very seriously by this story’s writers, so they packed in as much of it as they could.
By the way, there is absolutely no need to see Iron Man 1 or Iron Man 2 before you see this one. It’s clear that the main character went through something traumatic and that it had something to do with aliens, but really, that’s all you need to know to follow this film. Like I said: it’s a very straightforward plot line.
As I was watching, I kept trying to suppress the rational side of my brain to stop my inclination to question the basic physics involved in much of the action. I mean, how fast would people falling from 30,000 feet be moving, and could they really keep hold of each other as Iron Man slows their fall so they hit the ocean softly enough to survive? Never mind how badly they would be injured from the high-altitude change in air pressure and being sucked out of the plane into freefall…
I enjoyed it for a different reason: the main character, played by Robert Downey, Jr., had a lot of great lines. I found myself chuckling out loud each time there was a brief pause in the action, allowing him to make one of his dry, often self-deprecating comments.
So if you like an action movie, go see Iron Man 3.
If you like heroes who wisecrack between feats of skill and courage, go see Iron Man 3.
If you want an intellectual experience, definitely don’t see Iron Man 3. But you probably knew that already. The Great Gatsby might be more your style. That’ll give you more to talk about, though it isn’t a particularly good film. Here’s my review of that one.