Iron Man 3: What A Sequel Should Look Like
Iron Man 3 had a lot to live up to.
Let’s forget the fact that it’s the third entry in the Iron Man franchise. Let’s also forget that Marvel has a money-making map and all roads lead to Avengers 2. Let’s even forget that in the last year we saw a huge superhero franchise hit its third movie stride with apparent ease (no matter what I thought of Dark Knight Rises most critics and audiences loved it.) For the We Nerd Hard crew and I, the big shadow looming over Iron Man 3 was the marathon that we signed up for. We didn’t simply go to see a midnight showing (which in New York City now starts at 9 pm)–we watched the latest entry in the Tony Stark saga directly after re-watching the most praised comic book movie of all time.
After last year’s Marvel marathon that lead to the climax which was the Avengers, we had so much fun that we signed up for the Iron Man marathon. After realizing the viewing order (Iron Man 1, 2, Avengers, then 3) we all had a sense of doom looming over our evening. We knew we loved the Avengers–hell, Aaron Rand Freeman has watched it nine times on Blu-ray–but we knew nothing of Iron Man 3 outside of the much-hyped influences from the very popular Extremis storyline from the comic books. Also let’s not forget that many of us found Iron Man 2 a bit, meh. So here we sat after hours of movie watching that had already climaxed with its re-showing of the Avengers. How could Iron Man 3 go well?
Surprisingly enough, it went spectacularly well.
Iron Man 3 is not only a solid movie–it surpasses the first film and easily the second. While I fully admit after re-watching Iron Man 2 it has grown on me a great deal, Iron Man 3 was almost as if the writer and director were showing off. With controversy swirling due to the casting of Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin (which I was fairly annoyed by) and complaints of the Nolan-ization of the storyline (it seems too dark, screamed the Internet when the first trailer dropped) IM3 not only survived the specter of following the world’s mightiest heroes, it did something I simply didn’t expect.
It made me like Tony Stark even more.
The story takes place after the events of the Avengers. Tony Stark finds himself not sleeping and overworking in order to try to cope with the trauma of fighting big ass aliens and almost getting himself spectacularly killed. This spirals into a whirlwind of misfortune for Mr. Stark and we, the audience, get to go along for the ride. We watch Stark in a way that we hadn’t seen so far in the movie series. The story actively attempts to open the viewers’ eyes to understand the mind of Iron Man. Some of the dialogue puts Joss Whedon (all hail the Whedon) to shame. If you enjoy watching Robert Downey Jr. go then this is a must-watch movie for you. If you enjoy Iron Man, this is a must watch movie for you. If you read “Extremis” five times to get yourself hyped for Iron Man 3, perhaps you should wait a little while. While the movie does a great job melding two famous Iron Man storylines together, you will be disappointed if you think you’re going to go see Extremis live. But if you can walk in and inhabit the Marvel world that’s been created then you will find yourself clapping with joy at the awesome that’s beautifully displayed on the screen.
I’ve kept this review spoiler free (and perhaps I’ve been a bit too vague due to my attempts to not be a dick) but you can hear a fully spoiled review by the #BitterCynicalAdults of @WeNerdHard by the end of Friday, May 3rd. Also, please weigh in and let us know what you thought of the movie. On the We Nerd Hard scale of movie ratings I have to give this our highest rating of “ALL OF THE LIGHTS.” Any movie that’s not the Avengers 2 that could follow the Avengers and stop the We Nerd hard crew and I from setting the theater on fire deserves the praise that I’m throwing at Iron Man 3.
Congrats for doing your job, Hollywood. I’ll try to remember this when you screw up later this summer.