This weekend I caught Iron Man 3 at the local cinema and as a comic book geek who loves good writing I will have to say that it was a fun ride while maintaining the integrity of the Iron Man mythos.
Many comic book movies of the ’80’s and especially the ’90’s gave in to the producers and film-makers who wanted to re-craft the mythos into their own image and therefore produced such ilk as Joel Schumacher’s Batman and Robin. Films of this low quality often still raise their ugly head such as Nick Cage’s Elvisy Ghostrider and that horrible Jonah Hex film that does not need to be mentioned.
The fact is, the folks at Marvel have discovered the truth: do what the fans want.
The fans (at least the hardcore folks like me) want a true-to-comic retelling of the characters we have grown to love through the comics, keeping continuous with the lore, yet we want them to tell a new story that is intriguing and powerful. Iron Man 3 delivers.
This film is mostly a popcorn movie, but it has a heart and a dark angst that is due in large part to the expert writing of Drew Pierce and Shane Black. These writers (one the director) took most of their material from great comic book stories by Stan Lee, Don Heck, Larry Leiber and Jack Kirby. Of course all the wonderful sardonic quips by Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) are there, but there is a definite sadness to the character in this one, brought on by Iron Man’s trip through the wormhole as seen at the end of Avengers. It plagues him, and he is also plagued and haunted by mistakes made in his pre-make-love-not-war past. Out of this a villain arises that is masterfully played by Sir Ben Kingsley…sort of (I don’t want to spoil it).
Some of the best writing in this film is the banter between Tony Stark and a boy named Harley Keener (Ty Simpkins). The dialogue is well written, is natural, and in many ways unexpected and brash. Tony says some very rude things to Harley, but the banter works and it is worth noting that it is not a typical child-dreamer-meets-superhero relationship. Stark is knocked back on his heels by the lad, and the boy is definitely a mirror of Stark in many ways. The boy is an excellent foil.
Overall I loved this film. It was a nice capstone to the trilogy, not predictable at all, and more gritty and dark than the other films. It ends well, and I cannot wait to see Stark return in Avengers 2.