Late review of Iron Man 3.
I liked it a lot. Which isn't an original statement, but it's the best one. The movie was much better than two and almost as good as the first. The movie, like Iron Man Prime, is much more self-contained than the second movie, and it helps. It doesn't feel like a trailer for Avengers 2 and I think that's important. After the beauty that was the Avengers, I think it's a bit necessary to show that these characters can still exist apart from each other. I hope Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: Winter Soldier do the same thing.
I remember liking Iron Man back when I first got into comics. This was around 2000-2001, so it was still a long way from the first movie. My biggest problem was that the character never did much in the comics, which is why I was partial to the Ultimate version of Tony for so long. So, it was more that I wanted to like the character. I think the movies have done a great job at helping the character become interesting. I've now read a whole bunch of Iron Man comics, and they're great, but the movies still present the best version of the character. It's a good thing.
On the topic of the villain, I'm of different minds. I wanted to see the Mandarin, because I think he's a cool villain and the first movie was crazy with hints about him. I wanted to see Iron Man duke it out with a powerful enemy for once, especially one with power rings. When Marvel cast Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin, I thought it was going to be awesome.
The twist was certainly that. At first I didn't like it, then I thought it was cool that I got tricked and enjoyed the rest of the movie. Then I didn't like it again. Now, I'm more at peace with it. Maybe I won't be after multiple viewings, but at the moment, peace.
Why? For one, I like Guy Pearce (and who wouldn't after Memento) and he was a bad enough bad guy for the movie. He's the strongest villain Iron Man has come across in the films, both power-wise and cinematically. So, while I don't get the Mandarin, I do get a villain who's good on his own. It would have been nice to have Killian and the Mandarin, but that didn't happen. It's funny that people have been mad about this, but not The Dark Knight Rises pathetic attempt at Robin.
The other reason I'm okay with this? I've only read about three Mandarin stories anyway, and none of them stick out as memorable. So, maybe he's just another character that I want to like.
Two things about the movie, in quick form.
-This movie did a much better job making the Extremis story interesting. I found the comic painfully slow with ugly art.
-I miss the heart piece but I like the character enough to want to see him get better.
I give the film an A-, but I'm probably bias.