Saturday, May 4, 2013

Iron Man 3 - A Stark Contrast

Another superhero sequel has arrived. I must confess that I am not huge fan of the genre, but there is something very endearing to the character of Tony Stark, created on screen by Robert Downey Jr. Perhaps it's his dripping sarcasm and snark. Perhaps, it's the fact that he feels like a real person, arrogant, yet human. Iron Man 3 has the legs to stand on it's one, while subtly fitting into the the Avengers film canon.

Things that stood out to me in this film is amount of times that Tony Stark was left to his own human devices. Often it was his own fault due to his constant tinkering with more advanced versions of the Iron Man suit. In this film, he is up to Mark 42. Between sharing the suit, waiting for the suit to show up and hoping that when it does arrive, that it will work, Stark is left to use his own physical strength and mental prowess to get through things. Stark is Iron Man, there would be no suit without Stark, but Stark would have little purpose in the world without it.

The villain in Iron Man 3 was also a fresh take. Without resulting to spoilers, modern issues with Middle East centric terrorism was dealt with in a way that was realistic yet carefully separated from any reality that we currently live within.  The concept of a terrorist leader, depicted by Ben Kingsley, who demands respect from all those he comes in contact with, is right out Al Queda. However, we soon learn that things are not as they appear. Kingsley plays "The Mandarin" who takes over all broadcasts networks whenever he feels like it to carry out his terrorist threats. Much in the same way that 24 hour news access brings into our living room everything going on in the world at any given time, the bad as well as the good. It reminds us that everything is not what it appears, media is often filtered and celebrity is subjective.

Don Cheadle returns as War Machine, who has now been adopted by the US Military and renamed the Iron Patriot. Iron Patriot plays a small supporting role, but when it all comes down to it, Stark is the creator of his own destiny and it's by his own creations that things are made whole again, at least for this Marvel installment.

I am not one who is overly excited for the Thor sequel coming along. I still have not seen the first one and was introduced to his character only in The Avengers. The next Avengers sequel is slated for 2015. Another Captain America is due April 2014. I have enjoyed what I have seen so far. Disney seems to be a great fit the Marvel Universe as all of these films have a bit of the magic and heart one expects from the Mouse House. I accept that my statement is controversial.

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