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Iron Man 3
Criticism of the FILMSTARTS editors
Iron Man 3
By Bjorn Becher
When it comes to film series - especially when it comes to superheroes - there is an unwritten law that each sequel must be bigger and more spectacular than the one before it. For example, in "Iron Man 2" there were not only more action scenes than in "Iron Man“, which was still primarily about the characters, but also a lot more effort was put into it. But you can't keep turning this screw forever, especially not after "The Avengers", where several superheroes met and alien invaders reduced half of Manhattan to rubble. Luckily, the first solo adventure after this pinnacle of Marvel heroes doesn't even try to top that. Ex-screenwriter shooting star Shane Black (“Lethal Weapon” series, “The Last Boy Scout”), who takes the director’s chair as the new man, and his co-writer Drew Pearce (“Pacific Rim”) focus on “Iron Man 3' back to the central element: the hero. While the predecessor seemed a bit overloaded at times with its huge arsenal of figures and the action excesses, Black not only reflects on the outstanding first film thematically - but that doesn't mean that he doesn't let it rip properly. And above all, the director sets his own accents by dressing his superhero story in an 80s action thriller comedy.
Billionaire, bon vivant and superhero Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) has withdrawn more and more to his luxury home on the Miami coast in recent months. After the events of The Avengers, he can hardly sleep. He always thought he was the greatest, but now he sees himself as just a "guy in a tin can" who is nothing special next to gods and extraterrestrials. When the terrorist Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) carries out more and more attacks in the USA, the depressed Stark hardly cares. After all, the everyday fight against terrorist groups is not a task for superheroes, but one for soldiers like Lt. James "Rhodey" Rhodes (Don Cheadle) - Stark's buddy also has a battle suit with the latest technology and now calls himself the "Iron Patriot". But then an act of terrorism by the mandarin hits a person close to Tony Stark: the billionaire, driven by revenge, declares war on the terrorist prince over television, which he almost pays for with his life: his home, including most of the Iron Man suits, is destroyed in an air raid. Wounded, left for dead by the world, and armed with just a barely working prototype Iron Man, Stark is stranded in a small Tennessee town. There he is soon tracked down by evil super soldiers (James Badge Dale, Stephanie Szostak) with superhuman powers. Now Tony Stark has to prove that he doesn't just become "Iron Man" through the suit, but also has what it takes to be a hero.
The second German trailer is a shorter, faster-paced version of the first trailer.
After the meeting of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and Co. in "The Avengers“ was the big question from the fans: how can the individual heroes continue on their own? How else can it be explained that the whole group doesn't get together every time the going gets tough? In the first Marvel superhero solo since The Avengers, director Shane Black and writer Drew Pearce find an excellent solution: They don't bother with flimsy explanations, but simply establish a believable scenario that is personally tailored to the protagonist: an egomaniac like After all, Stark is inspired to settle things on his own, especially when it hits him to the core and intimate desires such as revenge, envy and jealousy are at stake. By concentrating on the character Tony Stark, Black goes back to his roots and finds his way back to the class of the first film, but at the same time he also ties directly to the second part: When S.H.I.E.L.D. boss Nick Fury at the end of "Iron Man 2"Speaking of the fact that he likes to include Iron Man in the "Avengers" initiative, but not Tony Stark, he differentiates between the suit and the person who wears it - exactly this separation becomes the decisive topic in "Iron Man 3", which is followed by the question of what constitutes a hero in his essence.
If Iron Man 2 was a movie about Iron Man, now Iron Man 3 is a movie about Tony Stark. This is underlined from the very first second, as Stark himself enlightens the audience as an off-narrator about his state of mind. With the usual laconic undertone, he gets his problems off his chest, making the plot of the film his own personal story. This perspective is maintained until the very last scene after the credits, which is now obligatory for Marvel films. Stark's troubled relationship with his heroic alter ego becomes apparent early on, as he uses the remote-controlled Iron Man suit to flirt with his girlfriend Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) while he himself continues to tinker in his lab. In another scene, Iron Man independently threatens Pepper, who is lying in bed, because the suit automatic thinks that Tony lying next to him is in danger: The former heroic unit from the Iron Man outfit and its creator no longer exist. Tony Stark is in crisis and plagued by an inferiority complex to the other Avengers with their divine and supernatural superpowers. He first has to realize that with his outstanding intellectual abilities (which made Iron Man possible in the first place) he can also be a hero as a "completely normal" person. On the way to this insight he has to survive numerous action scenes without a suit and when he takes on the bad guys with homemade low-tech gadgets or armed only with a pistol, "Iron Man 3" is closer to a classic action game. Thriller than a superhero movie.
Anyone who came up with the idea at Marvel of hiring Shane Black and Drew Pearce for "Iron Man 3" can pat themselves on the back, because the choice is proving to be an absolute stroke of luck - and that's by no means a given. On the one hand, Black is a man who was the hottest young author in Hollywood about 20 years ago, but who then disappeared from the scene for over a decade after writer's block before he did his own with "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang". realized only directorial work eight years ago. In addition, there is the British Pearce, a co-author who only had a little TV experience before this project. In addition, according to their own statements, both were initially not very enthusiastic about the idea of working with a partner. But then they harmonized splendidly with each other and that can be seen in the film: "Iron Man 3" is full of first-class ideas and surprises that you should know as little as possible about before going to the cinema in order to be able to fully enjoy the film experience. How Black and Pearce take and play with the expectations built up by Marvel's marketing machinery, how they vary, dissect and recombine familiar elements from the various comic templates is extremely entertaining and very clever. If, at the same time, they also give food for thought on such difficult topics as dealing with terrorist threats and the role of the media, about which in individual moments something similar is said here as for example in "Zero Dark Thirty", then they finally make "Iron Man 3" intelligent blockbuster cinema in its purest form.
Despite the hero in crisis, Iron Man 3 isn't a dark comic drama in the vein of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy. Shane Black and Drew Pearce have relied heavily on humor in their previous work, and they do so here as well: It begins with the absurdly exaggerated opening scene in which Robert Downey Jr. accompanies the strains of Italo dance awkwardness "Blue (Da Ba Dee )” celebrating New Year's Eve 1999 in Switzerland and Jon Favreau as his overweight bodyguard Happy Hogan sporting a quiff that's just a sight to behold. Shane Black is considered one of the pioneers of tongue-in-cheek references to pop culture phenomena and repeatedly refers to the 80s and 90s, when he himself had his best time. This goes from the choice of music (among others, Lou Bega's hit "Mambo No. 5" can be heard) to the staging. For example, when the seemingly indestructible super-soldiers rise out of a sea of flames, that is a beautiful homage to James Cameron's "Terminator“-Movies. In the character drawing, the interaction between Robert Downey Jr. and Don Cheadle and in the humorous dialogues, "Lethal WeaponCreator Black occasionally makes wonderful nods to the heyday of action-buddy comedy he once helped shape — even at the risk that it might come across as alien to sections of younger audiences. He tops it off with the idiosyncratic, cool credits that are reminiscent of the title sequences of TV series from the 80s such as "A Colt for all occasions" or "The A Team" remind. The co-author Drew Pearce, who comes from Great Britain, is also likely to be responsible for the fact that the series jewel “Downton Abbey“ and the football club Liverpool FC play a small role in humorous scenes.
Just like the classic action and the superhero special effects spectacle with the suit marvels from the high-tech laboratory are not neglected, the secondary characters can also distinguish themselves, although "Iron Man 3" clearly focuses on Tony Stark is. Leading actor Robert Downey Jr. shines with charming egocentricity and ironic wit, but Jon Favreau also shines at his side as ex-chauffeur Happy Hogan who has been promoted to security chief, who owns the first 20 minutes, and Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, who finally gets some action -gets scenes. The rogue duo Ben Kingsley ("Gandhi") and Guy Pearce ("Memento") in turn surprise with unusual changes. While Pearce's Dr. Aldrich Killian goes from high nerd to slimy, ruthless entrepreneur, Kingsley takes a very different path. The fears that the British Oscar winner is not the right person to play the Chinese-born Mandarin in the comics are quickly dispelled, as the role is interpreted here in a very unique way. The makers also had a good hand with the installation of Tony's short-term sidekick Harley (Ty Simpkins). Anyone who fears Disney kitsch in the run-up to Christmas between the hero and the eight-year-old young inventor who has been abandoned by his father can be reassured. The interplay is incredibly charming and amusing. Finally, a highlight is the farewell scene between them, in which Black not only manages without any sentimentality at all, but even makes fun of similar scenes: After all, Tony Stark is still an egomaniac despite all the purification.
Conclusion: With the extremely entertaining sequel "Iron Man 3" Marvel shows that "The Avengers" was not the end of the superhero flagpole. The comic giant relied on variety and engaged a strong author personality in Shane Black: Despite all the continuity, "Iron Man 3" became less the third (or fourth) part of a blockbuster series and more a fun action comedy in the style of the 80s.
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