The Medium Entertainment Iron Man 3 review...

So Iron Man 3 had a ton to live up to. Although it's not really a follow-up to Avengers, the biggest movie ever, it is the next Marvel movie after it so expectations are high. It also really needed to rebound for the kind of clunky mess that was Iron Man 2. How does it do that? By being a smart self-contained film filled with the great action and fantastic humor you'd expect from director Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang). It's hard to say it's a better movie than Avengers since Avengers has the nigh impossible task of balancing so many heroes and this film pretty much is just Iron Man & Iron Patriot. On that point I think Don Cheadle really gets a handle on the role of James Rhodes in this installment, whereas he felt sort of clumsily shoved into it in Iron Man 2 (though that probably wasn't his fault). The whole cast is pretty much fantastic and immensely entertaining though more in a smart action movie way than in a comic book way. In fact I think comic book fans will probably have a couple big complaints about this movie, and they are completely valid. I will discuss them but be aware that these are some fairly big spoilers so you have been warned:

Ok the biggest beef any fan familiar with the Iron Man comics will have is the treatment of the Mandarin. He is pretty much Iron Man's biggest foe, a genius martial artist scientist with ten rings giving him various powers and occasionally having a big ass dragon named Fin Fang Foom. He's a pretty solid foil, but also a really complicated one. Maybe, just maybe if they had spent the last two movies building him up they could've properly done him in the third film. But there's just no way you can randomly introduce him in one film and do him justice. Maybe that's the fault of the producers for not having enough foresight but whatever. So what is he in this film? A phony actor to cover for the real villain. It's a brilliant twist and it's pretty funny. But I can easily see how this would annoy comic book fans, I mean imagine if the Joker was reduced to such a role?

And aside from amusing post credits clip, there isn't much connection to the rest of the established Marvel movie-verse. I get that you can't have the Avengers show up again, but it was implied that Stark and Banner would have some sort of working relationship. It probably would not have been hard to just have CGI Hulk show up at the climax instead of the Iron Man army...

But after the last movie got blasted for being too much of a bridge to Avengers, I understand making this as stand alone as possible.

There is a distinct possibility of this being the last stand alone Iron Man film we see Robert Downey Jr. in. He's a virtual lock for Avengers 2, but they are moving on to other heroes and sequels and it would be a long time before they got around to an Iron Man 4 if it happens. I think that might put enough distance that somebody talented could certainly take on the role (I think Armie Hammer would actually be a pretty good fit) and people wouldn't necessarily protest because it's not Downey. That being said, I also wouldn't mind if this is pretty much all Downey did for next decade or so...

That's really all I got for today, I will probably put in another post tomorrow or Tuesday. Until then, here's your VGM (video game music)  of the week: The Ultimate Video Game Medley


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