'Iron Man 3' Review Round-Up: Robert Downey Gets Thumbs Up
Iron Man 3 premiered Friday to mostly positive reviews, especially for leading man, Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark.
"The actor wears this character like a second skin, one in need of shedding perhaps," wrote Denver Post's Lisa Kennedy. Although Kennedy was less impressed with the film as a whole. "Tony Stark is growing up. But a similar transformation from the studios isn't so apparent," she wrote in her 2.5 star review.
Los Angeles Times' Kenneth Turner had high praise for the 3rd installment of the Marvel franchise's director. "But like a stunt driver taking over the wheel while the car is moving at 100 mph, new director (and co-writer) Shane Black has managed to change this billion-dollar-plus franchise's tone for the better while keeping the same actor as Tony Stark. Call it a spiritual reboot."
Christopher Orr from The Atlantic felt that it was Downey and Black's chemistry that made the project something special. "Chief among these [strenghts] is the obvious chemistry between the two: Black excels at writing witty, self-referential, pop-infused banter, and there is no actor working today who is better suited to delivering it than Downey."
Orr did, however, have one complaint – the film lacked a coherent plot. "[Black] seems to have taken to heart the Raymond Chandler admonition that the "scenes outrank the plot": For all the pleasures offered by the former, the latter is a bit of a convoluted mess," he wrote."
The Washington Post's Ann Hornday agrees with Orr. "Steven Soderbergh made a keenly observed distinction between movies and cinema, noting that “a movie is something you see, and cinema is something that’s made," she wrote. "It’s difficult to see how that pithily elegant rubric might accommodate Iron Man 3, which seems designed less as an artisanal object or visual entertainment than a full-body assault on the senses."
"The occasional twists notwithstanding, Iron Man 3 doesn’t pack much by way of surprise or invention," Hornday continued.
Actually, it seems like most reviewers sensed that plot was sacrificed for the jam-packed action of superhero films. The differences in reviews came down to whether or not the critic appreciated the cliches of the genre. L.A. Times' Turner wrote, "Because it is, finally, a comic-book superhero movie, Iron Man 3 does tend to fall back on massive explosions and action set pieces as the conclusion nears. But by even posing questions of identity, the film creates the kind of jeopardy we can believe in, and for a superhero movie, that is an accomplishment in and of itself."
Iron Man 3 is currently is wide release.