Iron Man 3, starring Robert Downey Jr, flew into North American theaters last weekend, ranking #2 all time, behind another Iron Man vehicle - Avengers. It is a given now that Iron Man 3 will pass $1 billion dollars worldwide given its $680 million total in one week. IM3 is also set for over $400M domestic and as I predict a decrease for the Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire, Iron Man 3 is set for #1 of 2013, the fourth #1 for a Marvel character in 11 years.
$174.1 million. That's a lot of millions, right? Right, and that's how many millions Iron Man 3 pulled in last weekend. Thanks to RDJ, the Disney/Marvel production and marketing machine, and well received previous installments, Iron Man is a certified A-list hero, arguably the #2 most popular around the world right now after Batman.
Iron Man 3 was a massive upgrade from the lazy Iron Man 2 that featured less action that a shopping trip to Marshall's. Shane Black, a known action director, helmed Iron Man 3 and he surely left his mark. Iron Man 3 had its tense and dark moments, but at times it borderlines as a comedy. Robert Downey Jr's quick whit rubbed off on everyone around him. Maya who the scientist in the opening scene, Happy Hogan who Tony's bodyguard, Harley who is a kid from Tennessee, and even the henchmen. When the action is not happening in act two, it's basically a boxing match between Tony and Harley on who has the best witty banter. A key thing about Iron Man 3 is all the characters play significant roles. Many blockbusters fail at utilizing all the characters given, but every character is integral to Tony's story and journey and the chemistry is clear. Tony and Pepper are more emotionally connected than ever and they share one of the strongest relationships on screen in a while.
There wasn't much I found necessarily wrong with Iron Man 3, but I wasn't blown away. There were some plot elements in the movie that were left unexplained, but they're not big enough where they take away from the movie. I'm not a whiner about plot holes anyway. The climax, though it was huge, also had a few small issues. The major twist didn't bother me since I don't read comics, but I can completely understand why die hard fanboys would be upset. They were so upset that "Iron Man 3 sucks" was trending on Twitter by Friday morning, but that all changed once Friday night came around and "awesome" was most popular adjective used to describe the movie.
My favorite thing about Iron Man 3 was the Mark 42 armor. That armor provided great quick action and even comedy. From the underwater scene to the Air Force One rescue (which in my opinion is the best action sequence in the movie) to the "journey across America", the armor was like none we've seen in the previous Iron Man movies. Kudos for the originality on that. Most of the action sequences were also clean and swift. I'm not a fan of shaky cam, quick ADHD cuts, and overzealous in and out zooms. Having Tony out of the suit and showing his strengths and weaknesses without it was also a plus. When you go to a superhero movie, you want to see the hero with his cape for as much of the movie as possible, but Tony out of it lead for great development. Dark Knight Rises and Spider Man 2 did the same to progress their characters.
Overall I give Iron Man 3 a 4 out 5. You may have seen the story before, but it provides the type of summer movie fun that you crave, while still keeping strong characters, great acting, and clear action. Setting records in most of the countries it was released in, Iron Man 3 is a true worldwide phenomenon. RDJ's Marvel contract has expired, but its strongly expected that he'll return for Avengers 2 as Iron Man is Marvel's mascot and one of the main reason for the success of Avengers. Iron Man 3 doesn't rise to the bar that was set by its first movie in 2008, and its a little clunky and questioned at times, but still well directed, acted, and dialogue written, Iron Man 3 proves you can have a "Hulk Smash" at the BO, without the Hulk.