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Editor’s note: This is Hypable’s second review of Iron Man 3. Our first was published April 28th.

Iron Man 3 is not the movie you’re expecting and while that may seem like good news at first, it will quickly turn sour as you realize the true film you’re watching is something very, very different. Not different in terms of breaking the system and making a movie with guts and actual thrills, although in this case that would be a welcome proposition. No, this is the kind of different where the recipe for entertainment has been handled by so many cooks in the same kitchen that it’s hard to tell what you’re tasting in the first place.

Iron Man 3 feels like an assembly line movie from the very beginning and that may be where the film’s problems truly lie. The first two Iron Man movies (especially the first) were made with less corporate meddling and more energy which obviously resulted in a more balanced product. Here, all the fun that used to exist in a movie franchise about a guy fighting villains in a flying metal suit is gone.

The film starts with an awkward flashback to 1999 that’s meant to set up a convoluted storyline but all it does is meander and waste time. Next thing you know, our hero Tony Stark (played with a vacant glaze by Robert Downey Jr.), who up until this point we’ve come to know as a smart and witty pioneer, is doing pratfalls and slapstick humor. This movie has also been marketed to kids so that could have something to do with Iron Man suddenly turning into Iron Doofus.

The pretzel of a plot involves high tech machinery and a plan for world domination which seems odd because most movie villains stopped aspiring for world domination around the mid-90’s. They finally wised up and realized they wanted what everyone in life and the movies truly wants, money. Lots of it. Add to that a confusing detective story that involves severed limbs and robotic terminators and you have a real head-scratcher.

So in other words boys and girls, yes. There is a plot at work in Iron Man 3. It just doesn’t make any sense. I know, I was shocked too.

But all is not lost when it comes to Iron Man 3. There are moments of brilliance even if they are few and far between. Credit for these bits of salvation go to co-writer and director Shane Black and actor Ben Kingsley who steals the movie as the villainous Mandarin. Black in particular knows how to write great dialogue and last worked with Downey Jr. on the severely underappreciated action-comedy, “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.” If I convince one of you reading this to watch “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” instead of buying a ticket to Iron Man 3, tonight’s endeavor of writing this long-winded takedown at 2am will be worth it.

If you think I’m being silly and insist on seeing Iron Man 3 anyway I will say this, you could definitely do worse. This movie is full of product placement and short on actual entertainment but it does have the aforementioned bright spots courtesy of Black and Kingsley . Somewhere buried beneath the endless ads for energy drinks and software companies there might have once been a better version of Iron Man 3 but not anymore. All we have left are muddled story elements and commercials for things you don’t need. You could watch commercials at home. For free.

Speaking of money, as of this writing Iron Man 3 has already made $200 million dollars at the international box office. Your ten dollars is better spent elsewhere. And if you live in a city unfortunate enough to have movie ticket prices skyrocket to north of twenty dollars, then for the love of Robert Downey Jr. please spend that money somewhere else. Like on a copy of “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.”

Grade: C-

Rated: PG-13 (for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief suggestive content)

Iron Man 3 opens in theaters on May 3, 2013.

  • Ultron

    The whole purpose of iron man 3 was to connect with stark on a more personal level. It delt with his ptsd which added to the realness of this film. It showed us stark is a human like the rest of us. It also showed us that Tony doesn’t always need his suit and can be a hero without it. And the purpose of the flashback was to set up the movie and give our villain a motive. The plot twist definitely threw me through a loop too. I think it was the best ironman movie due to the wonderful acting and awesome villain. I would definitely suggest everyone go see this movie because it really is great. Tony Stark at his highest and lowest. I’d give it an A. Clearly you should see it again because there is more to Tony Stark than his suit.

    • http://www.facebook.com/aaccss Alex Smith

      I agree completely^^^ This was my favorite Iron Man.

  • patty

    To be honest, I have to disagree. Relative to the first two Iron Men films, this one was much better. Tony’s characterisation was much deeper, and the resonance of the effects of the Avengers is clear in the portrayal. The villain was underwhelming, I agree, but I think what I liked most about this one is that the focus wasn’t just on Tony. They finally gave Pepper a worthwhile role in the movie, although I had hoped her change would have been permanent.

    • Hannah T.

      Same! As much as I love Pepper as the corporate behind the vigilante, I would have loved her to have some sort of advantage or trait that will allow her to defend herself, should the time come to it. At least we got to see her as a badass woman at the end. Maybe Tony will make her a suit. She seemed fairly adept at it after the first time.

      Also, did anyone catch the name of Bubblegum Guy during the movie? I didn’t hear it (probably because the entire theater was full of University students, half of whom were buzzed and making a lot of noise), so I had to keep calling him Bubblegum Guy.

    • Liderc

      Better than Iron Man 1? That’s crazy. This didn’t even scratch the surface of the first Iron Man film. The characters actually had development and arcs in the first film, the third had people coming out of no where with no backstory or anything relevant. Somehow they made Ben Kingsley and Rebecca hall terrible actors.

  • gcw07

    Just got back from seeing it and it was one of my favorite Iron Man movies. It was a lot better then IM2 was and Tony felt like Tony again. I’d recommend it to anybody that liked the first couple or Avengers. It was fun and entertaining throughout.

    • http://hypable.com/author/jeremy-baril/ Jeremy Baril

      “One of my favorite Iron Man movies.” There’ve been 3, though, that statement means they all are.

  • Poe

    Just like rotten tomatoes, first review was amazing…second review that movie is shit. Make up your mind people!!!

  • Jen

    you make a fair point about product placement but in truth, I didn’t feel like it was obtrusive and I didn’t come away with a head full of brands. Therefore, it didn’t bug me! I actually quite liked the film, but then unlike other fandoms like the Tolkein novels, I’m not hugely nerdy about Marvel and came in with no expectations. It’s actually kind of refreshing after being so disappointed by some of my fandoms. I thought it was a fun, entertaining movie.

  • http://gingersletters.tumblr.com/ Ginger Bennet

    I loved the movie!! I thought it was a great way to include “The Avengers” and the events that happened in that movie while also making it only about Tony. All I can say is i’ve slept on it and still loved it :)

  • Glaciusx

    I disagree with that C-, ok. I had such a good time while seeing this movie and I had quite a few laughs, smiles, and goosebumps while watching it. My 10 dollars will be going to IM3 next week as I’m going to see it AGAIN. Chew on that.

    • Nathan

      ^^^This guy!

    • Liderc

      the reason this movie is making so much money is because of people like you. And the reason we’ll continue to get bad films like this is because you’ll go see it multiple times. Iron Man 1 was a great film, Iron Man 3, terrible.

      • Glaciusx

        It wasn’t necessarily a bad film. Look, the way I see it is if you go into these movies with high expectations, you will not like it. I went because I like Tony Stark and wanted to have a good time. That’s exactly what I did. People like me or not, this movie is still going to be a success because Iron Man is a greatly loved character, ESPECIALLY when it comes to children. I can understand why you think it’s terrible because mostly everyone that didn’t like it complained about the Mandarin twist. I honestly think there’s more to it and it’ll be explained later.

  • claystripe6514

    Couldn’t disagree more. Iron Man 3 delivered everything I expected and then some. Downey was anything but vacant in this movie- for the first time since Iron Man 1, he played Stark as more than just a brilliant quipster and gave him some serious depth and emotion. The script, though full of plot holes that one can nitpick the crap out of, engaged me, kept me interested in where it was going, and was fairly simple to understand. Every Iron Man movie (heck, every Marvel movie) has had pretty blatant product placement, but there was never a moment where that took me out of the story or didn’t just elicit laughter. The action and effects were fantastic- the Air Force One scene in particular was breathtaking. Honestly, I thought Kingsley was quite underwhelming, to be honest, though I pin much of that on the script. Heck, all of the villains were pretty underwhelming, but I came to see Iron Man, and he absolutely delivered. The one thing that I can certainly agree with is that the dialogue, as usual, was superb and funny.

  • Liderc

    Completely agree. Iron Man 3 was a mess, its plot a disaster – they have all of this talent and completely wasted it with an awful story and a laughable twist. Who knew Marvel/Disney could turn Sir Ben Kingsley into a terrible actor?

  • grapes9h5

    This review made me laugh my butt off, it just couldn’t be less true if it tried (well Im sure much effort was already made, and there could always be more).

    Please people, go see the movie for yourselves. Hate it all you want after you see it, but please do see it, or simply dont talk about it either way. Im actually confused as to why Hypable saw fit to post this. A different take is always appreciated, but this just feels like trolling.

  • Gilligan

    I went with a few friends to watch iron man 3 in Imax, expecting a glorious post-avenger movie. Setting up marvel’s phase two nicely. We were all disappointed. The special effects were good, Ben Kinsley was a highlight. However, I do agree with the article. The story was disjointed, Robert Downey Jr does seem to have lost his connection with Tony Stark. It was a bit too cheesy for me. I was expecting more but I’d still recommend seeing it. In terms of the summer blockbusters, I can see man of steel, star trek and wolverine being significantly better.

  • http://www.facebook.com/yinyangmama Becky Fathers Cook

    For reasons unfathomable to me, this movie has become quite divisive. I have to disagree completely with the review and say that I enjoyed the overall message of this movie…Tony Stark is Iron Man, with or without the suit. I also don’t know if this movie has been marketed to kids, because I came away with the feeling that there was a lot more serious violence in this movie than the others (shooting a man on live tv, etc). I would actually caution parents away from letting younger children see this right away.

    There was a lot of realistic character development and sometimes it’s nicer to see the quieter moments of a superhero’s life instead of all flash and bang.

  • http://www.korracast.com/ Fravit

    What sort of corporate meddling are you specifically referring to? And where is there any evidence in that?

    • Liderc

      DId you miss all the Audi cars, the Verizon logos and the Oracle logos plastered beside each character every few scenes? I know I didn’t.

      • http://www.korracast.com/ Fravit

        No I didn’t miss any of that. But that sort of product placement has always been a staple of the Iron Man series, even the first one. ( http://www.brandspotters.com/movie.aspx?id=571 ) But I fail to see how that affected the movie in any way. The article suggests the the “corporate meddling” present here was not present in the first two movies, but if product placement is the type of meddling that the author is referring to, clearly he didn’t actually watch the first two movies.

  • tired

    Saw the movie and have to agree with the review. I do not mind seeing deviation from the original comic – actually I found Mandarin twist really entertaining. But I do mind way too many plot holes. One cannot make a great movie with this many plot holes. It almost felt like 10 different people wrote the script without talking to another. Iron 3 was an enjoyable film in “Transformers move” like way. Started out strong and rapidly fell apart as story went along.

  • http://www.facebook.com/KalTourette Kal Tourette

    Fully agreed with the review, however I feel what was done with the mandarin was a slap in the face to any ironman comic book fan. the movie was childish and extremely convoluted. Why were the suits just not up to par as the last three features he was in? This same guy fought the god of thunder and left with only a few scratches, but in this movie the suits fell apart so flimsily. The graphics and RDJ as always did what they needed to, but honestly the slap stick humor was for children. Didnt RDJ already play Chaplin? What happened to the moments where RDJ was actually a serious warrior when it came time for him to be? Ironman 1 wasn’t a comedy. It had comedy in it. These last two ironman movies, avengers and 3, were extremely goofy at times. The hulk scene and loki was so goofy. Amongst other gaffs.

    Can we get a film with substance and meaning? The comic books deal with very many sophisticated layers and character studies. Seems these guys have yet to figure that out. The dazzle is only 40% of the comic books in all these movies. The story and characters and psychological mishaps they go through make up the rest. The xmen 1,2, and 4 are good examples of dealing with that. They had humor, but because human beings have humor, but not story gimmicks and scenes driven by gaffs and comedy. Smh

    • Liderc

      Great explanation. You can include humor, without making a comedy. The Avengers and Iron Man 3 both forgot this and just included jokes for the sake of a few laughs. While The Avengers was a better film than Iron Man 3, since Iron Man 3 wasn’t very good at all, it still had that same comedic problem.

  • http://blackrapture.tumblr.com/ thegoodshipdestiel

    Now that I just got back from seeing the movie, I can say with complete confidence that you have no idea what you are talking about.

    • Jeremy

      yeah, we’ll take the random internet person’s word over someone who writes reviews. We’re certain you know more about film than someone who writes about film for a living. The movie wasn’t good, simple as that.

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