Arts & Events

Robert Downey, Jr. delivers typical pith in Iron Man’s new installment Iron Man 3

As the trailers were playing before the movie, it became apparent how few leading male actors in Hollywood can carry a series like Robert Downey, Jr.

Through a combination of casual directness and manic overconfidence, Downey, Jr. has become the protagonist in one of the highest grossing film series ever.

Iron Man 3, staring Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark, certainly begins the summer blockbuster season in style.

This is the last of the Iron Man trilogy, although as referenced frequently in the film, definitely not the end of Tony Stark in the Avengers series. Between fighting terrorists, saving the always lovely Gwyneth Paltrow and dealing with fallout from an alien attack, Stark has his hands full.

As the first major summer blockbuster—other than Pain and GainIron Man 3 delivers all of the required explosions, jokes and faux emotions that a viewer could desire.

Haunted by the events of the Avengers movie, Stark feels his time is best spent chasing down threats to the nation and his loved ones.

Along the way Stark encounters obstacles that are only overcome by use of classic hijinks, only furthering the movie’s dedication to its light and goofy status.

In lieu of new and exciting plot devices, this film falls back on what has made the Iron Man franchise so successful, witty one-liners and awesome special effects. That is definitely not a knock against the series, either; I for one really enjoy those elements.

As the third film, there has been plenty of time to work out the kinks and improve, which is for the best. The film has a more polished feel, in no small part due to the practice granted by the first two, as well as the inclusion of strong supporting cast mates in Don Cheadle and Jon Favreau.

The problem with falling back on old tricks is that while they are enjoyable to watch, they do not bring new excitement to the table.

Given its repetitive nature, the film has an uncanny resemblance to another of Downey Jr.’s movies, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

Iron Man, as a concept, is odd; he is simultaneously a figure of hope and courage in the face of adversity, and unapologetically reckless.

The continually affable Downey, Jr. lessens the harshness of the edgy Iron Man, though the detrimentally egotistical traits of the character still shine through.

In dealing with a kid whose father had left, Stark makes a few snide remarks and the movie moves on.

Now as an audience member, you are inclined to enjoy Stark and look past his lack of sensitivity; as a human, it is hard to see Stark be unnecessarily cold.

Successful Iron Man and Tony Stark characters are cool customers, not mean-spirited crank.

Iron Man presents an interesting problem: can eccentric billionaires be superheroes?

For all of the trials and tribulations that Stark faces, his money and intellect eventually prevail, leaving the audience wondering if he can ever be defeated.

The biggest challenge to Iron Man in all three movies comes from within, as Stark grapples with himself.

If for no other reason than to show the dichotomy between those with superpowers and those with large amounts of disposable income, the series would benefit from Stark failing.

Grandiose blockbusters are not the opportune moment for this style of story telling, and so while pondering the implications of a defeated Iron Man proves interesting, it is better left out.

The movie is a very good time, no doubt about that, but it comes up understandably short under a critical lens.

Go see this movie if you want to pretend that Downey, Jr. is your friend, to enjoy a large amount of pithy repartee, and to see astounding effects.