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'Iron Man 3' falls short of past editions

By Josh Crawford
On April 2, 2013

  • Gloria James becomes the face of Cleveland after buying the Cavs. Graphic by Jaclyn Seymour

Marvel hasn't had an easy time with their movies as of late. Following the disappointing "Thor" and the mediocre "Captain America," many wondered just how bad "The Avengers" could be. The answer, sadly, was truly awful. "The Avengers," as I'm sure many would agree, was quite possibly the worst superhero movie of the last decade and my pick for the single worst movie of 2012. There was absolutely nothing to like - the characters were uninteresting, the plot was completely incomprehensible. After stepping out of the theater following that atrocity, I was confident that Marvel had hit its lowest point and that never again would I be forced to suffer through a film like that. Then came "Iron Man 3."
The film follows Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) as he is stripped of everything he holds dear by the menacing Mandarin (Ben Kingsley). With the Avengers separated, Stark has almost no one to fall back on and must try to overcome the threat all on his own. Gwyneth Paltrow, Jon Favreau, Don Cheadle and Guy Pearce also star, with the former three reprising their roles from "Iron Man 2."
"Iron Man 3," once again, proves that Marvel can surprise. I'm quite confident that I've never had a film make me cry at its sheer lack of quality until now. Absolutely everything about this film is wrong.
To start, this is easily the lowest point of Robert Downey, Jr.'s career. His performance is so overly dramatic that it makes you laugh even during the film's saddest scenes. A scene depicting Stark-picking flowers in a field for his girlfriend appeared to be straight out of a spoof of "The Sound of Music."
However, the biggest fault performance-wise comes from the Mandarin, as over an hour into the film he suddenly starts a nearly 5-minute long impromptu musical number that completely eliminates any iota of menacing evil that he was starting to develop. It was so out of place that I began to look around the theater to see if anyone else had the same reaction, and believe me, nearly everyone did.
Unfortunately, the film's shortcomings and oddities don't end there. Not even close. The visual effects are a sight to behold in that they appear to be largely incomplete. It's as if the effects in the trailers for the film were polished, but no one thought to finish the effects of the actual 'completed' film.
Colors don't match, the water effects are laughable and there's even an entire scene toward the film's climax that contains Stark and the Mandarin staring each other down in front of a green screen. There's no excuse for that.
After the box office success of "The Avengers," it appears that Marvel feels that they don't even have to try any more. "Iron Man 3" is a complete disaster in every sense of the word and doesn't bode well for the future of Marvel movies, if there was even a halfway decent future to look forward to before now. The only reason that I don't give this film an "F" is because the musical number was so unexpected that it made me chuckle a bit. But in all seriousness, do not see this film. Ever.
Grade: D-

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