I didn’t feel the need to rush out my review of this film because A) I was still in my last week of nursing school and should’ve been studying and B) this movie was going to do gangbusters and people were going to see it regardless of whether or not I wrote a review saying “see it” or “don’t see it” haha.
My history with the Iron Man movies is rocky at best. I loved Iron Man the first time I saw it in theaters but it didn’t hold up as well as I thought it would on repeat viewings. Iron Man 2 was more of the same, didn’t really like it as much as I thought I would from the previews. I’d give the first a 7/10 and the second a 6/10. I had much higher hopes for Iron Man 3 simply because they enlisted Shane Black to write and direct it. I absolutely adored his directorial debut Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (which if you haven’t seen, fuck is wrong with you? lol go see it now!) and Black has written some of the most adored action films of the 80’s and 90’s.
If I had to choose, I would say that Iron Man 3 is the best of the series, but it is certainly not without its flaws. Now I don’t mean to sound like a goon but the action in this film is INSANEEEEEE. Shane Black finally makes an Iron Man movie with a kick ass final action set piece. The two separate mansion sequences have a number of innovative moments - something I highly cherish in action movies. I love it when I see something I’ve never seen before in a movie.
There has been a lot of controversy over the liberties Black takes with Iron Man canon, but I have to say that I didn’t find that to be a problem whatsoever. I thought it was great that a blockbuster film could truly surprise me and the reimagining of comic book lore was refreshing. I love the fact that Black was able to surprise filmgoers worldwide and that a superhero movie finally took some risks that other filmmakers wouldn’t dare make because they’re scared of fanboy reactions. I’ve always been a firm believer in “change whatever you feel you need to in order to make a better movie”. What’s the point of sticking to the source material if it makes for a poorer movie? Cut or change what’s unnecessary or outdated and make the best movie you can. If a change to a beloved property leads to a better story then I’m all for that.
My biggest problem with the film is that most of the side characters are pointless with weak character motivations. Happy, Pepper Potts, Rhodes, whatever the hell Rebecca Hall’s character’s name was, the main villain’s number two option, etc. are all basically useless in this movie. They don’t drive the story forward or have interesting backstories that detail their motivations.
Once again Don Cheadle is terrible in the role of War Machine/Iron Patriot and barely factors in the movie at all. I hate to bring up my Iron Man 2 criticisms in my Iron Man 3 review but Cheadle has just never suited (no pun intended) the role. 5 years later and I still wish they kept Terrence Howard as Colonel Rhodes because he had a ton of chemistry despite the similarly limited amount of screentime that Cheadle had. Howard made the role work and brought out the best in the Stark/Rhodes relationship. Just that one scene where Terrence Howard’s Rhodes finds Tony Stark in the desert in the first Iron Man movie and that look he gives him is more powerful emotionally than anything Don Cheadle has done in two films.
I was so excited that Rebecca Hall, one of my favorite actresses, was cast in Iron Man 3, but she’s absolutely worthless in this movie. She basically does nothing in this film. She’s in it for about 10-15 minutes and does nothing to progress the plot or develop the themes. And for those who say she does factor into the whole ethical science theme, then it was poorly implemented/explored to say the least.
The number one goon for the villain was just so bad. Just look at Jai Courtney’s character in Jack Reacher if you want to see a number two who has precious little screentime but gives a great performance by squeezing out every moment that he has. James Dale Badge is just flat out uninteresting and you might as well have had a completely CGI stand in put in place because that would’ve been just as convincing.
The rest of my problems of the movie lie in the very last 5-10 minutes and I’ll get into that in the SPOILERS section below the “read more” break.
Iron Man 3 is a damn fun time at the theater. With superhero films getting “darker” and “grittier” (two words I’ve heard a million times to describe movies these days) it’s nice that we can get one that has its serious moments, but still remembers that we love reading comics about superheroes because they’re so much fun. I’m not going to say “see it” because with already 1.1 billion dollars in the bank the odds are you’ve probably already seen it. However, if you haven’t seen it yet, it is definitely worth checking out in theaters.
A couple of things I want to discuss that get into spoilers, so SPOILERS for Iron Man 3 after the “read more” break!Read more
IRON MAN 3 TEASER TRAILER!!! LET’S GO!!!
“You don’t get it, do you? This isn’t “good cop, bad cop.” This is fag and New Yorker. You’re in a lot of trouble.”
^ Love that line haha.
Nice! If only Iron Man 3 could be rated R so we could see Ben Kingsley get his Sexy Beast on for this movie. I would kill to see an Iron Man movie with Kingsley going ape shit on Tony Stark LOL.
“You don’t get it, do you? This isn’t good cop, bad cop. This is fag and New Yorker.”
I generally enjoyed the first Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes film that came out in 2009. While it had a ton of flaws and was lightweight on the detective work, it was still a fun popcorn flick and I thought that the Downey/Law chemistry as Holmes/Watson was pitch perfect. The first film was a huge success so of course they immediately greenlit a sequel. Would the sequel improve upon the negatives of the first and deliver the same goods that made the first such a crowd pleaser?
Unfortunately, this is probably one of the most brainless movies I’ve seen in a long time. There is very little going on in the intellectual department of this film. This film suffers from even more of the problems from the first film which was too much action and not enough detective work. Off the top of my head I think there were about 6 or 7 action set pieces and while they were fun to watch at times, they became tedious, repetitive, and tiresome very quickly.
On a popcorn “turn off your brain” level Sherlock Holmes 2 is a fun romp. This movie is unfortunately what you get when you let Hollywood run rampant with the “Sherlock Holmes” name: a ton of action and barely any detective work.
Guy Ritchie kind of goes off the wall with his trademark use of rapid editing and insane slow motion. I thought his direction was one of the weaker parts of the first, but in this one he goes all out (for better and for worse). I dug the fact that they used “Holmes vision” more than twice (which was all they did for the first film). The action set piece in the woods was pretty phenomenal stuff. I’m very surprised that Warner Bros. didn’t force Ritchie to shoot in 3D, because that set piece would have been INSANE in 3D the way that he was zooming in and out of the woods and the way that the depth of the field/focus was employed. Many times the direction was completely headache inducing though. Rapid cuts with about 30 different shots all in order will do that to you. This film did seem to bear more of Guy Ritchie’s personality than the first film, whether you enjoy that or not is up to you.
What I disliked the most about this film, besides the fact that it felt really dumb, was how impersonal the whole affair seemed. The action of this film could have really driven the plot forward had they established a greater emotional connection between the characters at hand. Instead it sort of just feels like we’re trying to create an excuse for the next action set piece.
The detective work in this film is a joke. At least in the first film they go around and inspect environments for clues and try to piece the mystery together. In this movie Sherlock Holmes literally just looks at some stuff, cut to close up of item, and then later on in the movie he explains the relevance of it. That is on some National Treasure “the protagonist knows everything but you don’t” bullshit, and it doesn’t make for a compelling mystery because you can’t put those clues together yourself. The evidence he brings into play all require additional knowledge that the audience simply doesn’t have. The first film’s detective elements were weak as well, but at least they kept us informed about what each clue meant and didn’t just save it for later explanations.
Every character outside of Holmes and Watson feels wasted. Well, Jared Harris actually has some really nice moments as Moriarty, but other than that no one else in this film mattered. Noomi Rapace was merely okay as the female sidekick. Her character doesn’t really add anything to the film and while her performance wasn’t bad, it wasn’t anything noteworthy. Oh yeah, Stephen Fry does get to have some comedic relief moments, which was nice.
This film is basically the Bad Boys II of this Sherlock Holmes series. I love Bad Boys II unabashedly for the insane action, but almost everything else about it is stupid and I can fully admit that. Sherlock Holmes 2 takes everything from the first film and amps it up. More Downey/Law bromance, more insane editing/slow motion, more ridiculous action, and even less intellect than the previous film.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is a crowd pleasing popcorn film, but I was certainly expecting much more than just mindless action and explosions from a film calling itself “Sherlock Holmes.” If you go in with the notion that this is just a fun flick to turn your brain off to, I think that you will find a lot to enjoy as I did, but if you go in expecting something more in the vein of Sherlock Holmes and detective work you will be very disappointed.
Downey in Tropic Thunder is so freakin’ CLASSIC!
This and In The Loop are probably my favorite comedies from the aughts. Robert Downey Jr. got an Academy Award nomination for a straight up comedy, when has that EVER happened?
Edit: Forgot about Anchorman! The second best PG-13 comedy after Dumb & Dumber.
Just watched this movie again for the first time in a while… I saw it in theaters and Chris let me borrow it one time last Fall and I watched it with my ‘rents. I picked it up last week b/c the Blu-ray/DVD combo set was only 8 bucks at Target. I have to say that the movie still holds up as a fun romp.
I love Guy Ritchie’s first two films, Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. Out of respect for those two films I didn’t watch Swept Away or Revolver, both of which were destroyed by critics and audiences alike. I really dug 2008’s RocknRolla, even though critics weren’t as smitten with it. I remember thinking it was kind of odd that Guy Ritchie was tackling a new adaptation of Sherlock Holmes because he’s really only done good London gangster films with interweaving storylines.
The main strengths of the film are the excellent score by Hans Zimmer (how many times do you hear that?), the two fantastic leads of Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock and Jude Law as Watson, and the overall sense of fun that the movie has. It’s a nice light-hearted film that is extremely enjoyable.
Without Downey and Law though, this movie would completely fall apart. I love the banter between the two of them; the bromance is just so damn palpable. You really see that Watson is basically all that Holmes has and how he thinks that Watson’s impending marriage is going to potentially doom their relationship. You get the sense that these guys are two best buds who go back a long way and would do anything for the other. Like I said, the bromance is just burning through the screen haha.
As far as the sequel which is wrapping up, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, which is set for a December 2011 release, I’m definitely excited to see the Downey/Law duo back in action. The addition of Noomi Rapace is interesting because I’ve heard nothing but good things about her acting abilities. It’s a little disappointing that the Brad Pitt as Moriarty rumors weren’t true. How amazing would it have been to see Brad Pitt and Guy Ritchie team up again after Snatch? Mickey was easily one of Brad Pitt’s best performances ever, and considering his extensive filmography, that’s saying something.
If you want to read my thoughts on Rachel McAdams in the film, hit “read more” because I kind of delve into minor spoilers for the sequel.Read more
TOP 5 RDJ MOVIES
#1 Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (2005) - KKBB is three things: my favorite RDJ movie, his funniest one and where he’s more attractive. Plus, it was the first time I even noticed him, so this movie was the beginning of everything, haha.
“Thanks for coming, please stay for the end credits, if you’re wondering who the best boy is, it’s somebody’s nephew, um, don’t forget to validate your parking, and to all you good people in the Midwest, sorry we said fuck so much”.
Harry: Still gay?
Gay Perry: Me? Nooooo, I’m knee deep in pussy. I just like the name so much I can’t get rid of it.