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Lumbering Man

More metal mancrush

Iron Man 3: “Yeah, the old couch clashed with the suit.”
Iron Man 3: “Yeah, the old couch clashed with the suit.”
Movie

Iron Man 3 *

thumbnail

A hot mess. <em>Iron Man 3</em> does what a third installment tends to do: revisit the themes of the first (personal failings giving rise to public disasters), make everything bigger and more complicated, and then deliver some kind of grand resolution. And while director Shane Black brings a manic energy to the franchise that more than matches star Robert Downey Jr.’s twitchy performance, it’s not enough to overcome the lumbering bloat. Black is aiming to leave you dazzled, satisfied, and maybe just a little wiser; you’re more likely to leave punch-drunk, exhausted, and maybe just a little puzzled. Lots of stuff happens in the film's world, but all that matters is what's going on inside Tony Stark: an existential crisis following a near-death experience in The Avengers. Everything else exists to help him get his groove back. Hooray for narcissism. With Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, Ben Kingsley, and Don Cheadle.

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Iron Man 3 is, like its hero Tony Stark at the outset and Stark’s girlfriend Pepper Potts at another point in the story, a hot mess. It does what third installments tend to do: revisit the themes of the first, but make everything bigger and more complicated, and then deliver some kind of grand resolution. And while director Shane Black brings a manic energy to the franchise that more than matches star Robert Downey Jr.’s twitchy performance, it’s not enough to overcome the lumbering bloat. He’s aiming to leave you dazzled, satisfied, and maybe just a little wiser; you’re more likely to leave punch-drunk, exhausted, and maybe just a little puzzled.

“We create our own demons,” intones Tony Stark at the outset, right before we’re treated to a spicier version of the setup for Pixar’s The Incredibles. There, a youthful version of Mr. Incredible ditches a wannabe superhero in order to get to his wedding; here, a youthful version of Tony Stark ditches a wannabe genius in order to bang a botanist. In both cases, super-villainy ensues as a result.

But that’s not the real trouble. The real trouble is that Stark is having an existential crisis after nearly dying in The Avengers. He can’t sleep. Just mentioning New York is enough to bring on anxiety attacks. To cope, he tinkers endlessly with his distractions — the super-suits that are threatening to take over his persona. (In one creepy scene, he asks Pepper to plant a kiss on the faceplate of a suit he’s operating from another room.)

Salvation comes in the form of a crisis: the bad guys take out his house and his lab, and he’s left holed up in a Tennessee garage with a cute and clever little boy. This provides Stark with both a target for his witticisms — “Dads leave, that’s what they do. Don’t be a pussy about it” — and a source for the recovery of first principles. The little boy — like Pepper, like bodyguard-buddy Happy in a coma, like fellow Iron Man James Rhodes, and even like the villain — serves a purpose: to help Tony Stark get his groove back. And how can you tell that Stark is a better, happier man by the end? Because he tells you so.

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Iron Man 3: “Yeah, the old couch clashed with the suit.”
Iron Man 3: “Yeah, the old couch clashed with the suit.”
Movie

Iron Man 3 *

thumbnail

A hot mess. <em>Iron Man 3</em> does what a third installment tends to do: revisit the themes of the first (personal failings giving rise to public disasters), make everything bigger and more complicated, and then deliver some kind of grand resolution. And while director Shane Black brings a manic energy to the franchise that more than matches star Robert Downey Jr.’s twitchy performance, it’s not enough to overcome the lumbering bloat. Black is aiming to leave you dazzled, satisfied, and maybe just a little wiser; you’re more likely to leave punch-drunk, exhausted, and maybe just a little puzzled. Lots of stuff happens in the film's world, but all that matters is what's going on inside Tony Stark: an existential crisis following a near-death experience in The Avengers. Everything else exists to help him get his groove back. Hooray for narcissism. With Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, Ben Kingsley, and Don Cheadle.

Find showtimes

Iron Man 3 is, like its hero Tony Stark at the outset and Stark’s girlfriend Pepper Potts at another point in the story, a hot mess. It does what third installments tend to do: revisit the themes of the first, but make everything bigger and more complicated, and then deliver some kind of grand resolution. And while director Shane Black brings a manic energy to the franchise that more than matches star Robert Downey Jr.’s twitchy performance, it’s not enough to overcome the lumbering bloat. He’s aiming to leave you dazzled, satisfied, and maybe just a little wiser; you’re more likely to leave punch-drunk, exhausted, and maybe just a little puzzled.

“We create our own demons,” intones Tony Stark at the outset, right before we’re treated to a spicier version of the setup for Pixar’s The Incredibles. There, a youthful version of Mr. Incredible ditches a wannabe superhero in order to get to his wedding; here, a youthful version of Tony Stark ditches a wannabe genius in order to bang a botanist. In both cases, super-villainy ensues as a result.

But that’s not the real trouble. The real trouble is that Stark is having an existential crisis after nearly dying in The Avengers. He can’t sleep. Just mentioning New York is enough to bring on anxiety attacks. To cope, he tinkers endlessly with his distractions — the super-suits that are threatening to take over his persona. (In one creepy scene, he asks Pepper to plant a kiss on the faceplate of a suit he’s operating from another room.)

Salvation comes in the form of a crisis: the bad guys take out his house and his lab, and he’s left holed up in a Tennessee garage with a cute and clever little boy. This provides Stark with both a target for his witticisms — “Dads leave, that’s what they do. Don’t be a pussy about it” — and a source for the recovery of first principles. The little boy — like Pepper, like bodyguard-buddy Happy in a coma, like fellow Iron Man James Rhodes, and even like the villain — serves a purpose: to help Tony Stark get his groove back. And how can you tell that Stark is a better, happier man by the end? Because he tells you so.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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