Kernel Rating (out of 5):
MPAA Rating: PG-13 Length: 130 minutes
Age Appropriate for: 13+. Marvel superhero films have always been a bit goofy, even as they’re violent, so the same mix goes on here. There’s certainly a lot of violence—explosions, shootings, fistfights, machine guns annihilating a home, discussion of suicide, bodies burning to a crisp—but it’s not graphic or grotesque. There’s also some discussion of terrorism and bombings, brief moments of dead bodies, and an assassination shown on television. Also some cursing, drinking, discussion of drug use, and sexuality, including women in their underwear and in bikinis, some kissing, and an implied one-night stand.
‘Iron Man 3’ kicks off this year’s superhero films with a good amount of excitement and character depth, solid pacing and an unexpected twist, a few different action scenes that really work and a worthwhile villain. And yet, something about this film feels underwhelming—like Marvel is just treading water until it’s time for ‘The Avengers 2.’
By Roxana Hadadi
It’s funny how your own opinions change. Three years ago, I was so pumped for “Iron Man 2”—which now, I certainly consider the worst in the trilogy with Robert Downey Jr.—but back then I actually walked away from that movie truly, sincerely liking it. You can check out my old review; I honestly wrote that “‘Iron Man 2’ deserves all the eyes it can get.” What was wrong with me?! Was I in some kind of RDJ-induced haze? Did his snarky one-liners and never-ending sarcasm hypnotize me? If so, that would explain a lot, actually.
But, in reality, if you revisited “Iron Man” and “Iron Man 2” this week to prepare for “Iron Man 3,” then you’ll notice how disappointing that 2010 film is; I couldn’t even recite the plot back to you right now if I tried. So among that spectrum, certainly this summer’s “Iron Man 3” is superior—it has one of Iron Man’s most impactful villains, it has a good dynamic between Iron Man and his various accomplices, it spends a good amount of time probing the emotional turmoil of Tony Stark’s life. RDJ is fantastic; Gwyneth Paltrow gets some solid character development for her role as Pepper Potts, Tony’s girlfriend; Ben Kingsley and Guy Pearce are delights. So many good elements are there.