Iron Man 3, Blu-ray 3D+2D Blu-ray+DVD+Digital Copy (2013)Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Gweneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce Director: Shane Black Studio: Disney/Buena Vista (9/24/13) Video: 2.40:1 anamorphic/enhanced 1080p HD color 3D Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), French DTS-HD HR 7.1, Spanish: DD 5.1 Subtitles: English, French, Spanish Extras: ‘Deconstructing The Scene: Attack On Air Force One’, Exclusive Behind-The-Scenes Look – ‘Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World’, Marvel’s ‘Iron Man 3 Unmasked’. Gag Reel, Deleted & extended Scenes, Audio Commentary track with Drew Pearce & Shane Black Length: 130 minutes Movie Rating: ***½ 3D Rating: ** Audio Rating: ****
Iron Man 3 is a fun romp through the Marvel Universe of comic book characters brought to the screen in loud and action-filled festivals of destruction. This third entry in the Iron Man series brings a bit more wit, a bit more humor, and a lot of self-referential scripting. The tone is a bit over the top. While watching it felt like the banter in a Lethal Weapon movie and guess what? One of the writers (also the director), Shane Black, did the Lethal Weapon scripts.
The plot concerns Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) chasing a terrorist called the Mandarin. There are the usual blind alleys and surprises, but there are plenty of action scenes and an epic destruction of Stark’s Malibu headquarters. Ben Kingsley as the fake Mandarin is hilarious.
Of course these films are dopey, and Stark is constantly thrown around in a way that would cause instant death in the real world. Instead, he is more like the coyote in the Road Runner cartoons, taking a bruising but he keeps on cruising.
Stark spends a lot of the film outside of the Iron Man suit, so there is more time for character-driven scenes. There is even a flashback to show Stark before he became Iron Man. Gweneth Paltrow, is, well, Gweneth Paltrow.
The film looks great in 2D, and we are at the point where films look almost perfect. The 3D is another matter. The film was a little late in the game conversion, and the film was not planned for 3D. That’s usually a clue that the 3D will be less than spectacular, and that’s the case here. There is some shallow depth in some scenes, and debris and ashes seem to hover in front of the screen, but for the most part, the 3D is forgettable and mainly serves to make the picture somewhat darker.
Audio is a happier story. The 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix is excellent, with plenty of low frequencies, an active surround presentation, yet dialogue is always clear. Directional effects are frequent, and there is nothing to fault audio-wise. If the 3D image had been better, this would be a demonstration disc. With the 2D picture, it is closer to that level.
Iron Man 3 is a sparkling production with wit and the big action set pieces that define the genre. It’s not deep, but it’s good fun. And you can skip the 3D version and save some money.