Action, 130 Minutes, 2013
[By way of explanation, this review was written on Sept 19. I may have also sent the spellchecker into a neurotic spiral of depression.]
Ahoy, maties! This be the third picture show in the “Iron Man” series. Comin’ in the roiling wake of “The Avengers” [IMDB] it struggles like a drunkin’ tar heaved overboard. Our rum-soaked sea-dog, Tony Stark, is now bedeviled by panic attacks, insomnia and insecurity after saving the whole of the seven seas from an alien boarding party in New York.
When that scurvy scoundrel, the Mandarin, sends a warning shot over his first mate’s prow Tony decides that maybe a superhero can fight international terrorism without permission. The enemy armada finds his harbor-side shack and sends round after round of grape-shot at his rigging. After a pitched battle the enemy finally shatters his rudder and sends him to Davy Jones’ locker.
I have patches over both eyes so I never did pillage these particular comics but I heard, through cryptic messages scrawled in blood on torn bible pages, that the original crew mutinied over the villain, the Mandarin. Apparently, they punched him right in the belayin’ pin and treated him worse than a three-legged bilge rat.
Tony spends most of his time land-lubbering out of his suit, whining like a merchant captain at the end of a sabre. Eventually, with the help of his very own little Jim Hawkins, he finds the confidence to snatch up his cutlass, load his cannon and rescue his bonnie, (not-so-buxom) beauty. In what must have been a rum-induced haze he does things that he should have done when the sun was breaking over the horizon instead of melting into it. I’ve seen better decisions made by a syphilized sea-dog.
In the end he and his matey, War Machine, haul some keels and set some jibs and then blow up everything, because, why not? The whole voyage is about Tony understanding that he’s a real captain even when he loses his corsair, his crew and his boney, um, “bonny” lass. It’s a fine diversion after a hard day of pillaging but the weakest entry in the series. It’s still “Iron Man”, your timbers will be shivered, but you’ll only ever want to drop anchor once.