The tense climax put it over the top for me. Really inventive action and tension, based almost entirely around long takes, just barely makes up for characters that, despite strong performances, are hampered by an incredibly dumb screenplay that relies on a pretty weak idiot plot.
This movie reinforces the point that being a fun, action-packed summer blockbuster and being thought-provoking, meaningful, ambitious and intelligent are not mutually exclusive (previously made by films such as The Dark Knight). While you might have your own opinion on the level of fun in this film, or the level of ambition, it does solidify that there's no excuse for a lack of aspiration to intelligence in any movie, especially blockbusters.
If you had told me five months ago that at this time this year, my second-favorite film of the year so far would be a teeny tiny indie comedy called "The English Teacher", I would've laughed you right out of the room. But you'd've been right. A style of writing that directly appeals to me--strong, ambiguous characters (played beautifully by Julianne Moore, Greg Kinnear, Michael Angarano and Nathan Lane), David Mamet jokes and strong scenes centered around two people talking in interesting situations--and a fine-line dramatic-comedic tone make this film the most fun I've had in a theater this year since Side Effects. Is it a masterpiece? No. But it's damn good, and it's a shame few people will get the chance to see it.
Pretty freaking awesome. Excellent writing from Shane Black & Drew Pearce, and I was able to forgive the movie for its lackadaisical attitude toward logic, which is always a plus. Fun with interesting themes and smart twists, Iron Man 3 delivered all it was asked to deliver, and more, considering its focus on the character of Tony Stark (the sequences with the kid were absolutely, bar-none, best of the year for me so far). The more I think about the film, the more issues I have with it, but then again, I realize this isn't exactly the kind of movie that asks you to think about it (not that that should ever be an excuse, every movie should aspire to the highest intelligence possible [even the dumb funny ones that I love so dearly], but I digress).
Seeing as this is 2013 and this movie is going to make a billion dollars (insert "you know what's cool? A billion dollars." joke here), the thing is, these big tentpole movies, in the Marvel Universe especially, need to be absolutely bulletproof in terms of theme, dialogue and character, because these are the movies that LITERALLY EVERYONE ON PLANET EARTH IS GOING TO SEE. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is the most powerful pop culture force on the planet at this point in time, and, to quote another Marvel classic, "with great power comes great responsibility". Did Iron Man 3 live up to that responsibility? I think I'll have to see it again to find out... and hopefully, have a devil of a time doing so.