Saturday, May 4, 2013

Iron Man 3

Plot: Terrorist 'The Mandarin' (Ben Kingsley) nearly kills a friend of Tony Stark/Iron Man's (Robert Downy Jr) and Tony gets on TV and threatens the Mandarin. Almost immediately the Mandarin destroy's Tony's house and workshop full of Iron Man gear.  Soon Tony is off in Tennessee with a broken down Iron Man suit looking for clues with help from a middle school kid. Meanwhile wife/girlfriend Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) is double-crossed by an old friend and is in danger from the glowing fire-people who are bioengineered stooges for The Mandarin. Tony gets back in the fight with low tech tricks, and then reboots for a final battle. [imdb]    [photos]

Review: In the third installment, the Iron Man schtick is getting familiar, but the writers know that. They overlay three new things in Iron Man three: Tony becomes a less egotistical; that Tony is the hero not his armored suit; and his home life with Pepper. Despite the writer's efforts to freshen the story up, "3" is not as fun as in the first movie, and the drama is not as strong as in the second movie.

Tony does a lot of the movie without it or in a broken down suit and this creates more death-threatening scenes. We see Tony and Pepper's home life, and  Pepper becomes a 2010's feminist ideal -- a high powered exec who can take care of herself. 

A highlight was Tony sparring with the middle school kid in Tennessee and the snarky dialog. As funny as this was, it was something we expected from the egotistical and smug Tony Stark. By the end of the movie, Tony learns not to be such an ego-maniac, and creates a twist in the Iron Man legend.  Robert Downey Jr is a good actor and he gives a great performance again. Gwyneth Paltrow is also good. Villain Ben Kingsley is a comic element and villain Guy Pearce is disappointing. 

A better villain with a better super-power gimmick might have saved Iron Man 3. It is dumb to complain about superpowers that don't make sense, because they never do, but the battle scenes with the fire people aren't very satisfying. The main villain has a back story, but it doesn't seem substantive enough.

There is a floating brain sequence that seems made for 3D. I recommend the 3D glasses. Flying scenes are always good in 3D. 

The end was clever, and I liked the twist in how the bad-guy finally dies.  

Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce

Directed by: Shane Black

Rating: 2.5 stars - a little stale. It has good parts, but not satisfying .

More: It seems clear that this is the end of Robert Downy Jr in Iron Man movies, and the next movie will be a reboot with younger actors. I still expect to see Downy in The Avengers 2. It would be fun to see Gwyneth there too!