In The Avengers, Steve Rogers once asked the beloved Iron Man Tony Stark “Big man in a suit of armor. Take that off, what are you?” In true Stark style, Tony replied, “Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist.” Now Stark faces a terror that will make him rethink the answer. Can Stark single-handedly start the 2013 summer movie season off with a bang? All will be revealed as Stark faces his biggest challenge to date as Robert Downey Jr. suits up one more time in IRON MAN 3.
Iron Man 3 starts off with a flashback at a NYE Party at the dawn of the new millennium where he’s wooing Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall), a geneticist who has invented a treatment that allows people to recover from their injuries. At the same time, he snubs another scientist, Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) who wants Tony to join him at his company. These two people will set the series of events to come. In the present day, our genius billionaire turned superhero is suffering from a series of anxiety attacks since he saved the world from the Chitauri in last year’s blockbuster, The Avengers. Stark now spends his time building and improving the Iron Man suits. He has left the control of his company to his girlfriend Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and saving the world to his best friend Col. James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) who redubbed the War Machine as the Iron Patriot.
Meanwhile, a international terrorist known as The Mandarin (Sir Ben Kingsley) claims responsibility for a string of bombings in public places to attract the attention of the government. When Stark’s buddy Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) is caught in an attack in L.A., Stark seeks revenge and issues a televised threat directly to The Mandarin. The rest of the movie shows the inevitable war between Stark and The Mandarin’s henchmen.
IM3 turns the typical superhero movie on its ear by displaying a tale of action, humor and brilliant character development. Director Shane Black, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Drew Pearce, brings us an Iron Man who must overcome the challenges of the prototype suit that malfunctions and personal emotions in order to succeed and take down the heavies. While it’s easy to show that superheroes are nearly invincible and can save the day without breaking a sweat, our superheroes are more human than ever before and have to make the difficult choices that affect all of those around him.
The acting in Iron Man 3 is fantastic. There is no shortage of talent here. Downey Jr. has given his best performance to date. Stark started out as a brash pompous billionaire who we hate and love when he becomes the hero in the first film. By the third, we grew to love Stark as he brings the heart, the fragility and the force that is Iron Man. Downey Jr. has captured our hearts and here’s hoping he puts on the suit once more.
Paltrow’s Potts finally has a voice in this film, especially when she puts on the suit to save Tony’s life at one point. Seeing her get involved in the action made the movie more enjoyable. Both the villains of IM3 are well played. Kingsley’s performance as The Mandarin did send chills up my spine, but that was not the only reaction he provoked. You will see what I mean. While Pearce’s performance was intimidating, I did occasionally find that the things that Aldrich did redundant.
If Iron Man 3 ends the franchise, then it did a fantastic job! A great start to the summer and one film I will declare A MUST SEE. IM3 would have a higher grade, but putting it in 3D just didn’t add anything to my movie-watching. Go see it in IMAX or 2D instead.
FINAL GRADE: A