Reviewed by Kevin Finnerty
“I’m not afraid of you. You’re a coward. No politics here, just good old fashioned revenge,” says Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) in a media blitz to the terrorist known as The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) after an attack has left a close friend of Tony’s on the critical list in the hospital in the third entry in the superhero series Iron Man 3.
In Iron Man 3, Tony is still recovering from the epic battle in New York in which he and the rest of the Avengers saved the world from certain doom. Finding it almost impossible to sleep and constantly worried about keeping the love of his life, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), safe, Stark is beginning to suffer from panic attacks and his judgment is impaired. This is never more evident than when Tony stands up to a new terrorist named The Mandarin on national television and even gives out his home address in case The Mandarin feels man enough to come find him. So it’s no surprise when Pepper and Tony, while getting ready to leave for a safe get-away spot, are attacked by helicopters and missiles sent at the direction of The Mandarin to destroy Stark’s home. Barely able to save Pepper and an unexpected guest, Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall), who’s convinced her boss is working for The Mandarin, Tony plummets to the ocean’s depths in his new Iron Man outfit along with half of his home and is believed to be dead.
With his home in ruins and almost all his weapons, suits, and devices destroyed, Tony sets out in the one semi-functioning Iron Man suit he has on to track down all those involved with the attack and find The Mandarin to stop him once and for all before he murders anyone else.
Directed by Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), Iron Man 3 is a fun, jam-packed action film which does not surpass the first movie in the series but is a worthy sequel. It has some very impressive action scenes including an air rescue. Tony as Iron Man flies out of a disabled AIR FORCE ONE to save 13 passengers who’ve been sucked out and are quickly falling to their deaths – with Jarvis (Paul Bettany) informing him can only carry four. It’s sure to have the audience near the edge of their seats to see how Tony will save them all, if he can.
Robert Downey Jr. is once again perfect as the billionaire, genius, former playboy-turned-superhero Tony Stark who’s beginning for the first time to feel the true weight of responsibility and fear of losing those he truly cares about. It’s his performance that elevates the Iron Man films to a higher level. Gwyneth Paltrow is solid as Pepper Potts, the CEO of Stark Enterprises and Tony’s true love. It’s unfortunate she’s given little to do in the second half of the film but be a trapped and concerned damsel in distress. Ben Kingsley is the best surprise in the film as the new villain who seems to be unstoppable and determined to destroy Tony and another famous American at all costs. The few comedic scenes Kingsley has as the audience gets to see a different, lighter side of the character The Mandarin are eye-opening and very funny.
A problem with the film is a few of the action scenes, especially the big battle near the end of the film, where some of the camera work is so hectic and the action too fast that the audience will have a hard time making out just who is fighting who. The film’s 3D is another weakness because at no time will the audience feel as though the explosions are coming at them or feel as though they’re flying up in the sky with Iron Man. It’s an absolute waste of money to spend the extra three to five dollars for the non-3D effect.
Exciting and entertaining, Iron Man 3 has exactly what fans of the franchise have come to expect from their superhero and definitely kicks off the summer movie season with a blast.
Iron Man 3 opens in theaters on May 3, 2013 and is rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief suggestive content.
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