For Tony Stark, (Robert Downey Jr.), life has become very complicated for the self-proclaimed genius, philanthropist, billionaire, and playboy. In the new film “Iron Man 3”, Stark is wracked by insomnia and dread following the battle he waged to save New York in “The Avengers”.
Stark throws himself into his work and endlessly creates new Iron Man suits as well as system upgrades which currently have him at the Mark 42 version which is a huge jump from the Mark VII I was last seen in which was itself a prototype.
When a terrorist named The Mandarin (Sir Ben Kingsley), has unleashed a series of bizarre bombings on the world and has opening challenged the President (William Sadler), Stark is caught up in his own fears, most notably protecting his beloved Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow).
When his friend Happy (John Farveau) is caught in an explosion, Stark openly challenges the Mandarin which results in a devastating helicopter upon Stark and Potts. With the world thinking he has died, Stark sets out to stop the Mandarin at all costs and find a way to battle his inner demons and fears to save the ones he loves and do what he knows is right.
The movie is big on laughs and character as we see a more well-rounded Stark this time out. He is haunted by demons of his past yet committed to improving himself and doing what is right. The film takes a bit of time to get up to speed, but thanks to Downey’s performance you maintain your interest as you are always waiting for what he will do next as he is in total command of the character and never lets the quirks or humor of his situation overshadow his humanity or undermine his performance.
I would have liked to have seen Downey is his armor more kicking butt and taking names, but thankfully the finale is very enjoyable. The converted 3D in the film is very good as although I am not a fan of 3D conversions this was the best I have seen to date as ash, snow, and debris did seem to float into the audience the way it does in films that are shot properly in the new 3D technology.
The supporting cast for the film is very strong especially Kingsley and Guy Pearce and I enjoyed the effort that Writer/Director Shane Black put into allowing the characters time to grow. I was a bit disappointed that Don Cheadle was not given a lot to do in his role especially when playing Iron Patriot/War Machine. The battle at the end of “Iron Man 2” where he and Iron Man took on legions of bad guys had me hoping for more this time out.
That being said, this is a very enjoyable summer movie that shows the franchise is not slowing down or taking the easy road out. There has been discussion that Downey Jr. may step away after the next Avengers film but hopefully that is not to be the case as I could not imagine another actor capturing the role as perfectly as he has.
Following a bonus post credits scene, we are told in the best James Bond style that Tony Stark will return, and you can bet legions of fans will be waiting.
4 stars out of 5.
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