HOLLYWOOD—Its been several years since the dismal “Iron Man 2” which came and went. Audiences can now expect full-redemption from the franchise in “Iron Man 3” which provides the audience a darker tone than what they have expected in the past. Is it “The Dark Knight” not even close, but the allure to make Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) a bit more humane is a welcome change for the series?
The picture has a clever opening, flashing back to 1999 at a holiday celebration. Stark foreshadows a bit his bad boy ways and we’re introduced to a slew of characters that will play pivotal roles in the current day. Notably Dr. Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall), a botanist and former flame of Mr. Stark, as well as Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), brilliant scientist that develops a virus that helps regenerate limbs. There’s just one problem, Tony isn’t to keen on learning about the project.
Fast-forward to the present, where are hero is suffering from some vivid nightmares, ones that force him to keep himself awake working on various Iron Man prototypes. This doesn’t make is lover and assistant Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) too happy. Paltrow does indeed portray a much more active role in this installment, not only is she the love interest and BFF to Stark, she is a huge emotional arc of the picture; she is the reason Tony does what he does.
"Iron Man 3."
As the plot progresses, the world is on edge thanks to terrorist threats from The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley). A villain who may not appear what the audience thinks at first. His presence early on is quite menacing, but Kingsley isn’t allowed to develop the villain to be more sinister than what he is initially thought to be. The movie keeps a pretty stellar pace, compared to previous installments by getting the audience hooked very early on.
Within the first 30 minutes and onslaught takes place at Tony Stark’s home that is mind-blowing, explosive and downright thrilling to watch on the screen. Aldrich is quite cozy with Potts who is surprised to see her old friend asking for help from Stark industries once again. One would say that Tony is a bit jealous to see someone else after his one true love. Pearce is indeed a force to be reckoned with as a villain apart of The Mandarin’s master plan. What fans continue to love about Tony Stark is his ability to take himself seriously, but not to seriously. He’s the guy we can see ourselves have a conversation with. The visuals are as mind-blowing as one could expect in a Marvel picture. Tons of gunfire, unbelievable stunts and more Iron Man machines than one can expect; its action done at its best.
Writers Drew Pearce and Shane Black continue to infuse that comedic sarcasm that has made Robert Downey Jr. a staple. No other actor in my opinion can come even close to doing what Robert does with the character; it’s symbolic. Black also helms the director’s chair presenting a well-balanced tale of comedy, action and heart. I will admit I became a bit worried with the absence of Colonel Rhodes (Don Cheadle), but when he makes his appearance its well worth the wait and he brings tons of firepower along with him.
“Iron Man 3” tells the audience that even the most confident people in the world have vulnerabilities. They may not expose them openly to the world, but they do exist and we all are willing to above and beyond to protect those things. The picture does allude in TV spots and trailers to a much darker element, which is not the case. There are laughs and thrills along the way, but it’s a picture to be enjoyed by the entire family from its tense opening to its satisfying end. Indeed a welcome installment in the franchise.