Movie Review: 'Iron Man 3' -- 3.5 stars
Iron Man 3
Directed by Shane Black
Starring Robert Downney Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pierce, Ben Kingsley
There’s a moment when you’re watching the latest installment of Marvel Comics’ “Iron Man” superhero franchise when you realize that Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is not really wearing the Iron Man armor that often. And you’re totally fine with that.
That’s the power of Downey Jr.’s performance and a testament to the character of Tony Stark. This match made in heaven of actor and role especially shines in this third “Iron Man” film. We get to experience interactions among Tony and his girlfriend Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow); his former bodyguard Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau, who, directed the first two films); think tank big brain Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce); and buddy and fellow armored hero Colonel James Rhodes (Don Cheadle), who now wears a red, white and blue painted version of his War Machine armor rebranded as the Iron Patriot.
But while you’re getting fun, jovial banter with Stark and pretty much everyone he shares even a moment of screen time with, “Iron Man 3” also features some heart-pounding action sequences that show off superb choreography as well as a legitimate sense of terror and suspense. Director and co-writer Shane Black, who is best known for his screenplay to “Lethal Weapon,” reunites with Downey Jr., whom he worked with on “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” the underrated comic mystery that Black wrote and directed. The duo continues to work well together.
After previously facing off against another armored villain, a whip-wielding loony, a Norse god and aliens, “Iron Man 3” pits the armored Avenger against the more real-world threat of global terrorist The Mandarin (a charismatic Ben Kingsley). We’re not going to reveal any spoilers, but the plot features Iron Man trying to stop a series of seemingly random bombings by the bearded psychopath, made all the more terrifying in the wake of the real-world Boston Marathon bombings.