Posted by: greercn | April 28, 2013

Iron Man 3

“Iron Man 3” fizzes with spectacular effects, a very funny and snappy script and superb performances.

Robert Downey Jr puts in a genuinely excellent turn as Tony Stark, aka Iron Man.

Terrorists are threatening the world so Iron Man has to save it, one more time. Does he succeed? If so, at what cost?

Based on a set of Marvel Comics Iron Man stories from 2005-6, the plot hangs together nicely. It features the Extremis strand, edited and reassembled.

Don Cheadle’s role as Iron Patriot is a hoot and enhances the story and the emotion here.

Gwyneth Paltrow and Rebecca Hall both look very pretty and have personalities, but they are traditional girls, with just a smidgen of modern attitude thrown in. Yes, they stand by their men.

Ben Kingsley steals every scene he’s in and Guy Pearce – who channels the young Val Kilmer in quite a distinct and physical performance – both enhance the film greatly.

Kingsley’s villain, Mandarin, mixes up Osama Bin Laden, Fu Manchu and ageing rock star dude, all in one gleeful and bravura performance.

Ty Simpkins as cute kid Harley has a fabulous future as a child star who isn’t annoying.

Stan Lee’s cameo is here too, as the host of a beauty pageant. Feminist readers, look away during this bit.

The stunts, explosions and weapons are all very superior as is the layered 3D. The 3D comes into its own during the big set pieces, but serves to only make the movie look physically dark during the (few) slower bits. If Bruce Willis were here, he would take out those pesky helicopters.

Shane Black brings the engaging style he added to the first two “Lethal Weapon” films and directs this crisply and with style.

Yes, the various ideas of “does the suit wear the man or vice versa” are flirted with. But this is an action movie, with a tiny bit of philosophy that won’t trouble your sleep. It’s just the most enormous fun and really worth seeing, even if you’ve skipped the first two “Iron Man” movies.

Stratford East Picturehouse was packed with very happy people. You can tell they are happy, because the phones are off and they are quiet.

Stay right through the credits and see the very last bit of the film. Really, it’s worth sitting through all those lists of people and locations.

If Iron Man sequels go on being this good, I look forward to “Iron Man 42”. In many ways, “3” tops “Avengers Assemble” as the definitive Marvel movie.

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