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Film Review – Iron Man 3

Director: Shane Black
Screenplay: Drew Pierce
Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Palthrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pierce, Ty Simpkins
Genre: Action
Rating: ***
Venue Ster Kinekor Maerua Mall Cine 4

Ever wondered how Iron Man would function without his slit-eyed helmet , head lamp, breast plate and all the metal arm and leg chunks that he wears? Well finally we have the answer in Iron Man 3. A tired and anxiety stricken Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr) world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin. Armed with nothing more than his wit and cockiness Stark goes on a personal mission to defeat the villain.
When I first heard that there will be an Iron Man 3, my thoughts were – oh no! Not another sequel, they always get things wrong when they keep prolonging movies. I was very skeptical and did not know what to expect. I hoped for greatness, something better than the first installments of the movie and boy did I get all that I hoped for and more.
If ever the was a recipe for a great action movie, this is it. Sheer perfection of action, comedy, adventure, Marvel comic book hero Iron Man really comes alive in Iron Man 3.
What makes this an even better movie is the emotional side to it. In chapter 3 Iron Man is broken, showing that even action heroes can hurt too, and Tony Stark not using his suit in battle all the time is something new and kept me glued to the screen. Most people would cringe at the thought of Iron Man without his suit, it is like a super hero fighting without his super powers. One expects failure when that happens, but not in Iron Man 3.
The only let downs are the roles of the villains. Having watched several movies with villains in them I cannot help but disagree with the character of the Mandarin. Guy Pierce (the real Mandarin) also known as Killian hires a British, pot-smoking wanna- be actor as his decoy (Ben Kingsley) who is also known as the Mandarin. The actor who is oblivious to what is going on around him is used to claim victory over attacks and to threaten the US government while he stays behind the scenes. That I am sorry to say is not villain behaviour and falls short of the actual comic book villain who is Iron Man’s archenemy, unlike the wimpy Pierce.
The writers missed some links in the movie, in one of the scenes where Stark and Rhodes (Don Cheadle) are under attack by the extremists, he mentions that his suits are only coded to him but we see earlier in the film that the suits are coded to Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Palthrow) when she is under attack. The director and writers missed that aspect and have some explaining to do in order to save themselves the embarrassment.
Apart from the great action scenes, the film offers some comic relief in funny one liners, a favourite is the line by one of Mandarin’s guards after Stark incapacitates almost all of Mandarin’s guards and the last one surrenders and says “Don’t shoot! Seriously, I don’t even like working here they are so weird” as he runs off.
There are a few surprises for Iron Man lovers. Colonel James Rhodes gets his own suit, and Iron Man creates an armada of suits but doesn’t fight in them half the time and has an adolescent sidekick Harley (played by Ty Simpkins). Yes ladies and gentlemen a child sidekick, a very good one at that.
It is a rather refreshing movie to watch after a hoard of second rate movies that have hogged cinema screen recently. Robert Downey Jr gives a very good performance as ever as the egotistical rich guy in town. He manages to draw a very good link between the Avengers and this film but more on the sentimental side. He gives us a new side of Iron Man, that he is human. Other than batman, most superheroes have to worry about their identity and carrying the world on their shoulders. Suddenly we meet one who simply has sleepless nights. Nights filled with nightmares which make him ponder what most consider as trivialities of life. That is God, family and in his case, the fact that there are aliens. Despite that, our warrior gives a stellar performance.
Iron Man 3 is a good watch for everyone. Even without a plot it is still an enjoyable movie, there is plenty of action, great acting and just the right dosage of comedy for an action flick and the special effects are out of this world. Overall the film has both strengths and weaknesses but the strengths outweigh the weaknesses. It is entertaining and witty – no irony here.

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