Saturday, 27 April 2013

Movie Review : Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3

Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Kingsley, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall
Direction: Shane Black

The third film is always the crucial one. Spider-Man 3 bungled it up and the series needed a reboot. The Dark Knight Rises was a glorious finale. Iron Man 3 serves up a thumping ace.
If superhero flicks are as much driven by villains as the do-gooder in a costume, Iron Man 3 gets its quirky mojo by way of Ben Kingsley’s terrorist leader Mandarin. Not since Heath Ledger’s Joker has Hollywood imagined a baddie that guarantees drop-jaw surprise. Kingsley’s Mandarin not only gives this film a wild twist of humour, it also brings alive a true actor in his finest form.

Iron Man 3 is richly visualised, assorting a US President who resembles George W. Bush, a terrorist who looks like a Chinese Osama, and a smart kid who bails out the hero and who could be straight out of a Steven Spielberg sci-fi. Tony Stark’s romance with Pepper Potts gets a triangle tangle by way of an ex flame (Rebecca Hall), and the sexed-up Iron Man suit - more gold than red this time - is a gadget that can self-assemble or detach individual parts on command.

The fun lies in the fact that beyond all that jazz, Iron Man 3 is a simple, well-told tale of revenge, just as they used to show in the old-fashioned action flicks. The hero himself is far more human this time. For Robert Downey Jr., there is more of Tony Stark to play out than Iron Man and, like most superhero flicks lately, there is room for a subtext of existential crisis.

This time, the superhero’s war is personal. Headed by Mandarin, a global terrorist organisation destroys Stark’s home. Fending off panic attacks, the billionaire inventor-playboy realises he only has his supersuit to rely on if he must get even.

Iron Man 3 is actually a sequel to last year’s monstrous hit, The Avengers, rather than Iron Man 2. There is an obvious attempt at reinventing the series. Shane Black takes over from Jon Favreau, who made the first two Iron Man films. Black, best known as the director of the 2005 crime comedy Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, banks more on old-school thrills to get the story going, though the digital effects on 3D are guaranteed to blow you away.

Mandarin sure grabs the eyeballs as does Guy Pearce in his role of the sinister genetic scientist Aldrich Killian, the man who really gets the drama going. Downey Jr. does well to retain an element of freshness as the witty Tony Stark. Three films down, that is credible. Gwyneth Paltrow is lovable as ever, as Stark’s lovergirl Pepper. She sure has the presence to make even a supporting role look special.



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