Genius. Playboy. Billionaire. Philanthropist.
Tony Stark is back in the third installment of the Marvel Iron Man franchise. Always bigger than life, Robert Downey Jr. reprises his come-back role that made him a household name again.
But… Can Iron Man 3 live up to box-office and critical success of the first two movies? Does Tony Stark have something new in his bag of tricks or will he continue to blast his way out of trouble with his signature Iron Man suit while sipping a nice brandy and carrying on a conversation with himself?
Enter The Mandarin – the theatrical new face of a terrorist organization known as The Ten Rings. The Mandarin should resonate with American viewers in particular. His enigmatic mission statement videos making declarations against America call back to CNN footage of Osama Bin Laden and the war on terror.
Sir Ben Kingsley delivers a surprising and convincing performance as The Mandarin. An actor of the highest caliber, you certainly won’t forget his performance.
The continuity of the “Marvel Universe” of movies is continued in Iron Man 3. Tony Stark is still dealing with the fallout from the alien invasion that occurred in The Avengers. Even a genius-playboy- billionaire-philanthropist feels small when compared to gods of legend, aliens, and ultimate weapons.
Tony Stark spends much of the movie outside of his Iron Man shell, making him a surprisingly venerable character. The Iron Man suit serves as armor against more than bullets, and stripped of that, Stark must come face to face with his demons.
The newest business rival for Stark Industries, Aldrich Killian, is ready to sweep in to take Tony’s business – and his woman. Played by actor Guy Pearce, Killian has much more going for him than business rival Justin Hammer did in Iron Man 2.
Director Shane Black, who worked with Downey on the film Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, is new to the Iron Man franchise, but no stranger to action flicks. Black was a writer on the Lethal Weapon franchise.
Black and Downey are a match made in heaven — if witty pop-culture-laden references and self-referential banter is your thing.
Iron Man 3 does have a few flaws, though. One character in particular, a young boy named Harley, feels out of place and awkward. The story slows down for Tony to have a human-moment with the boy, but it ultimately adds little to the plot or Stark’s growth.
The story also cheapened the otherwise-strong and loyal Pepper Potts when she lingers a little too long after being pursued by Aldrich Killian.
Should you take the kids to see Iron Man 3? As always, that is up to the parents to decide. However, here are some of the things you should consider.
There is mild sexual content in the film. Some characters are seen wearing nothing but underwear. We are also treated to a glimpse of Stark in the year 1999 where he treats a woman with little respect and is implied to have had a one-night-stand with her.
There is strong violence in the film, but nothing too graphic. Terrorism is a theme in the movie, and associated with that are bombings and shootings. The terrorism theme might be too intense for younger viewers.
There is light profanity in the movie, but it is there.
A worthy successor to the first two movies, Iron Man 3 gets 4/5 stars.