“Iron Man 3” (Science-Fiction/Action: 2 hours, 10 minutes)
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce and Ben Kingsley
Director: Shane Black
Rated: PG-13 (Violence, strong language and suggestive material)
Movie Review: Sometimes, a movie franchise becomes something larger than just a movie. People think it is good because they like it. Their emotions for what makes them happy override good judgment. “Iron Man 3” is such a film. It is entertaining but has a contrived, quality-deprived plot.
A terrorist known as The Mandarin (Kingsley) poses a new threat to the United States. Col. James Rhodes (Cheadle) suits up as War Machine, who has been renamed Iron Patriot to appear more diplomatically welcoming. The Iron Patriot is not enough to stop The Mandarin. Industrialist Tony Stark (Downey), a.k.a. Iron Man, finds himself in the middle of the battle after The Mandarin destroys his cliff-side mansion. To protect Pepper Potts (Paltrow), the love of his life, Stark suits up as Iron Man to stop The Mandarin and his ruthless thugs.
Even more, Aldrich Killian (Pearce) and Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall), two scientists whom Stark met 13 years earlier, enter the picture. They apparently have motives of their own. All this is transpiring as Stark suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, a result of his battle with aliens while fighting along side The Avengers to save New York City.
The “Iron Man” movies succeed because of a great lead, Robert Downey Jr. He plays a genius, billionaire, philanthropist and playboy well. He makes the series more enjoyable than the action, the metal suits and overall plots. Here, he is just as rewarding, playing Tony Stark with brilliance unmatched. Again, he propels the “Iron Man” flicks.
Actor-director Black directs his second major film, following 2005’s “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.” Black’s directing is not bad, but this screenplay’s plot is. Black and co-writer Drew Pearce have too much transpiring in “Iron Man 3.” Also, the science fiction goes overboard with overly done visuals, mainly computer-generated imagery.
Often, the clue one is watching a bad film is if the film has more stuntmen than any other production department. Now, one can easily look to see if the film has more visual-effects team members, especially CGI technicians. This movie has many stuntmen, but the visual-effects team is much larger.
The plot is silly, so that larger visual effects team was a major need to cover up such. However, technology, via neat visual effects, is what this photoplay delivers in a too plentiful amount. Moreover, those visual effects are far from persuasive, even if often entertaining.
The effects distract one from a plot that is exaggerated material. The antics of characters often lack emotional backing, minus Downey whose antics are still enjoyable.
“Iron Man 3” does have one major plus. It is entertaining. Audiences get plenty in that aspect. However, “3” becomes one tedious play out as technology becomes front and center, and Stark becomes more James Bond and less the superhero Iron Man.
Grade: C+ (Not an iron-clad moment but it entertains with likable energy.)