Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Jon Favreau, Ben Kingsley, James Badge Dale, Stephanie Szostak, Ty Simpkins, Paul Bettany, William Sadler, Dale Dickey, Miguel Ferrer, and more.
Directed by: Shane Black Screenplay by: Drew Pearce and Shane Black Based on the Comic by: Stan Lee, Don Heck, Larry Lieber, and Jack Kirby Cinematography by: John Toll Original Music by: Brian Tyler
Premise: As a new terrorist makes his tread felt over the world, Tony is dealing with anxiety attacks which have plagued him ever since he went into the wormhole in "The Avengers." A female conquest from his past, and some decision he made in 1999 also come back to haunt him. If he's not careful, he might lose the thing he cherishes the most - Pepper Potts. (Rated PG-13)
1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: Robert Downey Jr is always such fun as Tony Stark. His 'snark' and one liners dot the entire film. Gwyneth Paltrow once more didn't get given much to do through most of the film, but she shines in all of it. Don Cheadle looked great during several scenes and even gave Tony some snark back. Guy Pearce was very smooth as Aldrich Killian. The hints of slight madness here and there were very nice. Ben Kingsley will surprise everyone, and he was quite funny as well. Ty Simpkins and Robert Downey Jr together were adorable and hilarious.
2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: Great job on the special effects! The armor pieces must have driven the department insane, but looked so very awesome. The whole scene where Tony's house is destroyed was fabulous. And the work they did on the Mandarin's people gave me chills. You could almost see their humanity escaping their grasp.
The 3D brain live feed took my breath away. Definitely recommend seeing the film in the IMAX 3D.
3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: For the most part that is. Fans of the Iron Man comics will get a shock and it will dilute the pleasure they derive from the film. Though the commercials mentioned the Mandarin, and we saw him with the rings - it's false advertizing. This Mandarin is not the alien tech/magical ring wearing megalomanic the comic book fans will be expecting. Sadly, there is little to nothing with this Mandarin that matches Iron Man's comic book arch-nemesis. However, most of the viewing public won't realize this, and for them it won't be a detriment.
The powers of those who've been injected (can't say too much or I'll give things away) did not appear to be consistent. Yet no real explanation was made as to why. The bad guy ends up showing powers beyond all his compatriots, to the point he seems almost god like, but the information we've been supplied with does not substantiate the end product.
Lots of little twists, many of them quite delicious. Others will be seen coming from miles away. They tried to bring back some of the feel of the first film, and this worked pretty well. The scenes Tony spends with the little boy while in hiding were priceless. Some of the best bits of the film come from those two interacting.
Make sure to STAY THROUGH THE CREDITS! One of the best bits in the entire film awaits you there.
4) Stunts - Total Thumbs Up: Amazing CGI assisted stunts abound through the entire film. The whole Miami sequence was great!
5) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: Got some wonderful overhead shots of Tony's house, letting us appreciate the place one last time before we see it totally destroyed and from many different angles. The Miami location was fabulous. And the set up for the final battle zone made combat into a three dimensional affair and this worked to great effect.
6) Costuming/Makeup - Total Thumbs Up: Pepper in the white power suit looked fabulous! Also Tony's shirt in the beginning section. Costuming and makeup also made the Killian transformation from when we first see him in 1999 and then in the present a startling contrast. Tony's wounds all looked very real, and very painful.
Conclusion: "Iron Man 3" is a fun action packed film and well worth watching. Unless you're a fan of the comics, then you might feel a bit robbed with what they did (or mostly didn't do) with the Mandarin. Great one liners abound. Definitely worth seeing in IMAX 3D. The soundtrack rocked!
Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price To See Again!)