“I am Iron Man. The suit and I are one.” Not the case in the capstone of the Iron Man trilogy. Tony Stark has always been left to his own devices, but those devices happened to be outstanding technology encased in an indestructible man-shaped casing. In Iron Man 3 his technology is practically stripped away from Stark to answer Capt. America’s question of, “Big man in a suit of armour. Take that off, what are you?” We are shown who the man behind the suit is, at least a glimpse at the beginning.
Iron Man 3 begins with Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) suffering from panic attacks, insomnia, and lack of direction. The events of The Avengers has him in somewhat of a PTSD condition. He’s brought from a place of immortality to one of vulnerability, and he can’t shake it. When the untraceable and intimidating Mandarin(Ben Kingsley) strikes Stark’s body guard Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) forces Stark into a position of responsibility to find and kill the villain.
Stop! Now, this is a movie. From here it would put Stark’s brain to the test since these Mandarin strikes cause a mystery that he would need to solve. But this isn’t what Iron Man 3 was truly interested in. Yes, there is some mystery, even though it isn’t too hard to figure out yourself, it becomes wrapped up into back stories and a larger plot than one presented. And I’ll leave it at that to avoid any spoilers. And the surprises are pretty good, if I do say so myself.
My one main “gripe” of the movie is that it gets too caught up in the over-arching plot and not enough in the personal struggles of Stark. Action is good and comedy lightens that mood in the right places. I felt a hole where the drama should have been, and it could have made a more fulfilling emotional experience. They lined up the pieces perfectly in the first act, but didn’t capitalize on it. Too bad.
We’re treated to what we expect from a superhero movie and an Iron Man movie. There is wit beyond measure coming from all sides of conversation, side characters included to liven up the interaction and to keep the audience entertained between the massive action pieces. Speaking of the action sequences, they take the new mechanics of the Iron suits and make them more compelling than ever before.
Downey has Tony Stark down pat by now, and he fills the frame with the charm and sometimes drama of the character. Guy Pearce, who’s a new tech rival, Aldrich Killian, is devilishly charismatic in all sense of the word. And again, Ben Kingsley steals every scene he’s in one way or the other. Except for maybe a side character or two, all actors brought their best to the screen.
To sum up, Iron Man 3 is a great way to begin the summer season. A tasteful action appetizer with enough familiar but enough unexpected to keep you engaged throughout the whole 2 hours and some change.