In this third installment of Iron Man, we see Tony Stark and not the Iron Man battle out the villain. The question is can he take on the action and adrenalin all by himself without losing his cool.
Plot: Even a great hero, faces his match sometimes. This was perhaps what the Iron Man was missing the most. That is until the Mandarin came along. Showing little emotion, Ben Kingsley emulates a terrorist to perfection. Places are bombed with no trace of the type of explosive device left behind. He challenges everything Iron Man stands for. Slowly midst all the chaos, a pattern seems to emerge in the way the chaos unfolds. In the end, Tony Stark issues an open challenge to the Mandarin to come and fight him face-to-face.
Tony is made to pay dearly for this. Mandarin’s reach is beyond Tony’s wildest expectation. He takes hit after hit. In a couple of moments the life and home of Tony Stark come crashing down. He is put in such a precarious situation that losing all his tech (including the Iron Man) is probably the last of his woes! Even with his long time pal Colonel James Rhodes trying to help him out, Stark cannot get out of sudden anxiety attacks. In the meanwhile, he befriends a little boy when trying to figure out how to tackle Mandarin.
With the world looking vulnerable once again, Mandarin pushes on. His target now includes the President of the United States. With no one around to stop, evil seems to spread in all directions. Can the man inside the suit muster courage and help salvage his pride, is what forms the rest of the movie.
Effects: This movie is technically brilliant. The sight of Iron Man crouching on one leg ready to spring to action is simply exhilarating. Given the fact that we get to see almost an army of Iron Men, makes it all the more enjoyable. The sound effects keep the visuals at pace. At no point could I feel the effect was overdone.
There are a couple of scenes really worth mentioning. For example, the brilliant scene that is shown in the trailer where Stark’s mansion is torn down, is even more brilliant in its full length. There was one more visual where Dr. Killian gives a demonstration of the live feed of his brain. The concept itself is cool and I somehow felt the visual was even more glorious to watch on large screen.
The action sequences, though not that many (sadly) were still worth waiting for. The climax is like a crescendo and makes worth watching on a big 3D screen.
Cast: There is no viable replacement for Robert Downey, in my opinion. So the producer’s better pay up and retain him in any immediate sequence (Avengers sequences included)! This guy nails the character so well. Paltrow makes a fine girlfriend, but I felt there were a few scenes like the one where she meets Dr. Killian after years, when she under performed.
Ben Kingsley fits in so well. The way in which he portrays a terrorist and a show man with élan is really unbelievable. He is the show-stealer in all the scenes; even when he shares the stage with the inimitable Mr. Downey Jr. Others like Cheadle, Pearce do justice to their role. However I felt the later was underutilized. Ty Simpkins probably acted a wee bit more sheepish than was required but I think that kind of felt good on the whole.
Direction: Shane Black has done decently in his first Iron Man flick. If the intention was to show more of Stark (the human) than just the gloss and glamor of the man in the armor then he certainly excelled.
I do have second thoughts on whether this kind of story will hold good in the future. People flock to cinemas to see superheros like Iron Man kick evil bosses butts. But the director kind of makes up in the climax.
There is also this humor portion of the script, which was kind of nicely handled. There were a handful of scenes which had the audience in splits. Especially the one where Tony (all tied up) awaits his suit when he is talking to a couple of bad guys. Overall, I feel the director has portions to improve, but there is no major flaw that is worth talking about.