This time, it’s personal

IRON MAN 3 (M)
Nanjing Night Net

General Release

***

Let’s get one thing out of the way first: if you enjoyed the earlier Iron Man films, you’ll probably enjoy this one. But although it is fun in a comic-book kind of way, it’s not as good as its predecessors or The Avengers.

It follows on from The Avengers. Our hero, billionaire industrialist Tony Stark (Robert Downey jnr) is still his cocky, wisecracking self (will he never learn?) but it seems he is not immune to the aftereffects of so much death and destruction. It’s an interesting notion that could’ve been carried further but Downey, talented though he is, doesn’t always seem up to things like sincerity and deep emotional pain, at least not here. But worse is yet to come for Stark. A new baddie known as the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) hijacks the airwaves and begins a wave of terror attacks. Stark won’t stand for this and issues a challenge, complete with his home address. You’d think this would have been fairly well known, but apparently not, and as well as a horde of media types, he also attracts an attack that destroys his home and nearly kills his beloved, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow). His friend and security chief, Happy (Jon Favreau, who didn’t direct this third instalment: it’s handled by co-writer Shane Black) also ends up comatose in hospital as a result of the new threat. So, yes, this time it’s personal.

Paltrow has a bit more to do this time and Don Cheadle returns as Stark’s fighting friend James Rhodes, who has his own iron suit, and Paul Bettany once again voices helpful supercomputer Jarvis.

New characters include Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) who doesn’t handle rejection well, and Ty Simpkins as Harley, a precocious kid who helps Stark out when he needs it.

The movie is overlong and slow in parts and the first half is largely talk and setting things up with lots of action in the second half.

The stuntwork and special effects are impressive but it can be hard to follow all of the action and some of it seems a bit farfetched, even within the movie’s own surreal universe.

But there are some good lines and interesting reversals and the obligatory cameo by Marvel Comics supremo Stan Lee and post-end credits scene (quite amusing).

If the strain is beginning to show a bit, it’s still not a dud like Green Lantern, which couldn’t even get one movie right.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.