Iron Man 3 (2013) *
Dir. Shane Black
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce, Don Cheadle, Ben Kingsley, Rebecca Hall, Jon Favreau, Stephanie Szostak, Miguel Ferrer, William Sadler
Review By Greg Klymkiw
The best thing about this lame sequel in an increasingly tedious franchise is SIR Ben Kingsley's first scene as mega-villain The Mandarin where the character's true colours are exposed. Sir Ben prances giddily into a bedroom equipped with two half-naked babes and crows with delight over his satisfying 20-minute bowel movement. We (predictably, I might add) discover Kingsley's character is little more than a failed regional theatre actor engaged as a public front for the real villain, mad scientist madman Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce). Only a gibbering gibbon wouldn't figure out within the first ten or so minutes who's actually behind the acts of terrorism that send the world into high-panic mode. This is also the only genuinely funny moment one will derive from the sheer drudgery of having to get through all 130 minutes of this dull, bloated superhero picture.
What we get is this. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr. with especially grotesque facial hair a la Reveen the Impossibilist) is withdrawing obsessively ever-further into his experiments. Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow - looking less equine these days, but still clod-hopping about as if she were a nag willingly on her way to the glue factory) is left to run the Stark Industries Corp. Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) has been promoted to head of security and annoys everyone by insisting they wear I.D. badges. Aldrich Killian, Pepper's unrequited admirer from long ago brings a business proposition to her and is subsequently turned down.
|The Man They Call REVEEN is Tony Stark - IRONMAN|
The Mandarin begins hijacking the airwaves to deliver warnings of doom and present as-they-happen acts of terrorism. When Happy is a victim of one of the attacks and lies vegetable-like in the hospital, Tony Stark makes it clear he's out for vengeance. The Mandarin destroys Tony's mansion. Our multi-billionaire superhero goes into hiding to regroup and is befriended by a cute kid who also helps him. Pepper gets kidnapped. The President of the United states (William Sadler) gets kidnapped.
Will Tony be up to the challenge?
You bet he will.
With the help of second banana Col. Rhodes (Don Cheadle - acting more and more like a grim-faced Stepin Fetchit), the obnoxious cute kid and his robot Jarvis (Paul Bettany's voice in full C3P0-mode), Iron Man/Tony rescues everyone, but not before we're forced to endure endless de rigueur herky-jerky action scenes that feel like they were directed by a chimpanzee on Benzedrine.
Iron Man 3 is just as haphazard and dull as Iron Man 2, but seeing as the picture is more of a sequel to the utterly abysmal The Avengers, it might actually be the worst of the lot.
No, let me take that back. Nothing's worse than The Avengers save, perhaps, for The Green Hornet. Director and co-writer Shane Black has acquitted himself reasonably well in the past as a competent scribe for action pictures, but seeing as his best script is still Lethal Weapon (the acclaimed script for his directorial debut Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang is too aware of its "cleverness" for my taste), he's ultimately - when you do the math - little more than a hack.
Iron Man 3 is a long way down from Jon Favreau's first Iron Man picture - an amiable, somewhat fresh and very funny outing. This one is insufferable, but as it's in the same mould as most other recent superhero Goodyear Blimps that new generations of movie-goers are perfectly happy to embrace, it's poised and destined to rack up huge grosses.
I need a palate-cleanser after seeing this, so I'll probably slap on one of Sam Raimi's terrific Spider-Man pictures. At least he's a real filmmaker. (And if you are planning on seeing the movie, you can save some dough by seeing it flat screen since the 3-D is annoying and doesn't add anything - as per usual, really.)
"Iron Man 3" is in wide mega-release all over the planet.