Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Ben Kingsley
Director: Shane Black
'Iron Man 3' takes its cue from 'The Avengers' rather than 'Iron Man 2', and it turns out to be a smart move. Tony Stark aka Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) is as witty and sarcastic as ever, and he is aptly supported by other actors as well, but somehow director Shane Black loses his grip on the central theme of terrorism towards the climax.
Thanks to his recent escapades, Iron Man has become very paranoid about the safety of his loved ones, which ironically is about just one person Virginia 'Pepper' Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow). He has started feeling bouts of anxiety and his vulnerable state leads him to spend most of his day in his laboratory where he keeps experimenting with his hi-tech red and gold exoskeleton suits.
A new villain, Mandarin, emerges on the international circuit and reaches even the most secured zones of White House, his interaction with the President beamed live on national television networks. Tony is forced into an all out war when evil forces destroy his home and all that he values.
Similar to other 'Iron man' films, this one is also not devoid of cliches as you will find a reflection of popular American politics in the baddie Tervor Slattery alias Mandarin (Ben Kingsley). On the outset, he seems to be driven by an ideology that supports anarchy but basically he is an extension of American foreign policy. It was Kingsley's calibre that turned the character into a lesson in acting; otherwise the villain is shallow in nature and doesn't have a powerful motive.
Guy Pearce plays Aldrich Killian, a wayward scientist who wants to control the flaws in human body and its mechanics through his genius invention. Needless to say that Pearce is a fine actor but the whole concept of acquiring a win over physical disabilities is flawed for a very simple reason. The tilt of American economy is in the favour of capitalists. It basically means that any such endeavour will be individualistic in nature, clearly ending up in becoming a corporate style set up. But Aldrich Killian tries to propagate the idea of commune. He is menacing in his mannerism and stands very firmly against the superstardom of Downey Jr.
It's not like the writers have not tried to give 'Iron Man 3' a human touch but have robbed the film of a spectacular climax. The tale of old fashioned revenge is wrapped up with romance. Tony's ex-flame Maya (Rebecca Hall) makes an appearance only to strengthen the bonding between Tony and Pepper.
Similarly, when Tony is engrossed in tracing the roots of Mandarin in a small town, he meets the very precocious Harley (Ty Simpkins). The real, detached and soft side of Tony's persona comes out in these sequences but Black doesn't allow them to grow on the audiences. In the end, they fail to engage the audience emotionally.
'Iron Man 3' has fantastic action sequences and they are modelled on the lines of other Marvel superheroes. Most of them are in favour of building a team to combat the army of villains. The ultimate sequences of 'Iron Man 3' will remind you about 'The Dark Knight Rises'.
Overall, 'Iron Man 3' is a story told on a grand canvas which is capable enough of engaging you for 130 minutes but don't look for any ideological deviation of Iron Man even if the world is changing fast.
Rating: 3 out of 5