Saturday, October 12, 2013

Now at Netflix: Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3 (2013) - Directed by Shane Black; Written by Drew Pearce and Black; Starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, Don Cheadle, Rebecca Hall, Jon Favreau, Ben Kingsley, Paul Bettany.

By Kenny Howell

What if they made an Iron Man movie without that much Iron Man?

That is the risk they ran, and probably the best part about the latest and best of the Iron Man series. It's probably the best of the recent Marvel movies.

Writer-Director Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang) isn't really a superhero type writer, but he knows action. He also knows how to be extremely clever within a rather worn out genre. While it probably gave producers pause when he turned in a script that sees Tony Stark spend hardly any time within the Iron Man suit, the one they can sell a bunch of toys for, it probably freaked them out a bit.

But it was the smartest move they could have made. People didn't like the first Iron Man because of the suit. It was Robert Downey Jr. He is funny and charming, and can be a dick without seeming like a douche.

So Black does the best thing he can near the beginning of the movie when an international terrorist, The Mandarin, attacks Stark's house in Malibu, sending all his suits and gadgets into the sea. Before this happens, Stark was going to go to Rose Hill, Tennessee to investigate why a soldier blew himself up. It was similar to a recent attack which saw his head of security, Happy, put into a coma.

Stark escapes the attack by getting into a suit he used to save Pepper Potts. He falls into the sea, much of his house on top of him, which knocks him out. Since his handy computer sidekick Jarvis had made a flight plan for Rose Hill, Stark ends up there.

Much of the story plays out in Tennessee, where we see Stark make the best of his faulty, broken down suit, and create new gadgets to figure out how to thwart The Mandarin. There are some pretty cool twists and turns in the story that I will leave to the viewing, but it is definitely worthwhile.

The key to the movie, besides the more screen time of just Downey Jr. is Black himself. The script is funny, and it's like a breath of fresh air after the terrible Iron Man 2.

The only problem I have with it besides the obvious action movie silliness, is where are the Avengers? They are talked about quite a bit, and Tony is kind of dealing with PTSD after the alien attack in The Avengers. So why, when there is an international terrorist that threatens to kill the President of the United States, do none of the other Avengers show up to help.

That aside, the movie is a lot of fun, and gives hope that the superhero genre can still be clever.

Iron Man 3 is also available on Redbox, iTunes, Amazon Instant.

Rating: ***

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