Movie Reviews & Interviews from Washington

‘Iron Man 3’ Review: This Summer’s First Spectacular Film

Note: I saw this film in 3D, but would not recommend seeing it in 3D since it wasn’t shot that way and doesn’t add to the film. See it in 2D and save a few bucks! Stay after the credits for a nice little surprise. This is a spoiler-free review.

Iron Man 3 is the first of several anticipated films of Summer 2013. Let me say, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Fast & Furious 6, The Hangover: Part III and the rest of the summer blockbusters have a lot to live up to now that the final installment to the Iron Man series is out in theatres. Surely one of the best summer flicks we will see this year, Robert Downey Jr. lives up to the hype as he returns to the role of his career: Tony Stark.

Iron Man 3 has all the essentials a superhero film should have: a badass, funny and charming superhero, a beautiful and strong sidekick (who just happens to be female in this film!), tons of action and unforgettable moments that take your breath away. After watching this film on the big screen, its quite possible that Iron Man could be my favorite Avenger.

Iron Man 3 picks up right where The Avengers left off. Tony stark (Downey Jr.) is suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome after suffering a near-fatal attack when saving the world with the rest of the Avengers. He has gotten less involved with Stark Industries and has left most of the decision making up to his girlfriend Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow). It looks like he is scaling back on the Iron Man suit too, leaving saving the world to his friend Col. James Rhodes (Don Cheadle).

There’s a new enemy in the universe, an international terrorist known as Mandarin (Ben Kingsley). Mandarin bombs public places to get the attention of the government and there may be a connection to Mandarin and scientist Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce). But when an attack hits close to home and Stark’s buddy Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau, who also directed Iron Man 1 & 2) falls into a coma after a bombing in Los Angeles, Stark vows to seek revenge against the Mandarin.

Downey Jr. gives one of the best (and most fun!) performances of the year! The actor continues to bring life to the comic book hero by giving him several layers of heroism. He makes Tony Stark so easy to connect to, even though he is an egotistical billionaire, because he is able to create a balance of vulnerability and strength.

Gwyneth Paltrow is equally as engaging as the lovely Pepper Potts. “The most beautiful woman in the world” gets her rear in gear in this final installment of Iron Man, or so she says here in an interview with Geek Nation. Paltrow finally gets to wear the suit in this film and the results are just amazing.

As much as I adore Guy Pearce as an actor (how unforgettable was his performance in 2012’s Lawless??), he was overused in this film. Without giving away any spoilers, I don’t think anyone thought his character was going to have as big of a role as he did in this film. And it’s not that I don’t want to see Mr. Pearce on screen, it’s just his character kept doing the same things over and over again in each scene, which made it a bit repetitive. I kept saying to myself, let’s cut back to Gwyneth or Robert!

As much as Iron Man is probably the best film in the franchise, Iron Man 3 could be my favorite since its funny, action-packed, touching and the chemistry between Downey Jr. and Paltrow is impeccable.

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