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Iron Man 3

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Overview: “Iron Man 3” takes place after the events of the enormously popular and successful movie “The Avengers”. Tony Stark is back, but haunted by disturbing episodes of anxiety attack caused by PTSD from the ordeals he recently faced in New York. Suffering from insomnia as well, he has created more new suits. The newest suit, Mark 42, is capable of flying to him when needed and operating without him inside. But it's still a temperamental prototype and causes some problems. Then a super terrorist called The Mandarin comes along to mess up Tony's life even more, using super soldiers capable of turning red hot, breathing fire, and healing their wounds instantly. And also exploding at 3000 degrees Celsius when things go wrong.

Iron Man: Robert Downey Jr. again gives a fabulous performance as the famous self proclaimed genius billionaire playboy philanthropist. He perfectly portrays Tony as troubled and haunted while still capturing his wisecracking confidence that Downey established in the previous films. Downey's dialogue delivery is witty, punchy, and always entertaining. He has great chemistry with everyone, as shown in the previous movies. In this movie, however, there was one actor in particular that Downey clearly connected with. Some of the best scenes in the movie, in my opinion, were those involving Harley (Ty Simpkins), a young fan of Tony's. Harley helps heal Tony's bruised heart, and Tony gives the boy the adventure of his life. Simpkins and Downey's scenes are so perfect and sweet. They show that Downey and narcissistic playboy Stark actually get along quite well with children. Now I'm hoping for Tony/Pepper babies in the future. In addition to proving his aptitude in dealing with kids, Tony also proves that he doesn't need his suit to be a superhero. He uses only hardware store materials to make weapons when he is left stranded without his suit, paralleling the first movie and his beginning as Iron Man. Tony Stark’s real superpower is his brain. And that’s why he’s my favorite Avenger, and really, superhero in general.

Supporting Characters: Don Cheadle returns as Tony’s best friend, Rhodey/War Machine/Iron Patriot. Rhodey is the perfect sidekick for Tony, being sensible and down to earth; the exact opposite of Tony. Even though Jon Favreau stepped down as director on this installment, he reprised his role as Tony's former bodyguard, Happy, now head of security at Stark Industries. As in the second movie, Happy provides comic relief and proves himself extremely loyal and useful to Tony. He also watches “Downton Abbey” which makes him pretty cool in my opinion. The gorgeous Gwyneth Paltrow again plays Tony's former assistant, now girlfriend Pepper Potts. Pepper has a larger role in this movie than the others. She becomes more than just the damsel in distress. She becomes a hero in her own right, which I really liked. Ben Kingsley gives an amusing performance as the aloof terrorist known as The Mandarin. Guy Pearce plays... Well I won't spoil it but he plays his character, Aldrich Killian, quite nicely.

On the Avengers: In this movie, there are noticeably fewer connections to the rest of the Marvel universe, compared to the last two films: no Nick Fury, no S.H.I.E.L.D., no Black Widow or any other Avengers, no Agent Coulson (who apparently survived “The Avengers” after all since he's getting his own show on ABC this fall). This one is purely Iron Man, and I personally didn’t mind that one bit. Tony Stark is such an imposing character with a huge personality, and he easily fuels the movie on his own. However, stay after the credits and fans of the Stark/Banner bromance will be rewarded.

Overall: The bad guys were suitably evil, creepy, and disturbing, which I personally prefer to just plain evil. The effects were great as always, and the production design on all the different suits was fabulous. It was darker and more dangerous than the previous films, especially the 2nd one, which was mostly just a popcorn flick. In this one, Tony Stark is put through hell once again, and it makes for great entertainment. Sorry Tony. But Shane Black really made a wonderful movie, one that I will definitely be seeing again.



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