Tony Stark is the kind of billionaire inventor playboy genius that must make Richard Branson and Larry Ellison feel like under achievers or worse-downright wimpish. “I’m Tony Stark. I build neat stuff, got a great girl, and occasionally save the world,” yeah, way cooler than Steve Jobs. The appearance of the Oracle brand in Iron Man 3 is perhaps Ellison making a donation to become part of the super alpha male club, because the guys who buy Oracle servers are not going to be swayed by this film.
The story starts off in the post The Avengers world, with Tony Stark having retreated to his workshop to create a plethora of suits.But all is not well in the world, there have been mysterious explosions which have a unique signature to them.The back story belongs to a science conference in 1999 when Stark ignored the entreaties of a partially disabled scientist Aldrich Killian(Guy pierce) to work with him and ended up creating a monster.While he was at it he also had a one night stand with an ace scientist Maya Henson (Rebecca Hall) and left her in the lurch.His life with his girlfriend Pepper Potts(Gwyneth Paltrow) is strained. He is going through a superhero midlife crisis, and a “what else is there to achieve, now that I am the CEO of Starks Corp. and his permanent girlfriend” emptiness in hers.Meanwhile the evil Aldrich meets Pepper and makes a presentation, taking her inside the hologram of human brain that will make the consultants at Bain and Co. sweat,trust me its sleek.But Pepper is not impressed, it sounds like evil science to her.
With this final rebuff all bets are off and Peppers bodyguard Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) gets hurt in another mysterious blast.This snaps Stark back to his superhero mode and he calls for war with the new threat to humankind, Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), an Asian looking anarchist, who by now is making global broadcasts about his intention to teach the world painful lessons. Aldrich has also harnessed a technology that can regenerate damaged human tissue and has cured himself.He is looking to commercialize his invention.The rest of the film continues to carry on the special effects feast with the Iron Man slugging it out with the evil Mandarin and Aldrich.Hell hath no fury like a scientist scorned.The director charms us in the middle act in a Spielberg kind of way by introducing the all American blond kid who helps Stark when he is down and out and gets a payback which will earn him a fortune on Ebay one day.
After the definitive cinematic death of Bin Laden in Zero Dark Thirty, Hollywood seems to be taking a break from terrorists with long beards, in the recent Olympus has Fallen, Hollywood looks to North Korea for pure evil.Tragically real life seems to follow suit in Boston where at least outwardly the killers were white Caucasian men.Maybe next time around we will have a secret society of Russian oligarchs facing off with the Marvel crew.
While the novelty of the suit has worn off despite several reboots, Robert Downey Jr. is superb, this is still one of the most inspired casting calls in Hollywood Superhero history.Gwyneth Paltrow has just been named the most beautiful woman in the world by People magazine, much to the chagrin of feminists who hate her blond slender blue-eyed frame, delivers the goods as Iron Mans weak spot even though he neglects her for his workshop.She shakes off the damsel in distress image to emerge a worthy Mrs Iron Man. Guy Pierce is good as the evil Aldrich Killian but Ben Kingsley’s Mandarin sets the screen on fire.His character neatly sidesteps the Fu Mancu stereotype and bears shades of Colonel Kurtz from Apocalypse Now, in his worldview.
The first Iron Man film was supremely thrilling in combining special effects and a really original character brought to life by Downey.The second installment instead of building on the first went sideways, though not without its spectacular moments.The third installment which sees a change in the direction department with Shane Black replacing Jon Favreau, tries to go back to basics but the plot does not have the cohesion that the Iron Man 1 had.
This is far from a perfect film with more plot holes than there are chinks in the Iron Man’s steel suit but a very entertaining and polished product.Its major weaknesses is the length, a full 131 minutes may be bang for the buck or a slight drag depending on whether you are a Marvel comics fanboy or a regular moviegoer. Made on a jumbo budget of USD 200 million, IM3 is worth your time and money for all the fireworks on display, nearly eclipsed by Downey and Ben Kingsley, at their sparkling best.
#Iron Man 3 seems to be a test case for Hollywood in China as it goes head to head with a small budget Chinese drama.The Chinese seem to be tired of the Hollywood pyrotechnics which is good news for all of us!