Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Entertainment

May 26, 2013

“Iron Man 3” worthy successor to comic-book excellence

Greensburg — FROM THE DEN AT WOLF THEATRES — One of the most impressive aspects of “Iron Man 3” (“IM3”) is how strikingly it stands apart from its predecessors while remaining every bit as entertaining.

Writer/Director Shane Black (“Lethal Weapon”; “Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang”) crafts a comic-book extravaganza that has both an engaging story and a heart. Black proves himself adept — mostly — at knowing how and to what degree to effectively use the eye-popping special effects tools at his disposal.

Granted, in the film’s final frames, he loses some of that restraint and “IM3” falls prey, somewhat, to the excess of “super-busy syndrome.” During the scenes in question, there’s so much action, so many special effects and so many simultaneous, epic battles of good versus evil, that the film becomes frazzled, losing focus and rhythm. Even so, the problem is only intermittent, and Black never completely loses control.   

For me, “IM3” brought to mind, to a slight degree, comparisons to 1980’s “Superman II.” About a quarter way through, Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), loses his ‘mojo’ when his super-suave, super-hero pad is razed by the gunships of notorious super villain/terrorist “The Mandarin” (Sir Ben Kingsley).

Along with Stark’s home, nearly all his numerous Iron Man suits are also destroyed. Stark, in fact, escapes the scene with little more than the Iron Man suit on his back. Fortunately, Stark’s wife, Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow) also escapes.

JARVIS (Paul Bettany), the onboard artificial intelligence that helps guide the Iron Man suits, navigates Stark to a crash landing somewhere in rural Tennessee, where Stark is taken in by a spunky 10-year-old named Harley (Ty Simpkins).

The Iron Man suit is badly damaged and out of juice. Stark is trapped in the middle of nowhere trying to figure a way to get gassed up again and back in the saddle so he can return to battle against the Mandarin.

Time’s running out. The Mandarin, who’s been committing acts of terrorism throughout the film, is planning a grand final act against the president and U.S. government.

To make matters worse, there’s a second villain gunning for Stark, this one a technofile-geek-turned-god named Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce). Plus, The Mandarin isn’t quite all he seems to be.

Will Tony Stark repair his suit and regain his “powers” before it’s too late?

Black makes an interesting choice in giving Iron Man himself limited screen time. Instead, we get quite a bit more of a suitless Tony Stark. Downey Jr. is always a charming, welcome presence and that’s no different here, and he carries his scenes with aplomb. Plus, giving Iron Man limited screen time also allows Black to more fully develop Stark as a character and to humanize him. Downey Jr. is well up to the task of providing Stark with depth.

Therein lies another of Black’s strengths: his ability to fully develop these characters into people we relate to and care about. “IM3” is also very funny.

All in all, this film can’t be described as “better” than its predecessors — not precisely. It’s not. But it is its own wholly unique creation and sports a strikingly different cinematic vibe.

Although this series wasn’t in particular need of re-invigoration (director Jon Favreau’s two Iron Man films are terrific in their own right), “IM3” feels like a franchise re-energized.

“Iron Man 3” also stars Miguel Ferrer, Rebecca Hall, James Badge Dale and Don Cheadle.

Rating: Lone-wolf howl

Score: 90/100

Runtime: 130 minutes

Rated PG-13 for cartoonish, sci-fi/fantasy violence.

Rating System Explained: Rabies = 0; Yip = *; Bark = **; Howl = ***; Lone-wolf howl = ****; Leader of the pack = *****

Contact: Rob Cox 812-663-3111 x7011

 

1
Text Only
Entertainment
  • :Sex Tape" movie poster Movie preview: “Sex Tape”

    Plot: Though they’re still very much in love, ten years and two kids have cooled the passion for Jay and Annie. To spice up their relationship, they decide to make a home video of themselves.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • "Planes: Fire and Rescue" movie poster Movie preview: “Planes: Fire and Rescue”

    Plot: When world-famous air racer Dusty learns that his engine is damaged and he may never race again, he must shift gears and is launched into the world of aerial firefighting.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • "The Purge: Anarchy" movie poster Movie preview: “The Purge: Anarchy”

    Plot: A defenseless young couple find themselves stranded in the city on the one night of the year that all crime, including murder, is legal, in this self-contained sequel to the 2013 sleeper hit.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 'Apes' sequel best summer blockbuster thus far I promise Andy will be returning soon, but anyhow, I’ll be taking a solo look at one of the more anticipated blockbusters of the summer, Dawn of the Planet of Apes (PG-13).Taking place 10 years after the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, “Daw

    July 17, 2014

  • New arrivals at library Translation to XTAGS failed

    July 17, 2014

  • New arrivals at library New items at the Greensburg-Decatur County Library can be found and reserved at greensburglibrary.org/books.BiographiesThe Phantom of Fifth Avenue by Meryl GordonKitty Genovese by Kevin CookSidelined by Chuck PaganoFantasyThe High Druid’s Blade by Te

    July 12, 2014

  • "Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes" movie poster Movie preview: “Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes”

    Plot: A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • "Snowpiercer" movie poster Movie preview: “Snowpiercer”

    Plot: In a future where a failed global-warming experiment kills off all life on the planet, the few left alive have boarded the Snowpiercer, a train that travels non-stop around the globe while a class system evolves.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • ent-gb071014 Movie Boys review pic 'Tammy' one of the worst films of the year With Andy expected back next week, I’ll be taking a solo look this week at Melissa McCarthy’s latest vehicle, Tammy (R). In the movie, McCarthy plays a down-on-her-luck middle-aged person who goes on a road trip of sorts with her grandma (Susan Saran

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • ent-gb071014-special reflections pic 1 Art on the Square Gallery featuring 'Special Reflections' this month GREENSBURG – For the month of July, Art on the Square Gallery, 114 E. Washington Street, Greensburg, is pleased to present a show of photography and art work done by clients at Developmental Services, Inc. “Special Reflections” features oil paintings

    July 10, 2014 2 Photos