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Iron Man Three

Iron Man Three is extremely good! Everything that went into the making of this movie revolves around Robert Downey Jr. and his considerable charisma and talent. He deserves every tenth of a percent of the box office he’s getting.

It starts when Downey as Tony Stark/Iron Man brushes off a geeky guy on Y2K eve. The geek, Aldrich Killian, played by Guy Pearce, takes offense, gets a haircut. He returns a few years later with some bad stuff that reprograms brains, generally with horrible results.

Meanwhile, Stark realizes he’ll have to confront a Bin Laden type madman who appears on TV and calls himself The Mandarin. This villain (played by Ben Kingsley) is able to cut in on every TV channel to deliver his taunting threat to the world. Stark dares The Mandarin to attack him, even offering his home address.

The attack comes. And the spectacular Stark home collapses into the Pacific. Even though I know it’s not real, I’ve always loved that house. While it’s sad to see the home destroyed, the attack by the Mandarin’s bad guys is a terrific action sequence right up at the front of the movie.

After the attack, Stark is presumed dead. But, no, he ends up in a small Tennessee town, where his priority is to make a call to his gal Pepper, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, to let her know he’s alive.

In this berg, he is befriended by a cute kid named Harley. The young man who plays Harley, Ty Simpkins, is one of the better kid actors I’ve seen.

Stark’s efforts to track down and quash the Mandarin include a confrontation aboard Air Force One and an amazing skydiving stunt. The final faceoff goes a bit long. A large helping of action would’ve sufficed. Instead, director Shane Black gives us the extra large.

IM3 feels, at times, almost like an old Bond movie with its evil villain and his “lair” and his henchmen and a charming hero who cracks jokes in times of great peril. Stark prefers wine to martinis and is true to his one woman, but he has the swagger and clever mind of the 60’s era Bond.

Fanboys who’ve followed Iron Man in the Marvel comic books may not be pleased with this film. The story and the villains are not exactly the same. But for those of us who know Iron Man from the movies, this film satisfies. Heck, I’m ready to watch it again.

Runtime is 2:10, but Iron Man Three flies by. In some scenes, literally.

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