by R.C. Samo
Marvel has continued to out-do themselves with the closing chapter in the Iron Man saga. Robert Downey Jr. reprised his role as the smooth talking, womanizing, megalomaniac who is hellbent on taking down The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), a terrorist using intimidation and fear to bring America to its knees.
Watching The Mandarin was as if director, Shane Black reached into my childhood nightmares and put them on the big screen. The depiction of terror Black uses regarding this character was how any immigrant children from the Middle East saw terrorism in the 1980s.
It was like he took Khomeini, Gaddafi, Afghanistan, the Lebanese civil war and the Intifada, rolling it up into one horrific monster. Black and his writing partner Drew Pearce, created movie magic with this flawless film. If not for an unbelievable plot twist that worked marvelously (all puns intended) the transition between haunting imagery and humor would have never worked.
Don Cheadle’s Iron Patriot along with Paul Bettany as the voice of Jarvis, and a star making role for Ty Simpkins, portraying Harley Keener, a Tennessee kid, who helped Stark recharge the Mark 42. Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, Jon Favreau and James Badge Dale round off this beyond phenomenal ensemble cast, allowing Iron Man 3 to creat a sense that these are real people, who just happen to be able to do extraordinary things.
Comic fans are not forgotten as several inside jokes are dropped in without losing the casual audience member. This is the first film that is a sequel to two successful franchises in cinematic history (Iron man and The Avengers).
Black and Pearce, were able to ride that fine line between wit and snark, without crossing over into whiny, which is an art that has been lost in modern storytelling. Dealing with Stark’s anxiety following the alien invasion of Avengers and now trying to find a sense of normalcy, this film is one that must be seen opening weekend.
Iron Man 3 has a two hour and 11 minute run time, which easily could have gone another 40 minutes without complaint. This movie not only lives up to the hype but surpasses it! The only question that remains to be answered is, “How will Joss Whedon be able to match the cinematic perfection that Black was able to achieve?”
Iron Man 3 opens this Friday, May 3, 2013. Get to any showing you can, because this hands down elevates Black’s film making status to that of Christopher Nolan.