I love big blockbuster movie season (a.k.a.: summer) but it's hard to get to the theater every weekend, especially when you have little kids. That's why, last Saturday, we did a double-feature of "Iron Man 3" and "Star Trek: Into Darkness." First up: "Iron Man 3."
I didn't expect to like the Iron Man movies. I never read the comic books, didn't know much about the character, and didn't particularly care for Robert Downey Jr. Surprisingly, I've really enjoyed the Iron Man movies, and this latest one is no exception. "Iron Man 3" picks up after "The Avengers," with Tony suffering from insomnia and anxiety after the alien attack in New York. When his former bodyguard is injured in a bombing, Tony issues a personal challenge to The Mandarin, the mastermind behind several terrorist attacks.
As always, the special effects are great. Explosions, flying suits of armor (or pieces of armor) - it all looks real - and we didn't even see the 3D version! Iron Man is all about the flying suits of armor, so it's crucial that the audience believes this technology is real. Part of what makes it seem real is that it doesn't always work perfectly. We get to see the breakdowns, buggy software and dead batteries.
Robert Downey Jr. seems to have found the perfect role in irreverent genius millionaire inventor Tony Stark. As good as he was playing off the other hero personalities in "The Avengers," he can also carry a movie pretty much on his own. Not that his supporting cast isn't good: Don Cheadle is back as Rhodey and War Machine (rebranded as Iron Patriot), and Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts. I still don't see much romantic chemistry between Pepper and Tony, but their relationship is such a small part of the movie, it doesn't really matter. And Oscar-winner Ben Kingsley as attention-seeking terrorist The Mandarin is just wonderful.
I don't know if I liked 3 quite as much as I liked "Iron Man 2," but it's well worth the money to see in the theater.