TODAY'S FEATURE IS BLOG #3847 - Iron Man 3
Whether or not you agree that Gwynneth Paltrow is the World's Most Beautiful Woman, Pepper Potts is definitely hot in Iron Man 3.
Paltrow plays an expanded role and even gets in on the action in surprising and Tony Stark-life-saving ways. If you recall, Pepper is now in charge at Stark Industries (and gets to wear a cool white suit). Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) is hanging out at home recuperating from "New York" (Avengers) and building a fleet of Iron Men. Tony broken by "aliens and wormholes" was a little hard to believe. Really, would anything really disturb Stark's psyche - aside from maybe losing Pepper? Stark seems much more the scientist or mechanic, as he calls himself, to be upended by his "experience" in New York. Think Walter in Fringe - the more aliens, worm holes and mutating animals the better.
Perhaps the panic attacks are the movie's way of tipping us as to just how dark Iron Man 3 will be. America is being terrorized by an Osama Bin Laden-esque character called The Mandarin wonderfully played by Ben Kingsley. (Does Iron Man have the most number of Oscar nominees and winners in its cast?) The Mandarin's army is a formidable band of rather invincible fighters led by James Badge Dale (The Pacific, Rubicon). When Starks's friend and driver Happy is gravely injured in one of the terrorist attacks, Stark calls out The Mandarin who doesn't disappoint. Home destroyed, Stark lands in Tennessee, the site of a past bombing with a similar signature.
In Iron Man 3, we see Stark stripped of his suit, his resources, his lady love -- and presumed dead. It's a sad sight even without the panic attacks. Enter an adorable and enterprising Tennessee kid played by the young Ty Simpkins. He is the perfect foil to Downey who needs someone to play off beside Jarvis whom we love and finally got enough of in IM3.
The fun of Iron Man 3 is seeing Stark on his own, sans suit, improvising at every turn to foil the evil doers. Guy Pearce (L.A. Confidential, Momento) makes a truly creepy villian primarily because he doesn't look like one. Take note of him at the beginning of the film, the transformation is fascinating. Speaking of the film's opening, pay close attention to the partygoers, there is one very poignant reveal. And, no, it's not Stan Lee, look for him later on - you can't miss it.
My verdict on Iron Man 3? I really enjoyed it. Everyone wants to compare the three movies so I'll say definitely better than 2. I loved the first Iron Man movie for the joy and fun that it was. This latest installment has a more dramatic side. The pacing was terrific. My interest never wavered; it held me the entire time and not because of the action - the slower scenes were enjoyable. With an array of Iron Men suits, Iron Man 3 packs an action whallop while still giving us enough story to hold us in its grip.
Comic Book Rating: Very Fine / Near Mint (VF/NM) 9.0
-- Tina LoSasso.
Thanks, Tina, for your review! Here are Tina's review blogs from Iron Man 1 (9.4) & Iron Man 2 (9.2).
And... If you missed my review blog from yesterday, here's the link to blog #3846.
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