5 out of 5
Fellow geeks rejoice as Iron Man 3 does not disappoint. At first I was skeptic this film would be as good as the first two since the studio decided to change the director. Jon Favreau (who also plays Happy Hogan) handed the torch to Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) to do the third installment. Instead of focusing on Tony Stark wants to be a hero, the story catches up from the recent event in the film The Avengers. Tony suffers from a severe trauma after fighting the Chitauri fleet and being dead for few minutes. Tony in Iron Man 3 is trapped in an anxiety ball, facing his demons. As his relationship with Pepper develops, Tony has to choose between her or his suits. In the meantime, the US government decides to make Col. Rhodes, aka Tony’s best mate to become the Iron Patriot. Apparently the government is kind of ashamed that they failed to save earth during the Chitauri invasion, so they are promoting War Machines, now Iron Patriot to be America’s own superhero.
Out of nowhere comes Aldrich Killian with his think tank, Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM). Fellow comic geeks surely know that AIM is one of the most dangerous evil scientist organizations aside from HYDRA. Paranoid Tony fears that the charming Killian will sweep Pepper of her feet. To make matter worse, a terrorist organization called Ten Rings, led by a mysterious figure named Mandarin is starting to blow things up and kill people.
Of course there are loads of special effects and infrastructures being blown up in this film. But that is not the charm, the charm is the deeper look into Tony’s personal life. From his romance with Pepper, his camaraderie with Rhodey, his anxiety, and his fooling around with JARVIS. All intertwine nicely with humours and excellent supporting casts. Pepper’s role in this film develops from being a damsel in distress into the one who rescues right at the nick of time, while Rhodey’s loyalty is being tested between his BFF or his government.
And there is Mandarin. Played ever so brilliantly by Sir Ben Kingsley. The Mandarin here is not a mad Chinese genius who is also a descendant of Genghis Khan and equipped with 10 super high-tech rings. The Mandarin is a person of unknown nationality who loves striking fear upon the hearts of his enemies. In a way the portrayal of Mandarin as a warmonger is more relevant with what is going on in the world nowadays. But Mandarin carries an unexpected twist that changes perspectives about him. You don’t need to worry though, you will still love him afterward.
Stan Lee’s cameo: the jury in a bikini contest.