Starring : Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Ty Simpkins, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall and Ben Kingsley
Director: Shane Black
Reviewing super-hero movies is tough. Real tough. Because, they amaze you so much that you begin to worry if you won’t be able to do enough justice to the grandiose of the movie in your review. Anyway, let me try.
So, the story moves forward with Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) experiencing ‘post-traumatic stress’ or ‘anxiety attacks’ after the events of The Avengers where Tony was almost killed in trying to save the world. He has prepared a host of iron suits which are very heavy and the MK-42, his favourite, punch Tony painfully hard before he manages to wear the suit fully, part by part. We truly realise the suit’s actual weight when in one of the scenes, the armour surrounds around Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow) to save her during an explosion and then, Pepper is left squirmed like a twig and has to bear a few painful jolts to her body muscles, as the suit, part by part, leaves Pepper to find Tony. With Tony and Pepper, we have Col. James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) who owns the Iron Patriot suit.
On the other hand, a maniac terrorist, Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), who calls himself a teacher and who’s out there to teach some lessons to America creates havoc and mass destruction through his students. Then there is an ambitious and formerly crippled scientist Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) who has developed some DNA emancipation project called Extremis (which helps the crippled to lead a normal life with artificial body parts) with the assistance of Botanist Maya Hanson (Rebecca Hall) who had had a one-night stand earlier with Tony, that allegedly is going to change the future of man-kind.
So, the fight becomes personal when Mandarin attacks America and press surrounds Tony to give his statement. Tony announces to the media (and the world) that Mandarin is a coward and if Mandarin wants to find him, he could be found at his address (which wasn’t public earlier). What follows is chaos where Tony’s estate is attacked and everyone believes him to have died in the attack.
Of course he doesn’t. He escapes to Tennessee but can’t return because his suit runs out of power. So, he teams up with a local 10-year-old boy named Harley (Ty Simpkins) and his investigations explain him how the Extremis actually works and how dangerous it is when it is in the wrong hands. (and, unfortunately, it is) Harley also helps Tony in tracking down Mandarin to Miami.
Aldrich kidnaps Pepper to use her as a bait against Tony and implements the Extremis experiment on her as well. Aldrich also traps James Rhodes/Iron Patriot and manages to take his suit away. (James somehow manages to escape his shackles.) He uses the suit to kidnap President of America (why is it still look-alike of Bush when Barrack Obama is into his 2nd term as President of America?!) and now, with both suit and Extremis under his wing, Aldrich plans to create havoc and chaos all over America.
So, Tony and James are alone against a troop of former cripples who are energised with Extremis and all have the power of iron within them and who can’t be killed but only destroyed. They have to get back the Iron Patriot suit and save Pepper, President and America. Do they manage to save? Well, of course and how!
What follows is amazing action, grandiose and awe-inspiring and believable special effects. The movie is full of witty one liners which are snapped at will and which never fail to make us laugh. Hilarity as the backdrop of action bonanza. Never fails.
There are certain scenes where too much goes into meaning and retrospection and such superficial stuff about his suit becoming an addiction and a prison. And the need for him to break free which results in Tony ordering all his suits to self-destroy at the climax.
The best part is, although all super-hero movies look alike and there are a few similarities to Spiderman, Superman and even Terminator, Iron Man stands out and everything seems unique.
Plus, he doesn’t go into brooding for having super powers, unlike it happens in the final part of The Batman trilogy. And Iron Man doesn’t even give up his powers unlike The Batman does.
Robert is impeccable as the arrogant, egoistic, billionaire, philanthropist and a womaniser, Tony Stark. He is the most integral part of Iron Man series. Although his contract with Marvel ends with the third part, Iron Man/Tony Stark without Robert Downey Jr. is imperceptible.
Gwyneth Paltrow is an integral part of the series too. She has the most amazing lines of sarcasm, almost always against Tony and she utters them with such coldness that it’s sheer brilliance and could cut real bad.
Don Cheadle as James Rhodes/Iron Patriot is entertaining. His repartee with Tony Stark after his suit is stolen is hilarious.
Rebecca Hall is wasted with screen time of almost under 5 minutes.
Guy Pearce as Aldrich is cold blooded, ambitious and unforgiving. He doesn’t want to take ‘no’ for an answer and gets what he wants.
Finally, coming to Ben Kinglsey, I was a bit disappointed. After reading Mihir Fadnavis’ review, my expectations were sky-high. But, instead of a threatening or fear-causing villain, Kingsley turned out to be a…err, comedian. Was a beautiful performance, nevertheless.
Not only has the director of the movie changed, (Shane Black) but so has the look and feel of the Iron Man series. The movie could’ve become trite, boring or bogged down by the ever-growing expectations, but, on the contrary, it not only manages to amaze but also to entertain the audience. Going by the climax, surely, there is another or even a couple of more Iron Man sequel(s) in the making.
In a word, Classic. Not to be missed.