Stark is fighting sleepless nights and anxiety, and spends his days adding suits of armor to his collection while his girlfriend Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) goes to work at Stark Industries. Panic attacks seem to arrive at the most inopportune times.
The catalyst for the film is one night at a tech conference in Switzerland that Stark spends with Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall), a pretty scientist. During a Y2K New Year’s Eve Party, they run into Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) a disheveled looking scientist and founder of Advanced Idea Mechanics, who wants to meet with Stark and Hansen. Stark tells Killian that he’ll meet him on the roof, with no intentions of ever showing up.
Fast forward to future day, and Killian has upgraded his clothes and look, and still remembers being rebuffed by Tony Stark. Killian has a brief encounter with Pepper Potts early in the film, with Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau acting, but not directing this time around) keeping an eagle eye on Killian. Unfortunately, it also lands Hogan in the hospital after an explosive situation in Hollywood.
Terrorism is a central theme in the form of the Mandarin (Sir Ben Kingsley), who is threatening America across the airwaves. As Maya Hansen makes an unexpected – and not very welcome – visit to the Stark compound, the home comes under heavy attack. Nary a scratch is bestowed on Pepper Potts, I’m always amazed at how massive artillery attacks can yield fewer injuries than if I tripped over my own feet.
Without going into too much detail, Stark’s armor takes him from what is left of his compound to North Carolina, where he was planning to investigate the Mandarin. Stark eventually takes up temporary residence in a garage where a young 10-year old boy named Harley (Ty Simpkins) finds him. Harley is reminiscent of Kevin McCallister (Macauley Culkin) in Home Alone, with a sharp wit and a quick comeback. While the movie could have easily been shot without the young character, Simpkins does add some needed comedy relief to the film. There is a brief discussion of bullying – somehow Tony Stark knows that Harley has been bullied, but it’s touched upon so lightly that I’m not sure why it was ever brought up. Bullying is a serious problem and it seems that it could have been used as a terrific lesson for kids.
There is a lot of action in Iron Man 3, and villains that seem nearly indestructible. A couple of scenes – were a bit disturbing and realistic for me. Not everything is as it seems in Iron Man 3, and that sometimes added an extra bit of levity. The ending was very drawn out – did I mention the villains were nearly indestructible? That was the only time I’d have been looking at my watch if I was wearing one. If Tony Stark was a cat, I’d say his nine lives were up after this film.
Iron Man 3 is still a strong entry into the summer movie season, and has already proven itself overseas with huge box office receipts.
Director: Shane Black
Runtime: 130 Minutes
Mousesteps grade: B-