Watching movies in Durham England is a different kind of experience. For one thing, you have assigned seats. None of that first come first served thing. For another, the theaters are small. This time I was in Theater One which has exactly eight rows of 23 seats each in it, and a huge screen. I saw the film in 3D, but frankly it wasn’t worth it. 2D would have been fine at 7.50 (that’s pounds not dollars).
The ratings of this film by the critics have been very good indeed (93% approval), and of course I had to see the film because: 1) it was largely filmed in my Mom’s hometown of Wilmington N.C., and 2) I am a Marvel comics fan, and 3) Robert Downey Junior is some kind of actor. Obviously, it is always difficult to improve on an excellent first film in a series, and while this film certainly eclipses the second one in the series, this one falls short of eclipsing the first of the series. It is nevertheless well worth the trip to the cinema, as you get a truly early start on your summer popcorn movies.
The plot is summarized officially as follows: “Marvel’s “Iron Man 3″ pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?”
There are some good lines and some good humor in this film. One of the humorous bits that many may miss is that the award winning actor Ben Kingsley plays…. wait for it, an actor, in this film. He is some of the comic relief. Stan Lee makes his usual cameo bow, this time as the pageant M.C. for the Miss Chattanooga Contest, of all things. Especially enjoyable is the relationship that develops between Stark and a southern boy who is a techie, and also there is some pathos in this film because Tony has anxiety attacks, mostly because he is afraid of losing someone he actually loves— the lovely Pepper Potts, who is now officially his gal. Don Cheadle plays a somewhat subdued but vital role in this film. He could have used some more zippy lines like he had in the Oceans films. Of course the film has its usual spectacular fight scenes, and spectacles, perhaps most impressively the stunt where a bunch of people jump out of a plane, and rescue each other by grabbing each others hands, and that of Iron Man as well. There is no filler really in this briskly paced 2 hours and 15 minutes film.
There is no telling where this film will veer off to next, not least because Tony is truly a changed man, even surgically by the end of the film, but this is one of the better Marvel franchises and as long as Downey doesn’t go soft on us, all will be well.