Tuesday, May 21

Iron Man 3

The Film Fatales get snarky with Tony Stark.

Iron Man 3. PG-13. 130 minutes. Starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, Don Cheadle, Ben Kingsley. Directed by Shane Black.

When Tony Stark's world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin, he starts an odyssey of rebuilding and retribution. [imdb]

Nicole: You know what happens with movie franchises: They either sink or swim after that first amazing effort. And, since Iron Man 2 was at times uneven and a pale comparison to Iron Man 1, I was thinking this might be Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr.) swan song. I’m really, really glad to say I was wrong.

elizabeth: Are you getting kickbacks from Mr. Downey? I just don’t get the appeal. Iron Man gets squeezed by a Mandarin? Oh, I’m scared.

Nicole: Humph, I only wish. From your lips to God's ears, Cassidy. Look, it's not enough to say Iron Man 3 was a great movie – it had a lot to live up to after the success of last summer’s The Avengers, which brought together Marvel’s team of superheroes (Thor, Black Widow, Hulk, Captain America, Hawkeye and, of course, Iron Man) under the incredible direction of ultimate fanboy Joss Whedon. The camaraderie that Tony Stark (Iron Man) enjoyed with the Avengers is, admittedly, hard to match – but Downey Jr. is always able to pull off a terrific performance of equal parts kick-ass action, hilarious one liners and hubris-laden bravado. (Maybe I’m not qualified to write this review, since I admit to being biased on all things RDJ: I would seriously watch him read the phone book.)

elizabeth: I think RDJ (as you call him; what is this your new pet name?) is quite the talented actor, but when talent succumbs to films like this, I start to mourn the actor’s ability to do anything else. He will always be labeled Iron Man and that will hinder his ability to get more serious roles. I am acting like I am a Hollywood insider. Let’s take a meeting.

Nicole: Oh, pah-lease. You woefully underestimate his talents. He's a chameleon. He could easily switch from highbrow drama to tongue-in-cheek action seamlessly. I have no worries about the direction of his career; I'm just so very glad he has one. (Bobby, make the check out to CASH.) Iron Man 3 takes place post-Avengers saving NYC (and, by default, the world) from alien takeover. And, it’s clear Stark is still dealing with those events. Suffering from PTSD, represented by severe panic attacks and insomnia, we’re reminded that Stark is human after all and that Iron Man is just a suit he wears. What’s more, Stark comes to this realization himself in a very meaningful and life changing way. But, that’s all I’ll say. You take the journey with him…and ask no questions. Just enjoy the ride.

elizabeth: So Iron Man never heard of valium? Meditation, a vegan diet, cheap wine and free rentals from the library? So does he open a bakery with the most beautiful woman in the world?

Nicole: Based on that last sentence, I think you could use a valium. Like Stark, the people around him are growing and changing, too. Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau), no longer Stark’s bodyguard, has moved up in the ranks of Stark Enterprises to head of security. Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), now comfortable in her role as the CEO of Stark Enterprises wields not only power in the boardroom, but in her relationship with Stark as well. Don Cheadle, is – unfortunately – forgettable as Iron Patriot/Col. James Rhodes. Guy Pearce, as pathetic crackpot inventor turned evil genius Aldrich Killian, is just this side of smarmy. And, Sir Ben Kingsley as “The Mandarin” is…without revealing too much…inspired.

elizabeth: You really like this crap, don’t you? Do you see what I am saying here – Gandhi is now a terrorist. Geeez.

Nicole: Yes, yes I do like this crap. I admit it! My name is Nicole...and I'm a Fangirl. Franchise devotees will no doubt enjoy Stan Lee’s cameo (blink and you’ll miss it, just the way he likes ‘em) and an end-of-credits scene that is well worth sticking around for. So, go see Iron Man 3 and don’t worry a hair on your head that it won’t live up to your expectations.

elizabeth: Beam me up, Scotty! Wrong franchise? Foiled again!

The Film Fatales give IRON MAN 3

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