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IRON MAN 3

SYNOPSIS:
When Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) finds his personal world destroyed by the formidable terrorist, The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), he sets out on a treacherous and harrowing quest for retribution - and to regain what he has lost. With his back against the wall, Stark has to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. Along the way, 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?

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
All the usual suspects of superhero stories are brought together for this supercharged and extravagant heavy metal finale to the Iron Man franchise, with a quirky twist (that doesn't really hold water but heck, it's fun). Our superhero Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) comes up against the evil-est baddie, a bearded, vaguely Middle Eastern terrorist without mercy, known from his threatening broadcasts as the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley, memorable), who irritates Stark to such an extent that Stark issues a public challenge, which includes the whereabouts of his fortress/engineering lab/home and an invitation for the showdown.

Responding and leading the massive attack is Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce, terrific), the scientific entrepreneur who 13 years earlier had approached Stark with the intention of revealing his dangerous new invention - but Stark didn't show up to the meeting. That made Killian mad.

As the destructive battle rages and Stark looks like losing the war, the Mandarin appears on everyone's TV screens once more and addresses the President of the US, teasing him to answer his phone call or watch him shoot an American hostage shot dead.

The stakes are getting higher and higher, and the evil bastard threatening the world is getting away with it. And of course, the love of Stark's life, Pepper Pots (Gwyneth Paltrow, effective) gets into deadly danger, which is distracting when you're trying to save the President. Eeenie meenie .... Where to go.

But I won't prattle on about the (obviously comic strip) story; it's basically a ruse to propel one gigantic firefight between the iron man suits and the supercharged minions under Killian's command - all in the service of the Mandarin's crazed wishes. The gizmo count is very high, with CGI generated images in the air, direct telephony between the characters, call-command armour suits flying to fit their owners and gadgets that display holograms, all in a filmic feeding frenzy.

The stunts are spectacular and the suits - whether flying or fighting - are terrific, while the humans add an edginess to the always fast-paced proceedings. The adults are, as you would expect, well oiled and seamless in their roles, but it's young Ty Simpkins as Harley the smart kid who surpasses expectations with a mature performance (but not precocious) as a friend and ally to Stark.

Downey uses his offbeat persona to good effect, adding blunt honesty to the Stark character to help make the film more approachable and less heavy handed than it otherwise might have been. For a billionaire engineer & weapons manufacturer, Tony Stark gets a few brownie points as a sensitive new age guy.

Review by Louise Keller:
Upping the ante in this third film in the franchise with an audacious plot of comic book proportions and a special effects spectacle, the key factor to its success remains Robert Downey Jnr. Downey's likeable presence, his self-deprecating persona and quirky sense of humour keeps the character of Tony Stark and Iron Man fresh and even when the plot goes one step too far, it is Downey Jnr who keeps us connected. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang director Shane Black is the perfect choice for this extravagant action thriller, where humour and timing are paramount. The film is long, but no-one will complain - after all, what's not to like about a super-hero flick that delivers in imagination, excess, humour and star power?

Balancing the dynamic of the super-hero is a formidable super-villain in the style of the perfectly coiffed, impressively buffed Guy Pearce. As the wonderfully named Aldrich Killian, Pearce delivers several memorable lines, my favourite being: 'You gave me the gift of desperation.' Last but not least is the super-slick, leggy Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper, who gets to heat up to match her name - in more ways than one.

Re-coding DNA and creating a tailored war of terror with its own supply and demand is the thrust of the plot, but there are a few surprises, namely Ben Kingsley's fantabulous creation of The Mandarin, modelled on the Osama Bin Laden School of terrorism and Rebecca Hall's Maya, Tony Stark's former girlfriend who even has a tęte a tęte with Pepper. Don Cheadle is back as Stark's trusted friend and ally, Rhodey and there's a strong role too for angelic-featured youngster Ty Simpkins as Harley.

As to be expected, the stunts and visual effects are big, booming and jaw-dropping, the destruction of Stark's cliff-side mansion and the massive climactic oil-rig explosion being two highlights. The mid-air plane rescue sequence is breathtaking – in terms of innovation and execution, keeping us firmly on the edge of our seats. Humour is central to the plot but the storyline never loses sight of its commendable themes: good versus evil, integrity, loyalty and courage. As far as entertainment goes, Iron Man 3 has it covered in spades - just like its super star, Downey Jnr.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 2
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

IRON MAN 3 (M)
(US, 2013)

CAST: Robert Downey Jr, Guy Pearce, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Kingsley, Rebecca Hall, Don Cheadle, Ty Simpkins, Jon Favreau, William Sadler, Bingbing Fan, Stan Lee,

VOICES: Paul Bettany

PRODUCER: Kevin Feige

DIRECTOR: Shane Black

SCRIPT: Shane Black, Drew Pearce

CINEMATOGRAPHER: John Toll

EDITOR: Peter S. Elliott, Jeffrey Ford

MUSIC: Brian Tyler

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Bill Brzeski

RUNNING TIME: 129 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Walt Disney

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: April 25, 2013







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