Third time’s a charm for Downey Jr

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - MOVIES - Leigh Paatsch

IRON MAN 3 ( M) Stars: Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Pal­trow, Ben Kinglsey, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Jon Favreau. Di­rec­tor: Shane Black ( Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)

STAND clear for a third thun­der­ous ad­ven­ture for that clank­ing crime- fighter Iron Man and his ec­cen­tric hu­man al­ter ego Tony Stark ( Robert Downey Jr).

As Iron Man 3 kicks off, Stark is a slightly shaky shadow of his usual hy­per- con­fi­dent self. The cat­a­clysmic events de­picted in the fe­ro­cious fi­nale of The Avengers have left Tony with a se­ri­ous post- trau­matic stress dis­or­der.

So when an all- new neme­sis known as The Man­darin ( Ben Kings­ley) – an om­nipresent ji­hadist in the Osama bin Laden mould – be­gins at­tack­ing Amer­ica from ev­ery an­gle, Tony Stark is not in the best shape to re­pel the threat.

The Man­darin swiftly sends heav­ily ar­moured helicopters to Stark’s funky cliff- top HQ and blows the premises ( and the hi- tech re­search lab be­neath it) to smithereens.

Not only is Stark as­sumed dead by both the pub­lic and the pow­ers- that- be, he also only has just the one Iron Man suit at his dis­posal: a new “pre­hen­sile” model still at the pro­to­type stage.

How the suit works – and of­ten doesn’t work – be­comes an im­por­tant fea­ture of the ac­tion in Iron Man 3.

The ar­mour can au­to­mat­i­cally as­sem­ble and dis­sem­ble in sec­onds flat. Each piece of the out­fit is ca­pa­ble of fly­ing great dis­tances to at­tach it­self to the wearer.

Let’s just say that for all its many flaws, it is still a highly im­pres­sive kit.

With­out giv­ing too much away, it is also worth men­tion­ing The Man­darin is by no means a one- man band. He has formed a very con­ve­nient al­liance with Aldrich Kil­lian ( Guy Pearce), a smooth-talk­ing, sin­is­ter- minded in­ven­tor who has de­vel­oped a ground­break­ing new mil­i­tary tech­nol­ogy called Ex­tremis. Ap­plied in the right doses, Ex­tremis can make the hu­man body in­de­struc­tible. Ap­plied in the wrong doses and it turns the hu­man body into a live ex­plo­sive ( un­for­tu­nately, this does re­sult in a few jolt­ing se­quences that un­in­ten­tion­ally bring to mind the re­cent tragedy at the Bos­ton Marathon).

On an over­all ba­sis, the ac­tion set- pieces of Iron Man 3 are where the film truly ex­cels. While not staged on the scale of those seen in The Avengers, there is still a cre­ativ­ity and wit in play that will ex­cite a ma­jor­ity of adrenalin-chas­ing view­ers.

Per­for­mances are con­sis­tently strong, in spite of the ton­ally er­ratic screen­play. Downey Jr has def­i­nitely re- en­gaged with his char­ac­ter on a deeper level af­ter the su­per­fi­cial high jinks of Iron Man 2.

Now show­ing Vil­lage Cinemas.

Downey Jr has def­i­nitely re- en­gaged with his char­ac­ter on a deeper level af­ter the su­per­fi­cial high jinks of Iron Man 2

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