In the third edition of 'Iron-Man', the focus is mostly on Tony Stark rather than the antics his suit can perform. It's more an effort to portray that Iron Man is more about him rather than the suit. To that extent, they have succeeded but, as a result, the movie seems rather bland as compared to the stylized effects we'd previously seen.
The film flashes back to Switzerland to the New Year's celebration at the turn of the Millennium where Stark (Robert Downey Jr) is busy hanging out with botanist Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall) that he ignores a crippled scientist Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce). An unexplained blast briefly disturbs their night; but this is soon forgotten.
Cut to present day, America seems to be haunted by a new villain who calls himself the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) claiming responsibility for blasts that seem to be occurring just about anywhere. And, a new version of Killian, now well built and suave approaches Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) at Stark Industries seeking a partnership to advance his genetic technology called Extremis, which she refuses.
A turn of events leads to Tony Stark challenging the Mandarin to a fight, at his home, to which the villain promptly responds by destroying it. Stark and Potts barely survive the attack and the former now seeks to get to the bottom of this.
Some spoilers; we are told that the genetically modified bodies heat up to three thousand degrees before blowing up. And while everything around them is vaporized, their clothes are only slightly tattered. Fire resistant clothing, huh? And there is no real clarity on what can actually destroy the genetically modified villains.
The most annoyingly boring scenes include those in Tennessee. Did Stark really have to go there? And what was so significant in that file that he tries to retrieve? And what was that precocious kid doing out there, all by himself! If at all an Indian film maker came up stuff like this, the audience and critics would have ripped it apart.
Putting this aside, the visuals effects are spectacular. If Iron-Man 2 sported a suit that comes out of a briefcase, Iron-Man 3 has a Mark 42 suit whose parts are programmed to remotely fly down towards him and get attached to Stark. Also in the movie is Colonel Rhodes' War Machine branded as Iron Patriot in Red-Blue-White.
The villain is menacing and makes Iron-Man's life difficult. He is not only physically strong but is also smart enough to be manipulative. Nothing more can be disclosed in a review without disclosing the details. Just one mention; since the villain is named the Mandarin, he is shown sporting Chinese tattoos and also breathes fire.
Acting performance is on par with the previous versions with Downey Jr, Paltrow and Don Cheadle reprising their roles. Guy Pearce and Ben Kingsley do well in their respective roles while Rebecca Hall didn't have enough screen time. Some info, Gwyneth Paltrow actually has six-pack abs. How cool is that!
The Verdict: Okay, granted that it has some failings and does get boring in parts; but the sheer star-power of Robert Downey Jr and some cool action keeps it alive. The post-credit scene also shows Stark meeting up with Dr Bruce Banner a.k.a Hulk. Is an Avengers movie lined up? Never mind what's in the pipeline; watch 'Iron-Man 3'.
Rating 7/10: Not overwhelming but entertaining enough