As we slowly and steadily work our way through the immense backlog of material I still need to watch, we arrive today at the third instalment of the Iron Man franchise, oddly enough THE hero that launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe to it`s stellar income generating behemoth that it is today.
Granted, Robert Downey Jr is perfectly cast as billionaire playboy Tony Stark, but at the bottom of it all is the fact that Iron Man itself was a B-list hero in the comics, as Marvel didn`t want to risk burning one of it`s big names when it plunged into the movie world.
But as we all now, bygones are bygones and Iron Man is really mainstream these days, popping up everywhere you look.
The main villains in the third movie are Aldritch Killian, aka Extremis, founder of the military think tank AIM (Advanced Ideas Mechanics) and The Mandarin... of sorts.
Because this isn`t the real deal. Ben Kingsley is supreme as... a stage actor that plays a, by Aldritch created, character in the style of Bin Laden and such to cover up his military experiments of former injured soldiers being injected with the extremis serum. This has the ability to boost the wounded and even have them regrow limbs, but at the downside of occasionally blowing oneself up...
Iron Man`s faithful companion, War Machine (now rebranded and repainted Iron Patriot in a public relations move) is also present to help Tony out, as is a whole collection of various Iron Man suits, all activated at once by the House Party Protocol and remote controlled by JARVIS.
The essence of the movie though is the fact that Tony struggles being a hero after the event of the first Avenger movie, and the alien invasion resulting in his near death there as he flew off with the missile. This not only makes him anxious and in constant nightmares, but he also doubts himself for being a hero. He saw gods, aliens and empowered beings, while labelling himself as just being `a man in a can`.
When his friend Happy is put in a coma by one such attack, he swears vengeance on The Mandarin, but as a result his house is blasted to smithereens and he goes in hiding, presumed dead by the media. He has to work with the faulty Mk42 armour prototype to overcome his foes, but when he finally does, he destroys all his suits, apparently putting down his hero persona, and has the shrapnel and his power source surgically removed from his chest.
Though right at the end he claims he IS Iron Man, and as he will be appearing next year in both The Avengers and the third Captain America movie, it is all a bit `wait and see` of how he will coming out of this movie.
It isn`t to bad a film, but truth to be told a bit too long for my own tastes, and not the best MCU has been putting out in their whole series. Never the less, it is worth a watch, because Downey Jr is just fantastic, as is Kingsley!