“IRON MAN 3” from Disney opens in 3D and IMAX-3D on Fri., May 3, 2013. Starring Robert Downey, Jr., Ben Kingsley, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Dale Dickey, Ashley Hamilton, James Badge Dale and Jon Favreau. Directed by Shane Black (“Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”).
Tony Stark/Iron Man (Downey, Jr.) is involved in a technological crisis in the midst of international war, taking place after the events depicted in “The Avengers”. He is pitted against Mandarin (Kingsley), his arch-nemesis.
Jon Favreau, who directed the first two films in this franchise, said in 2010 that he would not direct a part three. He definitely meant it and will direct “The Magic Kingdom” instead. That doesn’t mean his involvement with the franchise has concluded. He was executive producer for “The Avengers” as well as this film. He also reprises his role as Happy Hogan, Stark’s bodyguard/chauffer, now Stark’s head of security.
Favreau’s shoes were filled by Shane Black who directed Downey, Jr., in “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”. Downey, Jr., was pleased with that change, calling it the “only transition that Favreau, Marvel, the audience and I could ever sign off on”.
Downey’s major concern is his own age (he was born in 1965) vs. the ability to continue as Iron Man. The stuntwork in the suits and the time it takes to shoot those scenes is very demanding work and hard on his body. He has vocalized his doubts about keeping the role very much longer but it is a role which belongs to him and he has nailed it four times (including The Avengers). In case he steps away from the franchise, he has also nailed the darkly quirky character of Sherlock Holmes twice.
The addition of Kingsley and the character of Mandarin is an idea come to fruition in this film. Mandarin, Stark’s longest-running nemesis in the comic books, was supposed to have appeared in Part One but was delayed because it made more sense to develop him later on. That pre-supposes that there would be additional films but “Iron Man” took off even better than expected. Thus, Kingsley, an adept and extremely versatile actor, is also a great villain.
This film is regarded as the beginning of the summer blockbusters. It’s release this weekend gives a two-week buffer zone for the impending journey into darkness with the crew of Star Trek.