ACTION; 2hr 10min
STARRING: Robert Downey Jr, Guy Pearce, Gywneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Ben Kingsley
Hyper hero: Downey
Three years on from Iron Man 2 and Tony Stark (Downey ) — industrialist, superhero, only too human — is all messed up in director Shane Black’s daredevil IM3. Well, no freaking wonder! A twitchy Tony has pressing anxiety problems and can’t sleep — and given his hyper-sensate, super-incendiary situation, it’s a Marvel miracle that he’s still in one slimly muscled, terrorist butt-kicking piece.
The rattily bearded and remorseless terrorist that Tony, his ladylove, Pepper Potts (Paltrow), and buddy James Rhodes (Cheadle) are up against is known as the Mandarin (Kingsley). He’s a hard-core nutcase with a blazing techno orbit, and between him and the dirty genius of the obsessive Aldrich Killian (Pearce), the Stark brigade has politically and personally crucial work to do.
With its zippy scripting, scattered laughs, hardline action and insane special effects, lucky 3 is a rock-star ride. As the jittery nerve centre, Downey’s finely-honed focus turns shiny Hollywood hardware into a self-realising journey that begins with the loss of everything Tony holds dear and culminates in a hard-won acceptance of who he is. Big-deal themes, but better yet, they’re mind-blowing to behold.