PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Entertainment

May 3, 2013

“Iron Man 3” kicks off the summer season with blast of excitement

— The summer movie season officially kicks off this weekend with the release of “Iron Man 3.” This much-anticipated sequel isn’t quite as good as the previous “Iron Man” or “Avengers” movies, but there is more than enough thrilling action to keep fans happy. If you don’t believe me, take note that the film opened overseas last weekend and has already grossed more than $198,000,000.

“Iron Man 3” opens after the events of last summer’s “Avengers” movie, and our hero, Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) is suffering from posttraumatic shock. He’s not really paying attention to world events, including the rise of a super villain known as The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley). That changes when The Mandarin brings the fight right to Tony’s doorstep. The attack nearly kills our hero, but it also shocks him into action. The rest follows a pretty standard comic book storyline, right up to the predictable but rousing finale.

I’m not a huge fan of the plot or the villain, but summer movies aren’t known for their storylines or character development. These movies are all about high concept action and special effects, and “Iron Man 3” features several great sequences that will have fans grinning with excitement. From the gunship attack on Tony’s Malibu mansion to a thrilling airborne rescue where Iron Man has to save thirteen people plummeting to their deaths, these action scenes are simply exhilarating.

The only misstep comes in a bomb attack that seems a bit insensitive given the recent events in Boston, but it’s not a plot point that could have been easily excised as a sop to public sentiment.

As good as the action is, it’s really Robert Downey, Jr. who makes Iron Man fly. He spends less time in his suit this time around, which gives him ample opportunity to fling out those verbal quips. His line delivery is worth the ticket price alone. In fact, my favorite parts of the movie are the scenes where Tony gets to bond with a young boy (Ty Simpkins). You’re expecting a touching father-son bonding moment, but this is Tony Stark, so the kid gets dismissively blown off just like everybody else. It’s hilarious.

It’s also nice to see Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) finally get an opportunity to play with the boys and I supposed Kingsley does yeoman’s work with an otherwise uninteresting villain. Other than that, “Iron Man 3” succeeds in all the predictable ways. The action is thrilling. The special effects are flawless, and Robert Downey, Jr. and the rest of the cast keep things fun in between the action set pieces. Granted, there’s a bit of franchise fatigue creeping in, but all things considered, “Iron Man 3” is still a blast, and a great way to kick off the summer movie season.

Movie reviews by Sean, “The Movie Guy,” are published bi-weekly in “The Port Arthur News” and seen weekly on KFDM-TV and KBOI 2-TV. Sean welcomes your comments via email at smcbride@kboi2.com.

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