SynopsisTony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) is back again for the 3rd (or 4th counting the Avengers) time. He is haunted by the events of the Avengers movie, and is having trouble sleeping. There is also a new threat in the form of a terrorist named The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley). Pepper Potts (Gweneth Paltrow) has an old acquaintance in Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) who is also somehow involved with The Mandarin's attacks. James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) plays sidekick once again to Tony as War Machine/Iron Patriot.
ActingThis ends up being the Robert Downey Jr. show through and through. As charming as he can be, the other characters aren't given a chance to contribute much. Not even the villains. While Downey Jr. delivers the one liners and wittier dialogue with zest, the scenes where he is supposed to be having a panic attack are just plain awful. I usually like Guy Pearce in most of his prior roles, and I thought he would fit right in after his recent role in Lockout. He does about as well as he can for what he is given to work with. Still his character never quite reaches the same level as the villains in the previous two Ironman movies. The other characters in the movie have little to no impact on the story. Paltrow doesn't have much to do, and doesn't seem to have as much fight in her as in the prior two movies. Cheadle gets more of a tag along role which is disappointing. He even beefed up quite a bit. I feel like they should pipe in "I'm Sexy and I Know It" as his theme music. Kingsley did the best job of everyone playing The Mandarin. Unfortunately it turns out that he is but a minor character in the tale.
StoryThe script for this movie is not going to please fans of the comics. I apologize in advance for any mild spoilers here. The Mandarin is one of the main villains for Ironman in the comics. In this movie he is relegated to be a less than minor character. Also how does War Machine become Iron Patriot? They are two separate people in the comics. Even if you don't know the comics well, there are inconsistencies throughout the movie. There is one scene where the bad guys just find Tony Stark. He's in hiding, no contact with anyone, and he's declared dead. Yet the bad guys find him in some remote town anyway. I also have some issues with the ending. A couple of scenes towards the end kind of make sense but not really. Those kinds of things just irk me to no end.
The Bottom Line
This movie ranks right up there with Spiderman 3 and X-men United as being a huge disappointment. This movie is better than either of those train wrecks, but it doesn't live up to the hype that the previous two iterations built up for this franchise. Not to mention the amazing Avengers movie. It ends up being an average somewhat entertaining superhero movie. I read a few reviews before I went to go see this movie, and quite a few of the reviewers were claiming that this was the best Ironman movie out of the series. It seems like they wanted to like the movie so bad that it didn't matter how blatantly average it was, or they were smoking something. I understand that being a fan of Ironman makes this a must see, but maybe wait until it's at Redbox for this one.