Claremore Daily Progress

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May 7, 2013

‘Iron Man 3’ strikes while the ‘Iron’ is hot

CLAREMORE —

When last we saw billionaire industrialist Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), he was in good spirits and coming off a hard-fought victory with his fellow Avengers to literally save the world. And eating schwarma.
As “Iron Man 3” opens however, we learn that Stark is haunted by his experiences from “The Avengers,”  what with the arrival of malevolent aliens and Norse gods, Stark’s worldview has been considerably disrupted.
So troubled is Stark, the former weapons-designer-turned-heroic-do-gooder has obsessively thrown himself into his work (more than usual) to keep from thinking about what he’s seen — a productive if flawed coping mechanism that’s part denial, part post-traumatic stress disorder suppression, showing up in the form of sleeplessness and severe anxiety attacks.
Stark’s CEO and girlfriend (I guess that’s what you’d call her at this point), Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow)  worries about his health as he tinkers away in the basement of his opulent Malibu cliffside home, ever-upgrading, duplicating and improving the Iron Man suits. 
Even Stark’s sentient computer, Javis (voiced by Paul Bettany) is concerned for Stark’s mental and physical health.
Here to help Stark work through his PTSD with humor (and lots of explosions) is director Shane Black, who wrote “Lethal Weapon”  and “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” which he also directed.
Under Black’s direction, “Iron Man 3” is an ominously exciting affair, wired for maximum intensity (and enjoyment), frequently moving as fast and furious as Iron Man himself. 
While the first “Iron Man” movie ushered in the modern age of high-gloss Marvel Comics-inspired movies, “Iron Man 2” was largely forgettable (at least I think it was — I can’t remember). This installment however, for me at least, was the best of the three — funnier, smoother, more surprising and complex than the previous “Iron Man” movies, while still honoring most of the traditional superhero movie tropes.

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