Yes, Robert Downey, Jr. ,is Iron Man. With or without a suit of iron he is possibly the finest actor out there. He takes his moments. His timing is impeccable; his sense of humor, flawless; his looks, more than appealing; his movements are always about to spring into the unknown; he is quick, wiry and wonderful.
Iron Man 3 is directed by Shane Black -- who also wrote the script with a team of hipsters focused on a let's-not-miss-a-beat-pace. I wanted to see more of the world's most beautiful woman, Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts). Here she is minimalized. Don Cheadle (Colonial James Rhodes) is his usual competent, charming self, but some of the most engaging scenes are between the small fry Ty Simpkins (Harley Keener) and Stark sparring about fathers and whatnot. Keener stands up to his hero, Stark, in a no romper room tete-a-tete. Stark refers to Keener's father and uses 'pussy ' in the exchange which flies over this wise even though from bumpkinland-tot-like-bod.
"Dads leave. No need to be such a pussy about it," Stark blurts to Keener who has no father. Here the dialogue is hip, crisp and ripe for pickins'.
The plot is the usual fare. Tony Stark aka Iron Man is threatened by the evil terrorist, The Mandarin, played with great wit by Ben Kingsley, but it is Guy Pearce (Aldrich Killian) who is the true villain. Special effects help to villainize Killian into a kind of molten lava form. These effects are first seen on a drop down gorgeous Ashley Hamilton (Taggert) who is morphed into a hideous glowing monster on an internal fire in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre. This theatre is also burned to the ground in an attack by the menacing Mandarin.
Rebecca Hall (Maya Hansen) is stellar as biologist friend of Pepper's and a treat to gaze upon amidst the grotesque terrorists. Producer Jon Favreau casts himself early on as Happy Hogan and as usual is competent and provides comic relief. For a moment.
Throughout the film the effects are top-notch particularly near the end. The sound is bombastic and yet not overbearing in quiet moments. As music is played throughout the credits, I was amazed to see the audience not only applaud while some stood and all remained in the theatre for a tag ending that the audience had been waiting for. Word of mouth does wonders for film and Hollywood. This audience had heard about this tag ending and wasn't going to miss it to hit the parking lot early.
In Iron Man 3 we once more concur that the man makes the suit. Iron Man would not exist without that hunk Robert Downey, Jr. and his glib attitude and sense of awe shucks when facing danger that does not faze him. After seeing these films, I envy Tony Stark for his resilience, lack of fear and for choosing to inhabit the body of the irresistible Robert Downey Jr. "Spot on," as Marvel Comics' Stan Lee might say. "Spot on."