AG Rating: 95
Tony Stark is struggling to cope with his experience in New York with Gods and Aliens. He is troubled by the question: does the man make the suit or the suit make the man??!!....Well, he is about to find out in....shall I say...'Mandarin' fashion!!..hehe...
Special note on Marvel Phase II:
This is the first film of Marvel Phase II, Phase I of which concluded with 2012's The Avengers. And it has started with a bang!! This very first film has turned out to be way better than any of the movies of Phase I!!
As Tony struggles with his anxiety attacks, he enters an (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)^2 and tinkers and tankers day and night with his toys and his armors. Meanwhile, a ruthless terrorist who goes by the name 'The Mandarin' ravages America with his bombings which mysteriously leave no trace at all of the bomb parts anywhere near the blast radius. When his man Friday 'Happy Hogan' is critically injured in one such blast, he gets enraged and challenges the Mandarin to come and find him. And then, in one swift motion, Tony's Malibu mansion is attacked and completely destroyed with Iron Man disappearing into the deep waters along with the wreckage. Presumed dead by the world, he finds himself in Tennessee with a broken suit and pretty much nothing. With the help of a kid who appears to be a younger version of himself, he goes about finding the Mandarin. What he finds there however is that things are not always what they seem to be. He also finds that the demons of the past can come back to hunt you savagely. Will he find the Mandarin?? Will he able to become the Iron Man he was known to be?? and most importantly, will he able to answer the question that has been troubling him??!!
This surely is the BEST Marvel film to date and also Robert Downey Juniors finest performance as Iron Man/Tony Stark. He beautifully balances his act and shows us Iron Mans vulnerable side for the first time. The reason I have talked about his performance in the film section is because Iron Man is woefully incomplete without R. Downey Jr. The film is engrossing for almost all of the time unlike the Avengers which frankly had a quite boring first hour. Right from the beginning, the film sets the right tone and the opening shot is a perfect foreshadow of the events to be. Despite being the darkest Iron Man yet, not to mention the darkest marvel film, it is ironically the funniest marvel film yet. R Downey Jr. has a God-gifted Lingual dexterity and he uses it here with full aplomb. The film very beautifully takes us through the now familiar journey of a hero rising from the ashes( aka The Dark Knight Rises).
Though it is not flawless, the plot has been crafted by Shane Black and co with great care. It is intense at a lot of places, hilarious at lots of places, filled with blockbuster action at lots and actually sets the standard for future marvel films.
Shane Black rights all the wrongs of the second part and though it doesn't reach the refreshing originality of the first one(perhaps no future parts, if any, can), he still creates a film that, if it is the last one, looks like the perfect final film of the trilogy. While Jon Favreau is creditable with successfully launching the Iron Man universe, Shane Black successfully completes the trilogy(looks likely)
Again, Downey is the soul of the film. Ben Kingsley is absolutely brilliant and so is Guy Pearce who I feel is a bit under-utilized. Gwyneth Paltrow and Rebecca Hall also deserve a special mention.
The crackling buddy chemistry between Downey and Don Cheadle. It was such a crackling chemistry and Don Cheadle is so good that there can actually be a standalone Iron Patriot film featuring him in a leading role!! So Don Cheadle also deserves a special mention.
The score is surprisingly well crafted and it does manage to stick with you even after you have left the hall.
The AG Verdict
A surprisingly rare effort by Marvel with an epic ending. A thumbs up!!!