FILM FANS: Stark proves his return in 'Iron Man 3'

EDITOR'S NOTE: Film Fans features local residents reviewing the movie of the week: "Iron Man 3." Want to be a film fan? Email features@gwinnettdailypost.com.

2 stars out of 4 stars

Directed and co-written by Shane Black, "Iron Man 3" was overindulgent, drippy, and a weak and lifeless hot mess.

Admittedly, I'm a relatively new convert to the Marvel franchise. My first Marvel experience was "IM2" a few years ago and I was impressed that "IM2" was well done enough that it stood on its own merit. Not so much with "IM3." No spoiler alert needed -- it has bad guys fighting the good guys, lots of shootouts, explosions galore and enough fighting scenes to appease the young gamers who will undoubtedly flock en masse to see this movie multiple times.

I was thankful for the humor scattered throughout "IM3," which kept me from falling asleep. I found the movie confusing, convoluted and far too many things didn't make any sense. Unfortunately, schmaltzy performances were the norm: Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark, cutie patootie but bland and dull), Don Cheadle (War Machine -- limp version of a super hero if ever there was one), Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts, love interest with zero spark), Ben Kingsley (evil terrorist Mandarin -- brilliant actor, but this may go down in history as his worst performance), and the villain, Guy Pearce (rival Aldrich Killan, predictable good guy turned bad guy).

Was "IM3" entertaining? Sure. Was "IM3" worth $19.50? #waitfortherental.

-- Myra Simons, Buford

3 stars out of 4 stars

Rarely do trilogies fare well, but "Iron Man 3" is the exception. I enjoyed this installment, because in several ways Tony Stark returns to his roots of who he is: a mechanic without his Iron Man suit. It stars the unflappable Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow remains as Pepper, his love interest, and Cheadles plays Lt. Col. James "Rhodey" once again.

The plot of the story unfolds as a couple of people from Tony's past come back with a vengeance and the purpose of destroying the White House and the presidency.

At one point Tony has an opportunity to emotionally connect with a young child, and for the briefest of poignant moments there lingers a question mark if Tony will veer from his self-absorbed artificial character, and I don't think you'll be disappointed. The movie holds several comic relief scenes as well as self-deprecating humor.

If "it takes a village to raise a child," apparently it takes a nation (or two) to create a film. If you have the time, stick around after all credits roll -- and I do mean all -- and following is an epilogue of sorts.

-- Cathryn Veal, Lawrenceville

4 stars out of 4 stars

"Iron Man 3's" third installment shows a more personal side to Tony Stark aka Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), the true genius of a man who has created Iron Man and all of his technology and gadgets -- the superhero crime fighter who is part man and machine in or out of the suit. Lots of excitement and hype have proven this movie to be a true blockbuster. Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) starts out as the damsel in distress but truly explodes into a force to be reckoned with. Col. James Rhodes aka War Machine (Don Cheadle) gets his own Iron Man armor and he is quite a super hero. The bad guy Mandarin (Sir Ben Kingsley) is under used. Bad guy Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) is the quintessential misunderstood geek with an invention no one wants to take seriously.

This was a very entertaining superhero movie. It humanized a superhero with love conquering all in the end. The PG-13 should be strictly observed especially for young kids under 10.

-- Gail Nunez-Blackshear, Lawrenceville