Before Stan Lee and Marvel Comics, the title Iron Man was designated a guy who worked in a laundromat. Now it is a movie series earning a billion dollars, film and chance for Stan Lee to continue his cameo appearances in the biggest movies ever. After the opening weekend bonanza, I have no doubt that Iron Man IV will be in production Monday morning at 8 a.m.
Iron Man was terrific. Iron Man II was kind of watchable. Iron Man III apparently learned the right lessons and is like Iron Man. Robert Downey, Jr. returns as the genius-turned-superhero with the help of technology. Gwyneth Paltrow is back as his girlfriend, girl Friday and business executive. She also fights when the need arises. Don Cheadle returns as Colonel Rhodes with his own patriotic Iron Man suit.
Also in the cast is Ben Kingsley. BK was born Krishna Pandit Bhanji in England in 1943 and turns 70 this New Years Eve. He is not slowing down. He is the villain. When on screen, he is a scene-stealer. How good is BK? Don’t be surprised if he gets a best supporting actor nomination at the Oscars. Also on screen, in very important non-scene stealing parts, are Guy Pearce and Rebecca Hall. RH has been in lots of films, but the only one I have good memories of was the Woody Allen film, Vicky Cristina Barcelona in 2008. She was Vicky. She was also in the Ben Affleck film, The Town, in 2010, but I think she got beat up a lot and had on a large amount of make-up.
Iron Man III is one terrific piece of work. Big set pieces are never so enormous that there is not room for lots of good humor. There are surprises in store including a super surprise from BK. Stan Lee cameos as a beauty contest judge. He holds up the sign with the number 10 on it. Be sure to stay till after the credits, as there is one more scene with a Marvel superhero. It’s worth the eight-minute wait while 7,000 names go by. Watch for Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan. JF directed the first two Iron Man films but declined this film so he could direct other movies. He plays the Stark Industries Security Chief and personal pal of Tony a.k.a. Iron Man. While there were a few establishing shots in various locales, most of the film was shot in North Carolina. Since Stan Lee sold Marvel Comics to Disney, he has enough money to buy North Carolina and not have to depend on his cameos to make a living. At 90 and counting he is starting to look like an Iron Man.
Rated 3.9 out of 4.0 guarantees that Iron Man 4.0 featuring a cameo by Stan Lee is on the way.