After lunch at Bill's Bar and Burger on 9th Avenue at 13th Street, I took the subway up and ducked into the AMC Loews 34th Street 14 for a 2:00 P.M. show of Iron Man 3.
The original IRON MAN is the new standard in superhero movies. IRON MAN 2 is a movie I enjoyed on first viewing but have liked less each time since. IRON MAN 3 has highs and lows. It's better than 2, but surpassing 2 is not all that hard.
After the latest in a series of bombings by The Mandarin puts Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) in a coma, Tony Stark vows personal revenge, going so far as to give The Mandarin his home address. Well spoiled by previews, The Mandarin levels Tony's house and leaves him for dead, forcing armor-less Tony to regroup off the grid.
The rebuilding aspect of the movie is very human and shows Robert Downey Jr. at his spontaneous best, but there are also many tangents taking away from the chance to deliver a deeper message. In addition to firing back at Tony, The Mandarin captures the U.S. President (If he's ever been seen or mentioned in the series before, I forget. The only way I could care was to ask, "What hero wouldn't save the President?"). Tony also suffers post-traumatic stress from being sucked into the wormhole at the end of THE AVENGERS, but his trauma isn't explored. It just seems to be there so Tony can bug out of the plot at random.
In some ways, IRON MAN 3 feels like a wrap-up to a trilogy, but it also feels like a James Bond movie, complete with the closing credit, "Tony Stark Will Return". I would have liked more decisiveness.