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Lifestyle

May 2, 2013

'Iron Man 3': Not as good as '1,' but better than '2'

(Continued)

Meanwhile, the U.S. government has come up with their own version of Iron Man called Iron Patriot, helmed by Iron Man friend Col. James Rhodes (Don Cheadle).

As directed by Shane Black, taking over from Jon Favreau who did the first two, “Iron Man 3” is filled with a lot of things that go boom; just what you might be expect from the guy who wrote the screenplays for “Last Action Hero” and the “Lethal Weapon” movies. Yet Black, who co-wrote with Drew Pearce, also tries to keep things light and lively. There are many one-liners, including a shout-out to the long-forgotten 1973 sci-fi film “Westworld,” that help lessen the film’s predictability.

Black’s hand is probably most noticeable, though, in what he did with the Mandarin character, whom Black and others have suggested was a racist caricature in his original incarnation. Black’s solution should satisfy both longtime fans of the comic books as well as neophytes who wouldn’t know The Mandarin from Flash Gordon’s Emperor Ming.

All of the plot strands come together for an extended, if ultimately wearying display of weaponry and the set-up for more shenanigans in the inevitable “Iron Man 4.” As usual with Marvel movies, there’s a short coda after the end credits. Unless you’re a huge fan, it may not be worth sitting through the phone-book’s worth of names rolling up the screen.

Though you might need that time to try and get your hearing back.

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IRON MAN 3

3 stars (out of 5)

Director: Shane Black

Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce

Rated: PG-13 (scenes of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, brief suggestive content)

Running time: 130 min.

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