Iron Man 3
Predictability can be deadly for a major motion picture, but in the case of Shane Black's Iron Man 3, it will be the key to the film's predictably substantial success. Black took over the directing duties from Jon Favreau, who along with star Robert Downey Jr. introduced the world to Marvel comic's glibly egoistic and irreverent Iron Man in 2008 and brought him back for a rousing second act in 2010. The character was the best among equals in last year's Avengers, directed by wunderkind Joss Whedon. This year's Iron Man model has all of the sleekness and polish of its predecessors, and mountains of demolished steel, and maniacal villains (Sir Ben Kingsley and Guy Pearce) AND a pretty clever twist to boot. What's not to love? Downey Jr. is in complete control of the proceedings (even though some of the film's biggest laughs come from the utter unpredictability of Tony Stark's hardward). Series regular Gwyneth Paltrow (People's Most Beautiful Woman?) as the ever-imperiled though brainy Pepper Potts as is Don Cheadle as Col. Rhodes, Iron Man's beefy comrade in armor match RDJ intensive measure for measure. Especially refreshing is a segment that features the child actor Ty Simpkins, who plays a latch-key Tennessee boy who stumbles across a beaten but unbowed Stark and his hollow Iron Man suit in the family tool shed. It's all great, lavishly excessive Marxian fun (Groucho not Karl) and is highly recommended.