Robert Downey Jr. ... Tony Stark
Gwyneth Paltrow ... Pepper Potts
Don Cheadle ... Colonel James Rhodes
Guy Pearce ... Aldrich Killian
Rebecca Hall ... Maya Hansen
Jon Favreau ... Happy Hogan
Ben Kingsley ... The Mandarin
Summary: The USA is under threat by a terrorist named The Mandarin who keeps hacking into their TV to show pictures of atrocities and make threats. People are dying in explosions all over the world. Tony Stark is having trouble with flashbacks to New York and his underlying need to protect Pepper. When circumstances put him up against the Mandarin he starts a journey that will change everything ... again.
I love this film. There are no two ways about it, Soph and I snuck off to see it yesterday afternoon and I would go and see it again today in a heartbeat. However, I have seen people say it's better than The Avengers and I would have to disagree. It's not the acting or the effects or the plot that make me say that, it's the humour. Maybe it needs a few Norse deities to knock off screen or a Hulk, but the humour in The Avengers is better. There are parts that are very funny (and if I tell you the funniest bit in my opinion it will be a huge spoiler, so I'm not going to, I will just say it made me think of a toad) and the first scene where he is testing the new armour is brilliant.
That being said, it is still an awesome movie and a must see for everyone.
One question, was it originally supposed to be a Christmas release? Given the whole Christmas theme running through it, it seemed a little strange it came out in April.
Let's start with the plot. Now I'm not a comic book fan, I know very little of what goes on in them, so I have no idea if it appalled comic book fans, I just know I think the plot is a gem. It's well paced, well thought out, well written and I loved it. Yes there is a kid in it at certain points, a kid that could have made it so Disney and so not Marvel, but he is brilliant and the plot uses him perfectly, IMHO.
The effects are epic and I really mean that. I saw it in 2D because I hate 3D and it was magnificent. All the battles were simply amazing and every moment of them held my attention. I was not sitting there at all at any point looking at my watch wondering when it would end (unlike in Oblivion the other week). The effects outside the battles are also fantastic and I do love the new armour.
So, on to what really makes this movie for me: the actors and their characters.
Tony Stark in this movie is brilliant. I love the fact that he has PTSD from New York. At the end of The Avengers you see him shrug it all off, but that's just an act. That there are consequences, even for the great Tony Stark, humanise him in a way that even the whole dying thing from #2 didn't. The way this movie takes him back to basics is brilliant and it is perfect that someone actually has to give him the advice (please forgive me if the quote is not quite right, I am quoting from memory):
'You said you were a mechanic right? ... Then just build something.'
The fact that a lot of his psychological fallout comes from that he feels he needs to protect Pepper is also spot on. I love how these films are brining them closer and closer together, because they are one kick arse couple.
You really see how much of a friend he is to Tony and how much of a fabulous officer he is as well. He gets to be a hero as well as a foil for Tony Stark.
Ben Kingsley is also brilliant for other reasons that I cannot reveal because of spoilers.
You first see him as he is on the left at a business meeting with Pepper and when he kisses her on the cheek to say goodbye I already wanted to shoot him between the eyes. He's played that well.
The other characters are also engaging and interesting: The President, Happy, Maya, and it is a well rounded, visually stunning, fast paced, exciting film.
My favourite part of all would be a huge spoiler, so I will just say, Barrel of Monkeys and be done with it. It was so innovative (even though I'm pretty sure the physics and biology of one part of it were not compatible) and I thought it was brilliant.
This film will stay with me for a long time ... when's the blu-ray coming out? :)