This continuing adventure has the quick-witted Tony Stark still being precocious, genius-like and more in touch with his human side. Before a brash egotistical self-centered rich arms developer, He has lived with his mortality and caused enough pain in the lives of those who mean the most to him, that the is coming to grips with what he can and cannot do to help as well as protect them.
I like the way he connects with a young boy in a secondary Father-son relationship. Out of it emerges humorous dialogue and hints of longings from both of them. Harley gives Stark moments for his tender side to show itself. Bright beyond his years, young Harley impresses Stark with his curiosity, creativity and confidence.
Stark will invest in this young life that helps him make key steps in solving the mysteries of the villain in the show. Some may have wanted this relationship to develop even further but that would have been a test of believability that most of us who have Stark pegged would have had a hard time believing. It is enough for a future installment in the Iron Man saga.
Who does not like Pepper Potts? Gwyneth Paltrow is perfectly cast in this role. She keeps the reality of humanity doggedly as a part of this movie. Her devotion, sensibility and emotional contributions are perfectly balanced for a non-super superhero.
Ben Kingsley is wonderful both as the villainous “the Mandarin” as well as the somewhat uncertain and insecure actor. Who would have predicted this development. It was a total surprise to me to not see the collision course of two on the evil side either collide or join as allies against the side of good. Kingsley shows his acting virtuosity.
Every good story has a well sculpted villain who nearly controls all things and threatens all that is right in the world. Killian fits that role. At first he is an interesting threat. Yet, I was not convinced that he had the wherewith all to dominate the Iron Man.
Then, surprises along the way launch him from being dismissed as an evil enough bad guy, to totally powerful enemy for Iron Man to hopefully find an unexpected way to pull off a victory. I liked this movie. It was very entertaining.
photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography