Friday, May 24, 2013

Movie Review: Fast and Furious 6 (2013)

Fast and Furious 6 Movie Review Sung Kang, Ludacris, Gal Gadot, Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Tyrese Gibson

Dom (Vin Diesel) and his gang want to settle down in one place after the big heist in the previous movie, but are unable to do so due to the criminal charges against them. Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) offers to dismiss all the charges, provided Dom helps him take down Shaw (Luke Evans) and his gang. Dom also has a vested interest in this operation, as his long lost love, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) is still alive and working for Shaw.

Evans operates in over 12 countries and has access to highly sophisticated machinery that can derail any pursuing vehicles.

Dom and his crew are outsmarted in the first round, as can be expected. Never one to back down, Dom works to defeat Shaw and win back Letty.

Fast and Furious 6 Movie Review Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Dwayne The Rock Johnson and Gina Carano

I have seen the first movie, The Fast and the Furious (2001). That movie had some amazing car chase sequences. I had predicted that the franchise would be surely afflicted with Sequelitis in this sixth outing.

I was in for a major surprise. There are 3 major action sequences and all three are executed nicely by the director, Justin Lin and his stunt crew. Kudos to them on a job very well done.

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There is not much of a plot to speak of. After all, this is a movie about people racing each other on the streets for various purposes, ranging from impressing one another to getting away with stolen money. Most of the characters walk away completely unhurt from car flips and accidents that would definitely cause quite an injury in real life.

To give the movie credit, it does not take itself too seriously. There are lot of self-referential jabs at some of the cast members and the plot itself.

Fast and Furious 6 Movie Review Ludacris, Sung Kang, Tyrese Gibson and Luke Evans

Tyrese Gibson provides most of the comic relief. He has some fun exchanges with Ludacris and Dwayne.

Coming to the cast, Vin Diesel, Paul Walker have been doing this roles for such a long time that they can probably do this in their sleep. The rest of the cast, including newcomer Evans fill out their roles nicely.

Fast and Furious 6 Movie Review Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster and Paul Walker

The movie knows it audience and plays to the gallery - hot looking girls (both lead actresses and extras) and most importantly, grip-the-edge-of-your-seats car chases. There are a couple of fist fights that do not have the impact of the car chases.

Fast and Furious 6 Movie Review Car Chase Action Scenes Sequences are amazing (Tyrese Gibson, Vin Diesel and Paul Walker)

But the car sequences are themselves worth the price of admission. The movie could have used some editing and would have been more effective with lesser running time. As such, there is too much talking time between the chase scenes.

Overall, a near perfect popcorn entertainment and the first 2013 summer movie that I enjoyed. Recommended to fans of the series and readers looking out for a fun action packed blockbuster.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Latest Trailer for "Man of Steel"


Henry Cavill as Superman in Man of Steel
Henry Cavill makes a dashing Superman

Check out the latest action packed trailer for "Man of Steel". 



Directed by Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen). Produced by Chris Nolan (Inception, The Dark Knight trilogy). Starring Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane and Russell Crowe.

I was not that impressed with the first full length trailer that came out last month. Since then, the TV spots have been getting better and I have reconsidered my thoughts. This trailer is just amazing and I am pumped up for this movie.

The cast looks terrific. I was initially skeptical about Henry Cavill's casting as the iconic superhero. I have to confess that he looks good in the part. We will find out shortly if he matches or exceeds the late Christopher Reeve's classic performance as Supes.

Hans Zimmer provides the music and his work alone makes it worth one's time to watch a movie. His soundtracks for Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes movies and The Dark Knight trilogy are couple of my all time favorites.

Rest of the cast looks good. I especially look forward to Russell Crowe and Michael Shannon as Jor-El and General Zod respectively.

Man of Steel looks to be action packed and has an epic scope, as any Superman movie should be.

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Friday, May 17, 2013

TV Review: Elementary Episode # 24 - Heroine


Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes in CBS Elementary Season 1 Finale Episode # 24 Heroine

This is a spoiler heavy review. I recommend the readers to skip this review, if they have not seen the episode yet.

Click here to read the review of previous episode, "The Woman".

Irene Adler (Natalie Dormer) revealed herself to be Moriarty at the end of previous episode, "The Woman". She warns the injured Holmes to let her win to avoid further pain.

Holmes being Holmes, puts all his efforts to tracking Moriarty down. His investigation leads him to one Christos Theophilus (Arnold Vosloo), a Greek businessman with a shady past. Moriarty has abducted Christos' daughter and forces him to assassinate Andrej Bacera, another prominent personality to ensure his daughter's safety. Holmes is unsuccessful in his attempts and goes on a drug overdose. Holmes lands in hospital and receives a surprise visitor.

Canonical References
  1. "I know how much pride you take in your uniqueness" - Holmes states in A Study in Scarlet: "Well, I have a trade of my own. I suppose I am the only one in the world. I'm a consulting detective, if you can understand what that is."
  2. Miller's Holmes comments that he had stopped one of Moriarty's crime when he was still working at Scotland Yard - In the Canon, Sherlock Holmes was always an unofficial consulting detective.
  3. Moriarty remarks about Miler's Holmes: "Here at last seemed to be a mind that rivaled my own..." - Holmes states about Moriarty in The Adventure of the Final Problem: "You know my powers, my dear Watson, and yet at the end of three months I was forced to confess that I had at last met an antagonist who was my intellectual equal."

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  4. Miller's Holmes complimenting Captain Gregson on grasping the fact Irene Adler is a criminal mastermind " Very good captain, You have it all straight" - The Canonical Holmes had a habit of having fun at the expense of Scotland Yarders regularly.
  5. Miller's Holmes mentions that he can break the code sent by Moriarty to his agents - In The Adventure of the Dancing Men, Sherlock Holmes solves the case by decrypting similarly coded messages
  6. Miller's Holmes is seen skipping food while on the lookout for Christos Theophilus - The Canonical Holmes is known for skipping food and sleep when working hard on a case
  7. Holmes is able to listen to the voice on the other end of Joan's phone call and comments that he is not an any pain medication that might dull his senses - Reference to the Canonical Sherlock 's acute sense of hearing
  8. One of the kidnappers have a tattoo on his arms in Cyrillic alphabet - Possible reference to the story The Valley of Fear, in which the members of the secret society, The Scowrers have the design of a triangle inside a circle tattooed on their forearms as part of the initiation ceremony
  9. Natalie's Moriarty conspires to reap profits by changing the value of a nation's currency - Sherlock states about Professor Moriarty in The Valley of Fear: "...a brain which might have made or marred the destiny of nations—that's the man!"
  10. Moriarty tells Joan during their meeting in the restaurant: "Surely by now you appreciate the scope of my organization" - Holmes states about Professor Moriarty in The Adventure of the Final Problem: "You stand in the way not merely of an individual but of a mighty organization, the full extent of which you, with all your cleverness, have been unable to realize."
  11. Moriarty informs Joan: " I have eyes and ears in the most fascinating of places" - Holmes states about Professor Moriarty in The Adventure of the Final Problem: "But his agents are numerous and splendidly organized."
  12. Moriarty meets Christos Theophilus face-to-face to hand him the weapon to murder Andrej Bacera - This is contrary to the Canon. Holmes states about Professor Moriarty in The Adventure of the Final Problem: "He has a brain of the first order. He sits motionless, like a spider in the centre of its web, but that web has a thousand radiations, and he knows well every quiver of each of them. He does little himself. He only plans. Is there a crime to be done, a paper to be abstracted, we will say, a house to be rifled, a man to be removed -- the word is passed to the professor, the matter is organized and carried out. The agent may be caught. In that case money is found for his bail or his detence. But the central power which uses the agent is never caught -- never so much as suspected."
  13. The closing scene has Sherlock and Joan discussing about bees - In the story His Last Bow, Sherlock mentions he is writing a book on Bee Keeping entitled “Practical Handbook of Bee Culture, with some Observations upon the Segregation of the Queen”
  14. Moriarty addresses Joan as "My Dear Watson" in the restaurant - The Classical Holmes often addresses Dr Watson in that manner
Jonny Lee Miller and Natalie Dormer as Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler Moriarty in CBS Elementary Episode # 24 Heroine

Natalie Dormer steals the show as Moriarty. She outperforms Miller and pretty much everyone else in the cast. Only Lucy Liu as Joan makes an impression in this episode, thanks to Dormer's charisma.

Moriarty has some of the best lines in this episode - "... as if men had an monopoly over murder" and "You proceeded to prove you were inferior by disappearing into a syringe" being couple of them.

Miller's Holmes remains "inferior" till the end as it is Joan's idea to trap Moriarty. Interestingly, Holmes himself had used a similar strategy in episode # 2 "While You Were Sleeping". Moriarty also taunts Miller's Holmes over his "legendary powers of observation" that have never been displayed on this show so far. Perhaps, Moriarty is privy to the display of those powers!

Arnold Vosloo makes a guest appearance as Christos Theophilus, the ill-fated father who gets manipulated by Moriarty into becoming a pawn in her master plan

The episode is OK till the resolution, which is just a big letdown. A criminal mastermind who can alter the fate of nations, getting caught by visiting Sherlock in the hospital is just ridiculous. But then, Elementary has never impressed with the quality of the scripts. A fitting finale to a mediocre show.

Trivia
  • "Osmia avosetta" is the name of the rare species of bees, that Holmes receives as a gift from a previous client
  • The song "Dreaming of Some Space" by Beady Eye is played in the final scene, when Miller's Holmes names his new species of bees "Euglassa Watsonia" to honor Joan Watson

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Vasily Livanov as Sherlock Holmes
Canonical References in BBC Sherlock

TV Review: Elementary Episode # 23 - The Woman


Jonny Lee Miller and Natalie Dormer as Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler Moriarty in CBS Elementary Season 1 Finale Episode # 23 The Woman

This review has spoilers. I recommend the readers to skip this review, if they have not watched the episode yet.

As seen at the end of the previous episode "Risk Management", Holmes is reunited with Irene Adler. Holmes takes up full time the task of keeping Irene safe. Joan continues Holmes' consulting with NYPD. Joan's deductions lead the cops to catch a suspect. In the end, it is revealed that Irene Adler is in fact, Moriarty.

Canonical References
  1. Miller' Holmes states: "A man should know when he is beaten" - Dr Watson states about Holmes in A Scandal in Bohemia: "...how the best plans of Mr. Sherlock Holmes were beaten by a woman’s wit."
  2. Miller's Holmes remarks about the difference between a PI and a Consulting Detective: "Considerably less clandestine photography of cheating spouses, yeah" - This reminded of the Canonical Sherlock's often repeated disdain for the official force
  3. Holmes seems to be flattered by Irene's appreciation of his "beauty" - This is in contrast to the Canon. Watson states about Holmes in A Study in Scarlet: "I had already observed that he was as sensitive to flattery on the score of his art as any girl could be of her beauty."
  4. Miller's Holmes and Irene Adler discussing about forgery in paintings - Holmes states about Professor Moriarty in The Adventure of the Final Problem: "Again and again in cases of the most varying sorts -- forgery cases, robberies, murders -- I have felt the presence of this force, and I have deduced its action in many of those undiscovered crimes in which I have not been personally consulted."
  5. The character of "Mr Stapleton" - Reference to the character from The Hound of the Baskervilles

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  6. Miller's Holmes "bargains" for a date with Irene Adler - This is a direct departure from the Canon - “His aversion to women and his disinclination to form new friendships were both typical of his unemotional character,..” from The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter and “I am not a whole-souled admirer of womankind, as you are aware, Watson,…” from The Valley of Fear
  7. Miller's Holmes looks very pleased when Irene proposes to spend some together in her apartment and they proceed to have a "sexual marathon". Holmes even tries to repeat that experience with Irene and instead settles for a (romantic) walk in London's tunnels - Watson states about Holmes in A Scandal in Bohemia: “…while Holmes, who loathed every form of society with his whole Bohemian soul, remained in our lodgings in Baker Street, buried among his old books,…”. Watson also mentions about Holmes in The Adventure of the Reigate Puzzle: “but when Holmes understood that the establishment was a bachelor one, and that he would be allowed the fullest freedom, he fell in with my plans  and a week after our return from Lyons we were under the colonel's roof.”
  8. Miller's Holmes mentions about making his own map of London's extensive networks of underground tunnels and catacombs - The Canonical Holmes has an intimate knowledge of London.
  9. Miller's Holmes has had sex with women in London and NY. Knowing Holmes' knack for taking international cases, it is not a stretch to imagine that he has had his fun in other countries too - Interestingly in the Canon, it is Dr Watson who is the Ladies' Man. He mentions in The Sign of the Four: "In an experience of women which extends over many nations and three separate continents,..." 
  10. Miller's Holmes refers to his habit of dabbling with narcotics - Reference to the Canonical Holmes' cocaine addiction
  11. M's message made up of cut up words from papers - Beryl Stapleton sent a similarly constructed message to Sir Henry Baskerville in The Hound of the Baskervilles
  12. Miller's Holmes asking Joan to "dismantle" Moriarty's empire in Holmes' absence, to "expedite" Holmes' return - This is in direct departure from the Canon. In The Adventure of the Final Problem: "This was the organization which I deduced, Watson, and which I devoted my whole energy to exposing and breaking up. "
  13. Moriarty tries to get killed Proctor for his sloppy work and getting nearly caught - Holmes states about Professor Moriarty in The Valley of Fear: “In the first place, I may tell you that Moriarty rules with a rod of iron over his people. His discipline is tremendous. There is only one punishment in his code. It is death. Now we might suppose that this murdered man—this Douglas whose approaching fate was known by one of the arch-criminal's subordinates—had in some way betrayed the chief. His punishment followed, and would be known to all—if only to put the fear of death into them.”
  14.  Miller's Holmes uses a single stick to defend himself from Proctor - The Canonical Holmes is an expert with single stick.
Jonny Lee Miller and Natalie Dormer as Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler Moriarty in CBS Elementary Season 1 Finale Episode # 23 The Woman

Miller's body language and mannerisms (specifically his way of pointing with his finger) are increasingly becoming a distraction. Coupled with the liberties taken (mentioned in the Canonical References section), it is hard to believe that the character he is playing is "the great Sherlock Holmes" (as Irene refers to him in a scene).

Miller's performance as a romantically involved Sherlock is just plain funny. Special mention must be made of the scene in the police station, where Miller's Holmes plays the perfect gentleman and opens the door for the love of his life, Irene Adler. Equally amusing was the scene in the garage ("safe place"), where Miller's Holmes talks about his concern about keeping Irene safe from further pain and danger.

Miller's Holmes not getting suspicious after Irene describes his face as being symmetrical was quite incredible. His plans to leave NY to save Irene's life and leaving it to Joan to take care of Moriarty and his criminal empire is patently unSherlockian.

Lucy Liu and Natalie Dormer fare far better than Miller. 

Lucy Liu is still the best part of Elementary. She comes off as a believable Watson. I would even go further and suggest that she should have been cast as Holmes.

Natalie Dormer gives a good performance as Moriarty posing as Irene Adler. The show has a terrible record of using Canonical characters who disappear after one appearance (anyone remember Miss Hudson from episode # 19 "Snow Angels"). It will be interesting to see how  soon  and how much of Moriarty will be seen in the next season.

Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu in CBS Elementary

The worst part was every time the name "Mr Stapleton" was mentioned. For readers unfamiliar with the original stories, Stapleton is the antagonist in the novel The Hound of the Baskervilles. If this was done by the writers with the probable intent to impress viewers with their knowledge of the Canon, it only had the opposite effect. Throwing his name around repeatedly (in a completely unrelated story) as a possible agent of Moriarty was quite irksome.

Another puzzling part is how one of Moriarty's agents determined that his employer is a lady. As Holmes states about Moriarty in The Valley of Fear: "The agent may be caught. In that case money is found for his bail or his detence. But the central power which uses the agent is never caught -- never so much as suspected." Dormer's Moriarty herself mentions in the next episode "Heroine" that one of her lieutenants passed off for her as the real Moriarty to hide the truth about her gender.

Recommended only to die-hard fans of the show.

Trivia
  • The song "Don Giovanni: Overture to Act 1" by Berliner Philharmoniker and Daniel Barenboim is played in the final scene, when Miller's Holmes discovers that Irene is actually Moriarty in disguise
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Vasily Livanov as Sherlock Holmes
Canonical References in BBC Sherlock

Friday, May 10, 2013

TV Review: Elementary Episode # 22 - Risk Management


Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes in CBS Elementary Episode # 22 Risk Management

Moriarty wants Holmes to solve a murder case. Against Joan's wishes, he takes up the case with the desperate intention of getting any kind of clue(s) about the man who killed Irene Adler.

Captain Gregson is concerned about Joan's safety and does his best to ensure her safety. Joan is too smart for such tactics and not even Holmes can keep her away from the scene of action.

Canonical References
  1. Moriarty quotes almost verbatim the following lines spoken by Holmes (about Moriarty) from The Adventure of the Final Problem: "He sits motionless, like a spider in the centre of its web, but that web has a thousand radiations, and he knows well every quiver of each of them. He does little himself. He only plans. But his agents are numerous and splendidly organized. Is there a crime to be done, a paper to be abstracted, we will say, a house to be rifled, a man to be removed... "
  2.  Moriarty compliments Holmes that he would "excel as an assassin" - The Canonical Holmes himself remarked on more than one occasion that he would make a great burglar and that the society is lucky that he is working for the law and not against it.
  3.  Miller's Holmes states that "new eyes on a case could be new information" - The Canonical Holmes often discusses with Watson to see if he can get a new clue or leads to solve an ongoing case.
  4.  Captain Gregson informing Joan about a prospective client (as a sober companion) - The Canonical Holmes got many of his cases from Scotland Yard
  5. Miller's Holmes mentions that Irene Adler was American - In A Scandal in Bohemia, Holmes maintains the following information about Irene Adler in his files: "Born in New Jersey in the year 1858. "

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  6.  Miller's Holmes referring to Irene Adler as The Woman - In A Scandal in Bohemia, Watson states about Irene Adler: "To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name."
  7.  Miller's Holmes mentions that Irene Adler "eclipsed and predominated the whole of her gender" - In A Scandal in Bohemia, Watson states about Irene Adler: "In his eyes she eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex."
  8.  Miller's Holmes indicates that Irene Adler is the only woman he ever loved - This is contrary to the Canon. In A Scandal in Bohemia, Watson states about Irene Adler: "It was not that he felt any emotion akin to love for Irene Adler."
  9.  When asked about his martial arts skills, Miller's Holmes mentions "Single stick, now and then again". - Watson mentions about Holmes in A Study in Scarlet: “Is an expert singlestick player, boxer, and swordsman.” Holmes himself states in The Adventure of the Illustrious Client:  “I’m a bit of a single-stick expert, as you know.”
  10.  Miller's Holmes waking up Joan from her sleep (for the nth time in the show) - In the Canon, it has happened in many cases – either due to the sudden visit by a client (The Adventure of the Speckled Band) or after Holmes has had a sudden brainwave (The Man with the Twisted Lip)
  11. Miller's Holmes mentions that he has "been stiff, sitting for too long". - The Canonical Holmes is known to occupy the same posture for long periods of time, when he is pondering on a case.

-----------Spoilers ahead. Skip this section if you not have seen this episode yet------

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The final 5 minutes show that Irene Adler is alive. Viewers can safely skip the rest of the episode. In fact, now that you have this information, you can skip the entire episode and check out the season finale due on May 16.

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Lucy Liu as Joan Watson in CBS Elementary Episode # 22 Risk Management

As for the mystery plot, it was one of the most boring ones. By Elementary's usual standards, that's saying a lot. Joan did most of the deductions.

But the episode did have its share of enjoyable parts. The best scene was definitely Holmes' reaction to Irene's presence in the room. Miller goes so over the top that he stopped being Holmes and became just another lovelorn TV show protagonist. This scene is easily the funniest moment in the show!

Joan had her moments too and thankfully, at least hers were the (intentionally) good ones. She was smart enough to deduce not only Captain Gregson's true intentions but also Holmes' plan to face Moriarty alone. She also made some fine deductions about the victim's wounds.

Holmes was left to read the case details on the web and being too emotionally involved to make his deductions. This episode almost reversed the roles of Holmes and Watson and reminded me of the original story The Sign of the Four (SIGN). In SIGN, Watson meets Mary Morstan and instantly falls in love with her. Holmes, as usual, is emotionally detached and solves the case. Watson does end up with Mary in the end. But he experiences a roller-coaster ride of emotions as the case progresses, something that Miller's Holmes goes through in this episode.

The other notable aspect was the characterization of the show's version of Irene Adler. Elementary's Irene Adler (portrayed by Natalie Dormer) is a painter who restores renaissance paintings for museums. The Canonical Irene Adler is an opera singer and an adventuress.

Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson in CBS Elementary Episode # 22 Risk Management

Trivia
The overture to Don Giovanni (Don Juan), K. 527 by Mozart is played in the background, as Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson approach Irene Adler.

In a nutshell: A certifiably boring episode with some strong dose of unintentional humor, this is a near perfect example of what is wrong with Elementary. Recommended only to die-hard fans of the show.

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Vasily Livanov as Sherlock Holmes
Canonical References in BBC Sherlock

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Happy Birthday, David Attenborough!


David Attenborough quote
David Attenborough was born on this day in 1926.

He has been an extraordinary natural historian for over half a century and his name is synonymous with several pathbreaking documentaries.

From critically endangered Mountain Gorillas in the Virunga Mountains to Lemurs in Madagascar to the largest animal ever on the planet, Blue Whale, David has seen and studied them all. A living legend, in every sense of the word.

David Attenborough bird quote

Wishing him many happy returns of the day and a long and healthy life ahead!

To learn more about David, please visit his website.

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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Movie Review: Iron Man 3 (2013)


Iron Man 3 Movie Review Robert Downey Jr.


This review contains minor spoilers. Readers who wish to avoid any kind of plot related details/information are recommended to skip this review.

The planet saving heroics of Avengers has left Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) a broken man. Tortured and paranoid, Tony is hell bent on building the best possible weapons and suit. Jarvis (voiced by Paul Bettany) advises Tony to allocate more time for Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow).

Guy Pearce as Aldrich Killian in Iron Man 3
Guy Pearce as Aldrich Killian 
Pepper finds herself the object of attention of Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce). Aldrich has been working on Extremis technology and is trying to strike a deal with Stark Industries, now that Pepper is the CEO. Previously, Tony had rejected his proposal.

The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) is issuing terrorist threats to the US President Ellis (William Sadler) and masterminding some deadly explosions. Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) is left seriously injured in one such incident. This makes things personal for Tony and he issues a direct challenge to the Mandarin.

Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin in Iron Man 3
Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin
Tony's Malibu residence comes under heavy attack by Mandarin's henchmen. Jarvis pilots Tony out of the scene of action to Tennessee. Colonel James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) becomes Iron Patriot and is on the Mandarin's trail.

Tony befriends a youngster, Harley Keener (Ty Simpkins) and starts his campaign against the Mandarin. The enemy is not slagging off either. Couple of Mandarin's agents, Savin (James Badge Dale) and Brandt (Stephanie Szostak) attack Tony. Separated from his Iron Man armor, Tony turns to his brains and outsmarts his pursuers.

Tony tracks down the Mandarin and is in for a major surprise. Revealing any more details will be spoiling the fun.

Don Cheadle as Colonel James Rhodes Iron Patriot in Iron Man 3
Don Cheadle as Colonel James Rhodes/Iron Patriot
Pepper gets kidnapped and the Mandarin is gunning for the President's life. Tony has to save his girl and the President and teams up with his buddy, Rhodes for an all-out climactic confrontation.

Robert Downey Jr. returns in the role that turned around his acting career and made him a bonafide movie star. RDJ spends a considerable amount of time in the movie outside the Iron Man suit. Interestingly, RDJ looked bored and his zingers lacked the usual verve. Doing the same role in 4 movies in 5 years (5 movies, if his cameo in The Incredible Hulk is also considered) seems to have sapped his passion. I am curious to see his performance in the Avengers sequel slated to be released in 2015.

Ben Kingsley and Guy Pearce walk away with the acting honors. Both of them have a blast playing the baddies.

Rebecca Hall as Maya Hansen in Iron Man 3
Rebecca Hall as Maya Hansen
Rebecca Hall is criminally underused as Maya Hansen, Tony's old flame and presently working for Aldrich. With minor changes to the script, her character could have been totally written out and the movie would not have been impacted in the least.

Don Cheadle, Stephanie Szostak and James Badge Dale make good use of their screentime. I have never taken to Gwyneth's performance as Pepper and this movie does not help her case either.

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There are a number of action sequences in the movie and almost all of them deliver the goods. I especially enjoyed the helicopter attack on Tony Stark's residence and an indoor action sequence with Tony acquiring the Iron Man armor in bits and pieces as the fight goes along. 

Mandarin's attack on Iron Man/Tony Stark's Malibu residence in Iron Man 3
Iron Man confronts Mandarin's henchmen
Shane Black has done a solid job with the writing. There are a number of twists and turns that will delight the audience. Dialogues are his forte and Iron Man 3 is no exception.

Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts in Iron Man 3
Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts
Recommended to Marvel and RDJ fans, who will undoubtedly enjoy this movie.

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