‘Iron Man 3′ Cheat Sheet: What to Know Before You Go
Robert Downey Jr. in Marvel Studios' 'Iron Man 3'
By this time, you may have heard: "Iron Man 3" opens nationwide this weekend. But what you may not have heard is that there are important details about the film that you should probably know before you go.
We're not going to spoil anything for you here, we promise, we're just prepping you for what to expect, so that the spectacle which unfolds before your 3D-Glasses-covered eyes doesn't blow you away beyond comprehension. Which could happen, if you don't do your pre-viewing homework.
What would Iron Man/Tony Stark be without Robert Downey Jr.? Fortunately, we don't have to answer that question just yet, as RDJ suits up once again to play the flawed superhero and genius inventor. Gwyneth Paltrow more than pant-suits up in number 3, as she reprises her role as Pepper Potts, Stark Industries CEO and Tony's now live-in girlfriend. Don Cheadle also returns as Iron Patriot/Lt. Col. James "Rhodey" Rhodes -- unlike the transition between 1 and 2, when Cheadle less-than-seamlessly replaced Terrence Howard in the Rhodey role. And though he isn't returning as the film's director, Jon Favreau does reprise his role of Happy Hogan, Tony's chauffeur, assistant, and friend.
Perhaps the most important newcomer to the Marvel universe is writer/director Shane Black, helming his first film since "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" (2005), a quick-witted crime comedy that also starred RDJ. With Black's direction and writing (he also wrote the "Lethal Weapon" franchise), this feels like the funniest "Iron Man" yet, and with RDJ delivering plenty of past zingers, that's saying something.
Other newbies are Oscar winner Sir Ben Kingsley, who while playing the international terrorist known as The Mandarin, manages to steal scenes from RDJ. Also having a ball in a savory bad guy role is Guy Pearce, who plays shape-shifting mad scientist Dr. Aldrich Killian. Rounding out the important newcomers is Rebecca Hall, who plays Maya Hansen, a brilliant scientist from Tony's past who helps to complicate his future.
Our Story So Far
"Iron Man 3" is technically a sequel to both "Iron Man 2" (2010) and "Marvel's The Avengers" (2012). All the mayhem at the end of those two films has left Stark with a debilitating case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. And really, Iron Man's origin story in "Iron Man" (2008) adds nice character depth as well. So all three films are important homework. But if you don't have the requisite six hours to kill, thanks to National Post, here's all three stories jammed together in three short minutes, complete with super-cute superhero doodles.