Back to Tony Stark, not Iron Man. Smart. Way it should be.
Stark proves to be both heroic and vulnerable in this one. Smart.
Kingsley steals the show. He is brilliant, both as a menacing villain and later when we something different. Oscar worthy? Probably not. Not enough to it. But brilliant anyway.
Pearce does nothing for me. He’s the weak link in actors. It’s not that he’s bad; it’s that he fails to give life to an essentially motivation-less villain (the way he did in 2012’s Lawless). Part of the problem is writing. Yes. Definitely. Part of the problem is that Pearce hams it up (like he did in Count of Monte Crisco).
Script and directing has moments of real strength. As when Stark is in Tennessee, hanging out with Harley. Excellent. It also has moments of real weakness. Paltrow’s scenes especially lack for me. Director/writer Black speeds through them, never giving her much on which to chew and always relegating her to caricature. He mostly does the same with Pearce’s and Favreau’s characters.
Special effects are fantastic.
Fun ride. Yes. Great cinema, even in the super hero genre. No.