They say nature abhors a vacuum. And in the immediate aftermath of The Avengers and the shocking alien attack on New York (yes, shark, jumping, etc. etc…..and amazingly no-one in this movie even vaguely thinks this is strange) RDJ’s Tony Stark is having a bit of a meltdown. He’s obsessed with his suits, he’s ignoring his girlfriend and he’s having panic attacks at the milkbar. And into this vacuum slips the ferocious, scary and utterly deadly Mandarin, a world-class villain who’s missing a world class hero. Factor in some genetic meddling, a dodgy politician or two, a mad scientist, some human bombs, a former love interest and a smart kid, and you’ve got the makings of a pretty entertaining movie.
Did I like it? Yes, enough. The supporting cast – Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce, Gwynnie Paltrow – were fantastic. Pacing, cinematography, big explosions, great! But I really just couldn’t ever get past Robert Downey Junior hamming it up like Nick Cage on crack. I found myself repeatedly unable to suspend disbelief while he was showing off just how clever and funny and entertaining he is. Entirely spoiled the whole movie for me.
A couple of other things about the film. 1. It filmed in North Carolina, courtesy of the NC State Incentives. The impact of this one film on the local economy is outrageous – $179.8 million in direct spending with 719 vendors in 84 communities across the state – $104.1 million spent directly on 2,043 jobs for North Carolinians. 2.) Separate Chinese scenes were filmed for the growing Chinese audience (one of the Chinese characters heals Tony Stark with acupuncture!). More here.