Even though the premise here is that billionaire-inventor Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) has to rely on his wits far more than his iron suit, you could have fooled me. Most of the film is hardware versus hardware.
His chief nemesis is a stringy-haired dweeb called the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), who is the head of a terrorist organization called the Ten Rings. He’s like a bad guy out of an "Austin Powers" movie. More generically bad is Guy Pearce’s Aldrich Killian, who heads a nefarious organization that, via the Extremis virus, converts humans into human weapons.
The action, directed by Shane Black, ranges from passable to interminable. The plot goes from clang to bang. Downey Jr. is still the best thing about this series. He actually tries to act in these movies. Didn’t anybody tell him he doesn’t need to? Grade: C (Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief suggestive content.)