“Lesson Number One: Heroes...there is no such thing.” Intoned with menace by Ben Kingsley’s new villain the Mandarin — with so much basso gravitas, he could be quoting the governing bodies of cycling this week on Lance Armstrong -- those words resonate in the new “Iron Man 3” trailer that dropped with the blinding speed of Felix Baumgartner on Tuesday morning.
And those words echo all the more because the trailer is surprisingly short on levity — no time for those usual quotable Tony Stark smirks of a laugh line. The tease for Shane Black’s turn at the “Iron Man” helm is all quick cuts with the gradual crescendo of cascading doom — Robert Downey Jr.’s billionaire industrialist watching his threatened world implode as his suits and seaside mansion explode. And the Mandarin looms over it all, with the teach-the-sheeple vocal swagger of Bane and the wild-card quality of the Joker.
This isn’t Iron Man reclining in a donut sign in the morning, quippy and cocky, or zinging one-liners at Thor or Loki. This is “LiveStrong” Iron Man, losing it all, rising from the snow-whipped bottom precipice of life.
The hotly anticipated “Iron Man 3” is due out May 2013 — about one year after Iron Man helped “The Avengers” become one of the biggest films ever, grossing more than $1.5 billion. Let the marketing push begin. Apparently, it’s deadly serious.