Editor’s note: This is Hypable’s second review of Iron Man 3. Our first was published April 28th.

Iron Man 3 is not the movie you’re expecting and while that may seem like good news at first, it will quickly turn sour as you realize the true film you’re watching is something very, very different. Not different in terms of breaking the system and making a movie with guts and actual thrills, although in this case that would be a welcome proposition. No, this is the kind of different where the recipe for entertainment has been handled by so many cooks in the same kitchen that it’s hard to tell what you’re tasting in the first place.

Iron Man 3 feels like an assembly line movie from the very beginning and that may be where the film’s problems truly lie. The first two Iron Man movies (especially the first) were made with less corporate meddling and more energy which obviously resulted in a more balanced product. Here, all the fun that used to exist in a movie franchise about a guy fighting villains in a flying metal suit is gone.

The film starts with an awkward flashback to 1999 that’s meant to set up a convoluted storyline but all it does is meander and waste time. Next thing you know, our hero Tony Stark (played with a vacant glaze by Robert Downey Jr.), who up until this point we’ve come to know as a smart and witty pioneer, is doing pratfalls and slapstick humor. This movie has also been marketed to kids so that could have something to do with Iron Man suddenly turning into Iron Doofus.

The pretzel of a plot involves high tech machinery and a plan for world domination which seems odd because most movie villains stopped aspiring for world domination around the mid-90’s. They finally wised up and realized they wanted what everyone in life and the movies truly wants, money. Lots of it. Add to that a confusing detective story that involves severed limbs and robotic terminators and you have a real head-scratcher.

So in other words boys and girls, yes. There is a plot at work in Iron Man 3. It just doesn’t make any sense. I know, I was shocked too.

But all is not lost when it comes to Iron Man 3. There are moments of brilliance even if they are few and far between. Credit for these bits of salvation go to co-writer and director Shane Black and actor Ben Kingsley who steals the movie as the villainous Mandarin. Black in particular knows how to write great dialogue and last worked with Downey Jr. on the severely underappreciated action-comedy, “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.” If I convince one of you reading this to watch “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” instead of buying a ticket to Iron Man 3, tonight’s endeavor of writing this long-winded takedown at 2am will be worth it.

If you think I’m being silly and insist on seeing Iron Man 3 anyway I will say this, you could definitely do worse. This movie is full of product placement and short on actual entertainment but it does have the aforementioned bright spots courtesy of Black and Kingsley . Somewhere buried beneath the endless ads for energy drinks and software companies there might have once been a better version of Iron Man 3 but not anymore. All we have left are muddled story elements and commercials for things you don’t need. You could watch commercials at home. For free.

Speaking of money, as of this writing Iron Man 3 has already made $200 million dollars at the international box office. Your ten dollars is better spent elsewhere. And if you live in a city unfortunate enough to have movie ticket prices skyrocket to north of twenty dollars, then for the love of Robert Downey Jr. please spend that money somewhere else. Like on a copy of “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.”

Grade: C-

Rated: PG-13 (for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief suggestive content)

Iron Man 3 opens in theaters on May 3, 2013.

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