Emotions force Stark to jump into action in this film. While the nation is supposed to be protected by his BFF and proxy Colonel James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) in the newly christened "Iron Patriot" suit (aka: War Machine (btw: what I sometimes secretly call my car)), a terrorist threat surfaces in the form of a particularly dramatic character known as the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley). Our mysterious villain is a curious aggregate of 'the other', and when one of his bombings impacts Stark's bodyguard Happy (Jon Favreau), everyone's second favorite billionaire gets ahead of himself and issues a direct personal threat that winds up tearing apart his world. And so, we see Stark torn away from his mansion, from Pepper, from Jarvis, and from most of his operational technology and left to his own devices. The film is written and directed by Shane Black, who previously worked with RDJ on Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and who seems to innately understand the actor's flair for witty banter and non-sequitor put downs in a way that no former handler of the character has quite mastered. If you can excuse some convoluted mad-scientist stuff featuring Guy Pearce and Rebecca Hall, this is a pretty straightforward movie about one guy dealing with some issues. Black trusts Robert Downey Jr. to convincingly become Tony Stark. When Stark has an anxiety attack, the film never jumps to Avengers flashbacks for the uninformed, when Stark talks about being in the shit - his face tells you what he's seen, not some cut away. When Stark is left with a non-operational suit and "nothing"? He's still a snarky asshole, but the most endearing kind.