After a less than stellar reception to Iron Man 2 can Shane Black and Robert Downey Jr. succeed in getting our favourite alcohol infused superhero back on track? Even with the inclusion of annoying kid sidekick (no not Rhodey!) we are pleased to say YES!
Okay, so let’s just start by addressing the elephant in the room, yes there is a big plot twist in Iron Man 3, and whether you have had it spoiled for you or not (we’re not going to spoil it don’t worry) there is the potential that A LOT of comic fans are going to be pissed with it…. like really pissed….. us? We freaking loved it! Why? Because of pure excellent execution thanks to great direction and fantastic cast, and these elements are what really elevate the movie to something great.
Tony Stark returns to the big screen after the events of The Avengers, and the ordeal the character went through during last years super hero epic has clearly taken it’s toll on the billionaire. Instead of the cocky, confident, brazen Stark we are used to we get a man coming to terms with his humanity. This is one of the driving plot points of the film and it does well to both connect the audience with Tony once again by grounding him with weakness in the form of anxiety (something a large portion of the global population experiences on a regular basis) and give him something to overcome by the films end (come on that’s not a spoiler you knew he was always going to overcome it!).Just like Skyfall stripped James Bond back to basics in the latest entry to the 007 franchise, Iron Man 3 takes Tony back to his roots of an inventor, and the film really benefits from this.
The script, as mentioned before, is darker than your traditional Marvel affair, but is still littered with laugh out loud moments, even the inclusion of a kid sidekick is done tongue in cheek and in such a way that it actually works. The film was introduced to the audience by Shane Black (director and co-writer) and Drew Pearce (co-writer) and from a mere two minutes of them talking on stage it was clear that they knew how to balance the line of drama and wit, and that is evident in the finished product.
Robert Downey Jr. doesn’t miss a beat as he returns for the fourth time as Tony Stark, but then again when has he ever? He was born to play this role, and we hope he signs on for as many future Marvel movies as possible, without him we may not even have the Marvel Cinematic Universe after all! As well as the charismatic performance we are used to he also does well showing the mental struggle that the character goes through thanks to the events of The Avengers. New comer Ben Kingsley, who plays the villainous Mandarin, is the other stand out of the movie with a fantastic performance. Don Cheadle puts in another solid shift as Stark’s best pal Rhodey, however there is much better chemistry between the two than there was in Iron Man 2 and this time out you really do get the impression that the two are best friends.
The special effects are equally solid throughout with the distinction between practical effects and CGI almost impossible to make. The action, and oh boy was there some action, was exhilarating, and seeing all those Iron Man suits at the end as Stark jumped from each one to take on his foes was brilliant and finally broke the weak final battle curse of the Iron Man series. However whilst the final fight was far more epic and enjoyable than the previous 2 films battles the actual conclusion of the fight didn’t sit well with me, as I felt it was both predictable and somewhat underwhelming, however even that didn’t detract from the excellence of the film too much.
Should you see it? Well if you’re a fan of any of the Marvel films to date then yes! This is up there with the first Iron Man, possibly even surpassing the original. This isn’t a mindless action super hero adventure (there is plenty of action though) delving deeper into the humanity of the protagonist, and it’s this exploration of the damage that this world has created on Tony Stark’s psyche that helps elevate the film from it’s peers…. but if it is a mindless super hero action romp you’re after you’ll be equally as pleased as there’s plenty of shiny objects to impress your ADHD riddled mind.