Iron Man 3 Review

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In 2008 Robert Downey Jr. hit the big screen as Iron Man in Marvel Studios’ first self-financed film, and what an introduction it was. As the first piece in their Avenger initiative, Iron Man was every comic book fans dream and Robert Downey Jr., who portrayed Tony Stark to perfection, was propelled back to the acting A-list, where he has always belonged. Five years later and it is again Iron Man that is the first one out of the traps kicking off the second phase of Marvel’s Avenger Initiative franchise, following the blockbuster smash that was the super-hero mash-up The Avengers. But does Iron Man 3 live up to the hype of its predecessors? Unfortunately no, not really.

That’s not to say that it’s a bad film, because it’s not. It would have been a struggle for any of Marvel’s solo comic based movies to follow The Avengers.

Iron Man 3 (Ben Kingsley)One year on from the events in New York that saw Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and his super-powered buddies take on aliens from another dimension, Stark is left suffering from panic attacks, which are not helped by the arrival of two new super villains. Remorseless terrorist The Mandarin (Sir Ben Kingsley) has brought the US to a standstill killing hundreds in bomb attacks. There’s also Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), a ghost from Stark’s past who has gone on to become a genetics genius. Along with the help of an old flame, Killian has developed a fiery serum that can re-grow limbs and render the recipient near indestructible. Unfortunately the serum has a few explosive side effects.

Writer and director Shane Black and his co-writer Drew Pearce have taken a few liberties with these comic book baddies, which is sure to infuriate loyal fans of the comics. While the big reveal of The Mandarin’s evil intentions is actually rather clever, I do myself have a few issues regarding the character, but to go into those might ruin the film for you.

Following an open challenge from Stark, The Mandarin makes it his personal mission to destroy Iron Man any way that he can, be it psychically or emotionally. The war is on and The Mandarin demolishes Stark’s Miami mansion, which also houses all of his many inventions.

Pepper Potts played by the always lovely Gwyneth Paltrow may have escaped the attack, but she soon finds herself in the clutches of Mr Killian, whose intentions are not all together desirable. Believed dead, Stark awakes to find himself secluded, alone, miles from home and a little cold. With the help of a young kid, his old friend Col. James Rhodes aka The Iron Patriot (Don Cheadle) and an A-Team inspired building sequence, Stark sets about finding his beloved Miss Potts by meeting The Mandarin head on, in true Iron Man fashion

If you are hoping for a direct sequel to The Avengers then you will be sorely disappointed; there is almost no mention to his super buddies.

As a sequel, Iron Man 3 is more flat and a little predictable. While the previous two movies build Stark as a genius, whose quick thinking and intelligence make him the Iron Man, he is now presented as just a mechanic as the movie makes a point of showing that the suit can be controlled remotely by any one. The darkness and loyalty that had become prominent before have also been replaced by the odd cheesy moment and questionable humour, which include Downtown Abbey jokes.

In Mr Black’s defence the movie is still entertaining and this has opened up the franchise, making it more friendly for families and non-comic book fans. He has also put his own stamp on it by adding a Lethal Weapon like ‘buddy cop’ feel between Downey Jr. and Don Cheadle, whose characters up until this flick have had somewhat of a fractious relationship, all of which is forgotten as they buddy up to take on the baddies.

The action is great and the big battle is pretty impressive, though I do have an issue with how easily the Iron Men (yes I said Men) are destroyed. Also, for me the closing scenes are rather disappointing and have a bit of a final feeling, which does nothing to quash those hints that this may be Downey Jr.’s final solo outing as Iron Man.

With the movie over, I waited in anticipation for the always hidden scene that follows the credits (something fans of Marvel movies should already know). They often give a small hint as to what’s coming next, but not this time. Yes, there is an extra scene, but it is nothing more than a mini moment of comedy; no teaser or build up here.

As a whole Iron Man 3 is undeniably entertaining, but that didn’t stop me from leaving the film feeling a little disappointed and underwhelmed. Despite this I still enjoyed it and would certainly recommend that you go see it.

Iron Man 3 opens in cinemas across the UK on 25 April.

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