“Mr. Stark, today is the first day of what is left of your life”
I don’t think there’s any better way of summing up Downey Jr’s third solo outing as Iron Man than quoting the man himself in the film “I’m not afraid of you, no politics here, just good old fashioned revenge” – And my God did Iron Man 3 deliver. I mean, if you loved The Avengers Assemble and didn’t think anything could surpass the almighty geekery nerdgasms that could be heard around the world this time last year you are in for a treat as Iron Man 3 duly delivers a solid, fun, action filled rollercoaster ride of everything a superhero film should be. It greatly improves on everything that made the first two parts of the trilogy exciting in the first place but then goes that little bit further with such confidence it’s like it knows it will be a success both in the box office and with critical response.
Iron Man 3 not only has a story that far surpasses anything we’ve seen in the francise so far but adds something new to the superhero genre in the way it creates the suspense. In parts it really feels like a spy film as a lot of it takes place with Tony out of the suit as he discovers who he himself actually is and goes back to his routes. We see a lot of these identity crisis scenarios in superhero films but this was done so well and finally gives the audience that little bit of vulnerability Tony Stark always needed to be really loveable and not just funny. For the first time it feels like we get to know the man out of the suit a bit like we do in Nolan’s Batman trilogy and to some extent the original Spiderman trilogy.
Overall, the film never fails to deliver with real laugh out loud one liners delivered perfectly by Downey Jr as well as jaw dropping special effects and twists and turns implanted throughout the story as it unfolds. The trailer itself is well cut to create these twists including the reveal of The Mandarin to be no more than an actor, contrary to the comics, however, it is a difference I enjoyed very much surprisingly and Ben Kingsley’s performance was hilarious and really worked well alongside the real terror of Guy Pearce’s Aldrich.
Iron Man 3 does however have it’s pitfalls, the more personal of these is my real hatred of Gwyneth Paltrow so it is always hard to watch her in the role of Pepper Potts but a more universal vibe I seem to be getting after seeing the film last week was the ending kind of let the strong beginning and middle down and even felt a little anticlimactic. I do however think it was a visual spectacle especially in 3D as Stark jumps and falls from one Iron Suit to another while fighting Aldrich.
Regarding the end of the film a lot of people seem to believe this rounds of Iron Man’s part in the franchise, I beg to differ, with the success it is having as well as the major clue of ‘TONY STARK WILL RETURN AS IRON MAN” written post credits I find it hard to believe he won’t make an appearance in Avengers 2 as well as an Iron Man 4 and where this might not happen for some years and even take a longer gap than the previous films it’s obvious it will happen as Downey Jr’s presence in The Avengers francise is one that will be incredibly hard to replace. What I would like to see perhaps is not a direct sequel to Iron Man 3 but a stand-alone film that see’s the idea of Marvel Team-Up comics explored, the on-screen chemistry between Mark Ruffalo and Downey Jr was undeniably great in Avengers Assemble and so making a ‘Iron Man/Hulk’ crossover wouldn’t seem like such a stupid idea considering it seems impossible to make a ‘great’ Hulk film after two attempts in the last ten years.