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25th Apr 2013

Iron Man 3 Movie Review

Robert Downey Jr is back as the Man-in-the-Can Tony Stark, in the much-anticipated third installment of the Iron Man series and, even more importantly, the first of the post-Avengers films.


Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr), the Man-in-the-Can is back in the much-anticipated third installment of the Iron Man series and, even more importantly, the first of the post-Avengers films.

By Eoghan Doherty

After Joss Whedon raised the bar incredibly high with last year’s Avengers Assemble – a film that was the perfectly-balanced blend of action, humour and MORE ACTION – the pressure was heaped onto only second-time director Shane Black.

We need not have worried though as Black, the brains behind Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang and the first two Lethal Weapon films, has delivered with aplomb… and a bomb and another bomb and another explosion and some cracking, witty one-liners thrown in for good measure.

One year down the line there’s a new terrorist threat in town and pulling the strings is mysterious mastermind, the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley).  Why he called himself after a small, tasty orange I guess we’ll never know.

As Stark informs us a number of times, “nothing has been the same since New York” which, we presume, is in reference to the massive alien-packed climax to Avengers Assemble. Either that, or he means that stag night we were on in Brooklyn that went all sorts of wrong.

Following an attack on US soil that leaves his best friend Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau, director of the first two Iron Man films) in a coma, Stark issues an ivitation to the Satsuma to come to his Malibu home for some “good old-fashioned revenge.” Bad idea.

A devastating helicopter attack leaves the Stark household in ruin, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and new character Dr. Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall) on the run, and Iron Man in rural Tennessee with only a banjaxed proto-type suit to protect him.

What’s the moral of the story? Don’t piss off Ghandi.

As if things weren’t awkward enough for Stark, ex-Neighbours alumnus Guy Pearce pops up as Aldrich Killian, a sly businessman jilted by Tony years before and who has alterior motives of his own.

The less said about the rest of the plot the better as there are plenty of surprises that, in the words and menacing drawl of The Clementine, “you’ll nevvvverr seeee commming.” Let’s just say though there are some kick-ass baddies that appear to be the love-child of a T-1000 and a Universal Soldier.

Downey Jr is, as always, perfect as the man who always wears nice suits, acheiving the right balance between cocky and charming. This time, however, Stark has another dimension added to his character, as regular anxiety attacks and parnoia creep in, affecting his life and the lives of those around him.

Don Cheadle returns as War Machine/Iron Patriot, Mrs Coldplay is in ridiculously good shape as she does some Iron Man-ing of her own and the three new co-stars (Kingsley, Pearce, Hall) all bring their own touch of class to an already enjoyable film. Special mention also has to go to Ty Simpkins as the young Iron Man fan Harley, who has some very funny scenes helping to inspire a broken Tony Stark back to full fitness.

Shane Black handles the film and the pressure remarkably well. While not as awesome as Avenger Assemble, the director has definitely made the best film of the Iron Man trilogy – not something you can usually say about the third film in a franchise.

There’s a mix of spectacular action (especially a multiple mid-air rescue), a Lethal Weapon buddy cop feel between Stark and Rhodes and, if there’s ever any danger of the film becoming too sentimental, Black breaks the cheesy tension with cracking one-liner.

Just keep the obvious questions like “where the heck are all Iron Man’s superfriends?” to yourself and sit back and enjoy the ride.

Two final tips: keep an eye out for the most unlikely Liverpool Football fan in cinema history and, as ever, make sure you hang about for the obligatory post-credits sequence.

In fact, if you wait around long enough after reading this particular review, Samuel L. Jackson will pop out, eyepatch and all.

Any minute now, just keep waiting…