There’s no point in beating around the bush, so I’m going to say it flat out: Iron Man 3 is without a doubt the funniest, most thrilling, and rewarding movie of the Iron Man trilogy. That being said, let’s move on to the particulars.
Directed by Shane Black, Iron Man 3 reunites the audience with the ever-compelling Tony Stark (played by the coolest cat of them all, Robert Downey Jr.), the former head of Stark Industries and the creator – and wearer of course- of the Iron Man suit. Stark is for all intents and purposes the same-old guy we’ve known from Iron Man and Iron Man 2, a precocious genius whose intelligence and humorous quips are completely unmatched in the Marvel universe (and perhaps the real universe). However, this time around Stark has freshly experienced the events found in Joss Whedon’s The Avengers, and is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – an element that gives Iron Man 3 a more human core than its predecessors.
In the present, a new threat has arisen: the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) – whose seemingly senseless bombings at first leave Stark unaffected. However, when his security chief is horribly wounded in a subsequent bombing, Stark publicly vows revenge against the Mandarin. Add in former Stark fanatic Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) whose company Advanced Idea Mechanics is slowly growing into something menacing, as well as could very well bite Stark Industries in the butt, and you have an intriguing and exciting ride ahead.
Despite the improved writing, plot, and in my personal opinion, directing, perhaps Iron Man’s success lies in a considerable lack of Stark suiting up. Not only do these scenes progress the plot in ways Iron Man and Iron Man 2 could not, they add layers of depth to Stark’s character, making the suited up action sequences all the more anticipated and electrifying. I was literally astounded as each subsequent action sequence was topped – both in their thrillingly breathtaking plot turns, but also in their sheer…well…coolness.
On a side note, Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts is always a breath of fresh air in the Iron Man films, but Iron Man 3 takes her character up several notches. I won’t give away any spoilers, but let’s just say it’s nice to see that Pepper’s got some punch. It only makes the chemistry between Downey Jr. and Paltrow all the more memorable.
Here’s the bottom line folks: go and see Iron Man 3. It’s movie-going at its most exhilarating, and film making at its best. You won’t regret it. (Editors note: Make sure you stick around after the credits for a fun cameo.)
Iron Man 3 is now playing at both the Ashland Street Cinema and the Varisty Theatre in downtown, Ashland.