I review Iron Man 3, the first solo Avengers title set post The Avengers, with a minor spoiler alert.
Iron Man 3
Director: Shane Black | Writers: Drew Pearce, Shane Black | Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rebecca Hall, Guy Pearce, Ben Kingsley, Paul Bettany
There was a lot of expectation riding on this film, and I wasn’t all too sure if it would deliver. The second film was the worst of the solo-Avengers films to date, and The Avengers was so good that before going in to watch the film I was almost certain that it wouldn’t live up to the hype. Iron Man on his own couldn’t beat all of the Avengers, could he?
As it turns out, at least from my point of view, he can’t. Don’t get me wrong, Iron Man 3 is probably the best outing for Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man yet, but I had a couple of issues with this film that prevented it from being as good as Joss Whedon’s The Avengers. However, I’ll first get the plot summary out of the way.
The film takes place at Christmas (which is odd, for a film that we’re watching at the beginning of May), and uses the age-old superhero cliche most recently seen in The Dark Knight Rises, and in comics format, the ongoing Green Arrow series for DC’s New 52, of taking a superhero down to his bare minimum and rebuilding his life. The main enemy in Iron Man 3 appears at first to be the Mandarin, but not all is as it first appears. There’s a twist halfway through that will really depend on how the rest of the film turns out for you, whether you’ll like it or dislike it.
I fell on the former side of the camp, and liked it. After all, as far as I’m concerned, no solo-Avengers film could be worse than Iron Man 2, am I right? As it turns out, Iron Man 3 is probably the best of the solo-Avengers films. The action, the humour, the twists and the great Air-Force One set peice at the end allowed for a thrilling ride that proved that Tony Stark hasn’t lost his touch yet, and if this is to be the final Iron Man film, then it’s certainly a good note to end it on. We get Pepper, Stark and Rhodes tested to their limit, and some very interesting character-focused scenes throughout the film allow for an entertaining watch. As usual, Robert Downey Jr. is fantastic as the lead star, his charisma has really helped define what Iron Man should look like in the Marvel Universe.
Shane Black does an excellent job of bringing Iron Man 3 to life. In the same way that the 2008 film hinged on the actions of its director, so to did Iron Man 3. Whilst I haven’t seen any previous films by Shane Black I couldn’t help but be impressed at the way he handles this film, it’s fun, not overloaded with flaws and proves that The Avengers won’t be the last good Marvel film. He meets the hype this film had building up to it and delivered a stunningly entertaining blockbuster that sets the stage for superhero films that are coming later this year to follow.
But sadly, whilst this film is strong, it’s not perfect. Rebecca Hall’s character is the weakest here, and the film becomes somewhat predictable after the big twist is revealed, and the reasoning behind the other Avengers being called in for help is kind of a useless excuse. “This isn’t superhero business, it’s American business.” That wouldn’t have stopped any of them from helping Stark though, and I’m sure that Captain America would have had something to say particularly when dealing with the final showdown. However, perhaps what Iron Man 3 did best is making sure that they weren’t missed at all, and whilst it would have been nice to see them in there, it was a nice change to have Stark operating on his own again.
Despite the flaws though, I really enjoyed Iron Man 3 and can recommend it to anyone who’s a fan of superhero flicks. It’s loud, explosive and action packed, and overall – a lot of fun to watch. The next film that I’ll hopefully be seeing at the cinema is Star Trek – Into Darkness, as although I’m not a huge fan of Star Trek myself, I’m certainly willing to give this a shot, not only because it’ll be interesting to see if JJ Abrams can win me back over after the weak pilot for Revolution, try out a space-opera series that isn’t Star Wars or Firefly, and see if Benedict Cumberbatch can play a villain after his spectacular performances of Sherlock Holmes in BBC’s Sherlock.