Iron Man 3 (2013)

THE SCOOP
Director: Shane Black
Cast: Robert Downey Jr.Gwyneth PaltrowGuy Pearce, Ben Kingsley, Don Cheadle, Rebecca Hall
Plot: When Tony Stark's world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin, he starts an odyssey of rebuilding and retribution.

Genre: Action/Sci-Fi/Thriller

Awards: Nom. for 1 Oscar - Best Visual Effects.
Runtime: 130min
Rating: PG for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief suggestive content.






IN RETROSPECT


This film was reviewed in the 3D format.

“The whole world's gonna be watching.”

It’s good, Iron Man 3 that is.  Director Shane Black has brought a refreshing touch to the Marvel series that started out not so spectacularly with Iron Man (2008), well at least for me, and fizzled expectedly in the uninspiring Iron Man 2 (2010).  Exit Jon Favreau, enter Black who has previously only directed one feature – the positively-reviewed crime-comedy Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005). 

He does a splendid job in revitalizing the series, and understands that behind every face in the audience is a fanboy/girl to please.  Iron Man 3 is satisfying; it is the best film of the series, proving wrong the theory that sequels deteriorate in quality with diminishing returns.

Robert Downey Jr. suits up again as he tries to outwit a new foe in The Mandarin, a terrorist of sorts who considers himself to be a teacher.  So… lesson number one: Bring Tony Stark to his lowest point.  Which the film does in its first major action set-piece where Stark’s residence is blown to shreds. 

The action does not disappoint with two more exhilarating major set-pieces lined-up in the second half of the picture, including a climax of sight and sound that thoroughly entertains.  Black lets the action advance the plot, thus despite its spectacularity, it does not feel superfluous. 

Downey Jr. has grown fully into the role, effortlessly playing Tony Stark/Iron Man while retaining his penchant for the occasional wisecrack.  There is a lot of humour in this film, more so than the previous two instalments. 

I think Marvel understands that they have a gem of an actor in Downey Jr., an intelligent circus performer of sorts among other more serious colleagues in The Avengers (2012).  He is also the most likable of the lot.  The potential of tapping onto his gift of the gab brings levity to the violence and destruction in the Marvel universe.  Stark is also haunted by his 'wormhole' memory from The Avengers, and this humanizing quality is something I hope will be fleshed out in other upcoming Marvel films.   

Iron Man 3 officially marks the beginning of summer 2013.  And it does so in a positive fashion.  It certainly sets the pace for a blockbustering good three months ahead.  While I'm certain this won't be the best of the summer offerings, still Iron Man 3 surpasses expectations and I am sure many will emerge from the theater with a smile.  Once again, remember to stay till the end credits.


Verdict: Spectacular and an overall quite solid blockbuster that sees Shane Black bringing a refreshing direction to the series that kickstarts summer 2013 in a positive fashion.

GRADE: B+ 

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