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Iron Man 3 Review


Amidst much excitement and hype after the success of The Avengers, the character that really paved the way for Marvel on the big screen, is exploding back into cinemas. Iron Man 3 sees Robert Downey Jr. reprise his role as playboy, billionaire, philanthropist Tony Stark and this time he’s taking on The Mandarin. who is quite the formidable lunatic intent on destroying our much loved billionaire.

From it’s opening titles, it’s quite noticeable that this comic book movie is evolving the genre entirely. Joss Whedon started the evolution with The Avengers and now Shane Black is continuing the trend here. But how does something like a big ol blockbustery comic book movie evolve? Simple. Make it more Intelligent. Long gone are the simpler more innocent styles of crash, bang, wallop, roll credits. What we have here is a movie, that a times plays, out like a drama (yes, I said it, a drama) with multiple layers and stories all running in parallel. With such an evolution, the pacing does slow down somewhat, so don’t expect set piece after set piece. As a matter of fact don’t expect too many at all. But when the set pieces happen, holy mother are they something spectacular. The assault on Casa Del Stark is as breath taking as it’s exhilarating and the grand finale, which goes on for a good 15 odd minutes, includes some of the most spectacular action you are going to see this year. And that’s not forgetting that the Air Force One scene will have you gripped tightly unto the edge of your seat! Shane Black can direct action!! Big time!!!

Make no mistake about it, this movie is entirely about Tony Stark the man. We see him in ways that we have never seen before. Dare I say it, there’s a very human and vulnerable side to Tony Stark on show here. And to his immense credit Downey Jr. pulls this off incredibly well. Obviously he does the Stark ego and pizazz thing in his sleep, but the softer side of Stark which includes everything from panic attacks to self doubt is portrayed superbly and is entirely convincing. It’s a brave decision to keep him out of the suit for much of the movie, but it’s all the more worthwhile when he gets into full Iron Man gear, which he does in a number of unique ways. With such a great performance on show from our lead actor, his supporting cast are, thankfully up for the task. Gwyneth Paltrow plays Pepper Potts and has more of a role here than all the other movies combined. Guy Pearce plays Aldrich Killian, a scientist with an axe to grind for Stark. Pearce looks like he really enjoyed his time here and his performance is very watchable. But the real shining light on the antagonist front, is Sir Ben Kingsley, who plays our formidable lunatic, The Mandarin. Looking like a parody of Osama Bin Laden and a mixture of another few fundamentalists, Kingsley seems to be in his element here as he has immense fun playing the Mandarin, especially in the latter half of the movie where he really comes into his own. The chemistry though, between Potts and Stark is the best yet, and considering Pepper Pott’s role is far more substantial there was plenty of room to develop the two characters relationship. While Don Cheadle spends much of his time in the Iron Patriot suit, he provides plenty of personality and humour, especially bouncing off Downey Jr.

Visually it’s hard to fault Iron Man 3. The suits alone (we’re up to MK 42 I believe) are equalled only in their magnitude by their diversity, each with their own unique little personality. But it’s the grand finale where the suits really come to life, and are simply jaw dropping. However, I wish more would have been made of the Hulkbuster suit. The tech that is on display is mind boggling, with one scene witnessing Tony recreate an entire crime scene out of holograms. And that immense tech is on display for much of the movie and warrants a second viewing just to be able to take it all in. Overall, it’s quite hard to find fault with Iron Man 3. Everything you know and love about the character, including the humour (which is ramped up even more) is here and then some. Even the soundtrack itself is great, especially the closing credit sequence, which will have you searching on iTunes to pick up the tracks!

Shane Black stepped into a bit of a different world here and it would have been very easy for it all to fall apart. Regardless of his past relationships with Robert Downey Jr. (Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang)  which may have helped get even more out of the actor, the director has well and truly knocked this one out of the park. And not only that, he has given audiences a more evolved and mature product which will genuinely surprise everyone. And speaking of surprises, do stick around after the credits!

Iron Man 3 delivers big time (and will deliver even more on repeat viewings). It’s funny, it’s gripping and its action scenes are phenomenal. It’s got style and a helluva lot of substance. But it’s real Pièce de résistance is Tony Stark and Robert Downey Jr’s portrayal. Even though 2013 is only four months old, Iron Man 3 is one of the movies of the year, so suit up. This is truly Starktacular.

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The Movie Bit: Iron Man 3 Review
Iron Man 3 Review
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