After a rather ho-hum sequel for Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr.
returns to the mantle of Tony Stark (aka Iron Man) with a bang in the third
instalment of the franchise. Also returning is Gwyneth Paltrow as his love
interest Pepper Potts and Guy Pearce as the villainous Aldrich
Killian in this huge superhero blockbuster.
Best of all, director Shane Black continues with the light-hearted
antics of Tony Stark that makes this franchise far superior in terms of
entertainment compared to the recent Batman series.
Even though the movie interpretation of Iron Man has been quite
light-hearted, Iron Man 3 addresses some rather serious issues
which includes terrorism and a type of Gulf War Syndrome that in
this instance should be renamed to Post Avengers Syndrome as Stark
attempts to deal with the repercussions of The Avengers
The story of Iron Man 3 begins in the
late 90's that sees a young billionaire Tony Stark snub a rather
eccentric and socially uncomfortable scientist by the name of Aldrich
Killian. Fast forward to the present and America has healed from the
recent alien invasion that was seen in The Avengers but now a new
threat by the name of The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) has declared war on
the United States. It should be noted that Kingsley is brilliant as
The Mandarin and is played in a combination of Agent Smith (The Matrix)
meets Osama Bin Laden plus a really great twist.
To compound the situation
for Stark, The Mandarin has been
using former United States soldiers to wage war on their homeland with
the corruption leading back to the Oval Office itself. With the United
States helpless to stop the threat of The Mandarin, Tony Stark
publically challenges the terrorist on the TV and as a result his home
is destroyed and Stark is left for dead.
Thankfully Stark had access
to a prototype Iron Man suit, MK-42 which saved his life but
unfortunately this suit is riddled with bugs that makes him useless as
Iron Man. Ironically for a film about Iron Man, there is quite little
Iron Man in it but thankfully Robert Downey Jr. more than makes up for
this short-fall and once again proves that the hero is behind the mask
not the costume itself. With that said, Downey has some brilliant one-liners in the movie for just
about every character he meets.
With America under attack,
the president orders James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) the War Machine, now
re-badged as the Iron Patriot to hunt down The Mandarin which sounds
easier than it really is. While Stark
begins his investigation of The Mandarin, he is assisted by Richie, a
fatherless young boy who inspires our Billionaire to face his demons
that leads to the spectacular conclusion of the film with more Iron Man
than you can poke a stick at.
Iron Man 3 once again
proves that superheroes, provided they are written correctly and stick
to the original comic books can actually work in modern cinema. It is a
very well written film that links perfectly to The Avengers and
has quite an intelligent and funny script. Paltrow also has a shining
moment as Pepper Potts in the film and Guy Pearce plays the clichéd
mad-scientist villain perfectly with his holier than thou attitude and
quest for power.
Sure there are a few loose
ends in the film such as why The Avengers have not interceded
with The Mandarin or fleshing out the Iron Man technology but somehow it
amazingly fits together. From perfectly choreographed action scenes,
brilliant special effects and humour that goes hand in hand with the
Iron Man mythology, this is a movie that can be watched by everyone thanks
to the stellar cast. Comic
legend Stan Lee also makes an appearance as an excitable judge in a
beauty contest which will bring a smile to all geeks.
special mention should be made again to Kingsley’s Mandarin who is very
cleverly written with a superb twist near the end that even caught me
off guard. Hopefully we will see more The Mandarin in the future.
Lastly, right after the credits is a great cameo from one of The
Avengers which hopefully hints at the future of this franchise. Iron Man 3 is
definitely one of the must see films of the year!