Review of 'Iron Man 3'

3rd film in the 'Iron Man' series

iron_man_3.jpg Following the events of The Avengers, Tony Stark aka “Iron Man” (Robert Downey Jr) is suffering from PTSD. In a voice over we are told that the theme of this story is how we create our own demons. In a flash-back we see a young Tony interested in an attractive botanical scientist named Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall) while completely ignoring a geeky scientist Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) who struggles to explain to the uninterested Tony about his Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM) – a procedure that harnesses the power of the brain to alter DNA. Back in the current day, a new villain appears on the scene: The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley Jr) who takes credit for a series of attacks where people have literally exploded. After challenging The Mandarin to come get him, this is exactly what happens and Tony barely escapes with his life while saving the life of his love interest Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and (now) Dr. Maya Hansen who visited for fear of Tony's safety. Wounded and stranded in the middle of no-where, Tony rebuilds his Iron Man suit and investigates the first incident matching the profile of The Mandarin's attacks but The Mandarin is hot on his heals…

This has to be one of the best films in the Iron Man franchise with Downey being his Stark-ish best: Charming, funny (the sequence at the beginning with him being beaten up by his own Iron Man suit is great) and very witty. The film itself also delivers with wall-to-wall action and a story that actually makes sense and genuinely keeps you guessing up until the last minute with some real shocks along the way. After Avengers you would think they could not top the action sequences but here they really give it a good try and largely succeed: It looks great. What is nice to see is the superhero with real human vulnerabilities yet not dwelling too much on it, allowing the fun of superhero madness to come through in equal measure.

All of the franchise favourites including Paltrow as the neglected love interest and operative Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) who is now head of Stark Industries' security. The supporting cast roles are as fully fleshed out as that of Tony with real character development going on here and, again, real humanity. We care for them just as much as we care for Tony and are genuinely interested to see what happens to them…how will Tony abuse their friendship this time?

I guess that is what is so good about this film: It is on a human scale. Yeah, sure, some big action sequences but the film is not afraid to concentrate on the characters and what they are feeling as well. A step back from the massive “Avengers” film the preceded it. If anything, it does feel a bit long and seems to drag a touch in the middle but this is bookended by intense action and drama.

Rating: “I have absolutely no complaints”

Review Date: 2021-09-06

Directed by: Shane Black

Studio: Marvel Studios

Year: 2013

Length: 130 minutes

Genre: Action/Adventure