September 30, 2022

So here we begin the post-Avengers Marvel universe with Iron Man 3. The trailers had me expecting a Dark Knight Rises style sad-superhero-in-a-grim-world type of movie, but this is the exact opposite. While not overly exceeding my expectations, Iron Man 3 entertains and excites as much as all our favorite Marvel blockbusters.

Written by Matt

So here we begin the post-Avengers Marvel universe with Iron Man 3. The trailers had me expecting a Dark Knight Rises style sad-superhero-in-a-grim-world type of movie, but this is the exact opposite. While not overly exceeding my expectations, Iron Man 3 entertains and excites as much as all our favorite Marvel blockbusters.

Do I need to go into plot details? Iron Man fights some bad guys, we all know what’s up. But, this being the first film after the massively successful, and massively awesome, Avengers, it would be impossible to not make reference to it. Stark is haunted by the memory of what happened in New York, and it’s clear the world can’t stop talking about the giant wormhole and that “guy with a hammer falling from the sky.” But Iron Man 3doesn’t dwell on what happened; this is very much Iron Man’s movie. It strips back the enormity of the previous film, and focuses on Tony Stark, while holding onto the fun of the other Marvel films.

As a big fan of Lethal Weapon, I had a lot of faith in Shane Black to turn this thing into a hit. My favourite element injected into this movie by Black was surprisingly not the violence and action, but the humour. Iron Man 3 may be the funniest super hero movies I’ve ever seen, with moments such as Tony Stark telling a small, fatherless child, “Dads leave. No need to be a pussy about it.”

Of course, the action is all there. But I wasn’t as enthralled as I thought I would be. Most of it felt like it had been done before. The only thing that really wow’d me was the arrival of the Iron Brigade, but the moment would have been so much more awe-inspiring if it hadn’t been revealed in the trailer. There are a couple other good moments, one of which involved unintentional sky diving, and it’s all very admirably done, but none of the action sequences felt truly fresh or unique for me.

As always, Robert Downy Jr. shines in the role of Tony Stark like his iron suit shines against the many spectacular explosions. Cheesy similes aside, he really is entertaining. But the surprise star for me is Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts. I found her useless and annoying in the first two films, but working with a much more crucial role, and given some of the best lines of the movie – like, following a battle, she exclaims “that was violent!” – I couldn’t resist enjoying the character. Guy Pearce is also magnetic, and Ben Kingsley does a fantastic job in one of the best, and most unique, supervillain roles I’ve seen in a long time.

As expected, the CGI is out in full force, and it looks amazing. There’s no shortage of grandiose set pieces, and, of course, they’re impressive. While the film’s visual style is very similar to what we’ve seen before from the series, it still looks fantastic. Black didn’t try anything daring or new, but he and his DP, John Toll, provide a relatively disciplined approach to CGI (I stress relatively).

But overall, I still felt that Iron Man 3 was more of the same. Of course in this case, more of the same isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I just hoped for more of a “wow” factor, something to truly get me excited. But what the film lacks in innovation, it makes up with a wonderful sense of humor and magnificent performances by its large ensemble cast. Series fans certainly don’t need me to tell them to go see the film, but even those unfamiliar with the Marvel universe would still have a great time with this one. And as always, stay till the end of the credits.