Review: Iron Man 3 - The World Will Be Watching

It's here. One year on from one of the highest grossing movies of all time, here comes the follow-up, and the first film in Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Yes, Avengers Assemble (or Marvel's The Avengers for the rest of the world) stunned comic book fans and average cinema-goers alike with it's humour, action and stunning visuals, and stands as one of the best comic book movies of all time. As the billions of dollars poured in wave after wave Marvel Studios was already well underway with the third film centered around everyone's favourite genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist, Tony Stark himself.

A follow up to Avengers Assemble isn't exactly the easiest thing on the planet. As mentioned above, to some it's the best superhero movie ever made. What direction should they go, the excitement and fun of Avengers or the raw self-discovery/revenge story worn thin by the previous two Iron Man movies? Neither of these would be very good, the reason Avengers Assemble worked despite the generic bad guys and thin plot was the characters were fantastic. In Iron Man 3 there's just him. It wouldn't work. Neither would the direction the other Iron Man movies went, Iron Man 2 showed that repeating it gets you nowhere. So they needed a fresh start. And fresh is exactly what they got.
To start off, Iron Man 3 is undoubtedly the funniest out of all the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. There's just joke after joke, most of which actually cause large amounts of laughter. It can be argued that in some places the jokes rob the tension from a scene or give it a different tone that the scene is meant to be giving, but on the whole it really works.
Finally after four movies have they finally perfected the character of Tony Stark. After all his womanizing and self-discovery of Iron Man followed by the egotism of Iron Man 2 then with all the self-sacrifice teamwork stuff in Avengers Assemble, it's only now we can see the full potential of Downey Jr's acting capabilities in capturing this character. He's as witty as ever, although he actually get to see anger, trauma and sadness throughout this movie, and although a variety of emotions are expected from a movie, this is above Downey Jr's natural charisma as Tony, meaning the performance benefits hugely.
After being pretty much pointless in Iron Man 2 (I mean from a character development point of view) Don Cheadle's Rhodey has won me over. The Iron Patriot is pretty cool and his character is more involved, witty and well, likable. It seems odd that one of the movies positives is likable characters that can show emotions, but then we were stripped of that in Iron Man 2, so a return to form is gladly accepted.
The suits are used I think better in this movie, with them hardly being used for large amounts of time. This way we're not bored of them the way we were in Iron Man 2 and they're not being printing out in a couple of seconds. It really makes us focus on Tony Stark, which only benefits this film. It also means that when they are used there's a certain freshness, they provide excitement and laughs, while also sometimes contributing to the depth of the characters, like Stark's resort to them in his psychological state.
Shane Black provides punchy, hilarious dialogue in the screenplay matched only by the fast-paced direction he provides as well. It really is his show, and he never misses an opportunity to demonstrate that and his capabilities. I think, like the Mission: Impossible movies, it would be good to get a different director for each Marvel movie made, it would really make each of them uniquely different.
The score matches the high standard set by Alan Silvestri's Avengers Assemble OST, with Brian Tyler doing a fantastic job, especially on the main theme (as with Avengers Assemble) It provides the epic comic book feeling of this movie along side the uplifting motivation stuff that everyone loves in soundtracks. I certainly do anyway.

The performances are great across the board, with Gwyneth Paltrow probably giving her best Pepper Potts so far, Guy Pearce (Memento, LA Confidential) performing excellently as the sinister Aldrich Killian. There's even a kid, now before you grab the pitchforks, relax, it's fine, this one can act and b isn't annoying. And if he is, Tony's in there with a joke against him, they never take it that seriously. However, before I even address Ben Kingsley's Mandarin I'm just gonna put this here.

Ok, so the Mandarin. Watching the trailers I thought we were going to get a familiar, yet awesome rendition of a very powerful and sinister character. I mean, was I the only one who was eagerly awaiting the 'Youuu'll neverrr seeeee meeee coming.' or the 'Do you want an empty life or a meaningful death?' or even the 'Lesson number one.' And...that's not what we get. Ben Kingsley is still brilliant though, it's just...completely different to what we all thought. Seriously, after seeing the film look at all the videos or posts about people's speculations for the Mandarin in this movie, it's hilarious. However I think what we get is better. And funnier. You could argue the big reveal is bad or destroys the character of the Mandarin, which in a sense it does, but ignoring the comics it's a very good plot device. It also puts more attention on Guy Pearce's character, who definitely shines because of it. So, it was good. I can see why some people may not like it, and unfortunately it may detract from the viewing process if you don't like it. I mean, this movie is still good if you don't like the twist, but definitely not as good. Just accept what they've done with the film and movie on. Enjoy. 


I went to see this movie with a few friends, which I would definitely recommend doing if you're gonna see this. Everyone enjoyed themselves, and one of my friends, who doesn't really like comic book films, when asked his opinion gave a slow appreciative nod, later stating 'It was a nice film.' My point is, it's a very enjoyable movie, for not just fans, and one of Marvel's best yet. You could argue it's not as good as Avengers Assemble but you wouldn't be wrong if you said it is.
This movie is a lot of fun, but not just that, a lot of clever fun. You could argue that there's a lack of depth or point to the Marvel movies, and maybe you'd be right. But this movie isn't trying for depth. It's trying to be enjoyed. Something which it most definitely achieves. There's a certain editorial on this page saying that Marvel's losing their touch, that they need something big in Iron Man 3 to ensure they won't lose their thrill which was so vivid in the earlier films. Well, there's no fear of that happening, that's for damn sure.

I give Iron Man 3 4.5 stars out of 5
So what did you think of Iron Man 3? Would you say it's a great start for Marvel's Phase 2?