Let me preface this mini-review and say that I’ve seen it twice. I unexpectedly got screening tickets for Tuesday and had already booked opening night with a few cousins. I haven’t read any of the Iron Man comics and was introduced to the character through Jon Favreau’s excellent trilogy opener in 2008. I didn’t enjoy Iron Man 2 half as much as the first so I was a little nervous about where they’d take the third film. I need not have worried. Director Shane Black is a perfect fit and has produced what, to my mind, is a match for the first film.
I won’t go into the plot in detail but the character of Tony Stark is far more vulnerable than at any point in the previous movies. He suffers from insomnia after the events in New York (Avengers Assemble) and is struggling to get a handle on things as a serious threat to America, in the shape of The Mandarin, emerges. The dialogue is razor sharp throughout and Downey Jnr is forced to do more than just jump in the suit and wisecrack. Guy Pearce and Ben Kingsley are excellent and Gwyneth Paltrow gets a beefier role than at any time before. The action and CG are stunning, particularly as Iron Man plays a version of Barrel of Monkeys in the skies above Florida. You’ll know it when you see it. See it on the big screen if you can but it’s kicked off what is certain to be a big year for blockbusters with Star Trek: Into Darkness and Superman inbound.