Iron Man 3 is super-hero movie-making at its best! If Tony Stark made films instead of robot suits this would be it.
After really enjoying the massive summer blockbuster Avengers Assemble, I had to see Iron Man 3 even though I hadn't seen the first two instalments. I do plan to go back and watch them now, but Iron Man 3 starts with a brilliant flashback to New Year's Eve 1999 which showed me some of Tony Stark's history. The rest of the film shows him struggling to maintain his relationship with his girlfriend Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) while his obsession with building robot suits and fighting bad guys is taking over his life - and giving him panic attacks.
Robert Downey Jr. was born to play Tony Stark! His relatabilty and snarky humour make him perfect for the part. The character is smart and powerful but still has flaws and weaknesses. Iron Man can make mistakes, which makes the audience root for him even more. The problem I had with Batman is that he was too emotionally stunted - to the point where he looked as if he had lost all the feeling in his face. Tony Stark is much more human.
Dark Knight Made Of Iron
It was a shame, therefore, that Marvel totally miss-sold this movie in the trailer. After the success of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises, I guess it's no surprise they tried to make the third Iron Man seem dark, edgy and dramatic. But the film actually had as much wit and life as other Marvel films. There were some sinister moments but they were balanced out with moments of romance and humour. And thank god for it. I was really pleased that Marvel chose not to jump on the Nolan bandwagon, making another overly brooding grit-fest and instead when for more multi-layered entertainment. If only this had been reflected in the trailer - does make me wonder though if Thor 2 is actually as dark as the trailer is suggesting.
The action scenes are clever and exciting as expected, but because the characters are so well developed you're much more invested in what happens to them, making the danger all the more gripping. One of my favourites is the one in which Iron Man has to play Barrel Monkeys in mid-air - catching a group of people who've been chucked out of the crippled Air Force One and are plummeting to earth. Exciting stuff! But to be honest, all the action scenes are breathtaking. Some fans might be disappointed by the limited amount of time Tony Stark actually spends in his Iron Man armour - then again, it's down to a problem I'm sure we can all relate to... technical difficulties!
The supporting cast in Iron Man 3 are the best I've ever seen in a super hero film. Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle have some witty dialogue and their characters compliment Robert's brilliantly. But the addition of Ty Simpkins' character Harley was a stoke of genius. Tony has a hilarious older-brother-type relationship with him which helps him start putting his own life in perspective and leads to some clever and adorable comic scenes. This subplot could even suggest that Tony Stark might be ready to have kids with Pepper in the near future. I guess only comic-book fans will know the answer to that one.
Intriguingly, the plot and background music had a lot of similarities to the Pixar cartoon The Incredibles. That may be simply because both films are full of classic super hero conventions. Or maybe it's down to Disney starting to exercise its influence on the Marvel universe. Or then again, maybe I'm just reading way too much into it.
Anyway I absolutely loved Iron Man 3. It has wit, charm, thrilling fight scenes and some really well developed characters - which is often hard to find in the over saturated world of action movies. I am more excited than ever to see the second Avengers film. I'm gonna be drawn to the cinema like an electro magnet when that finally comes out.