The summer blockbusters are here! And first out the gate is the third in the Iron Man Franchise. The first film was a surprise hit which propelled Robert Downey Jr to the A-list. The second one was ok but didn’t have the spark of the first film, feeling more like it was settling the scene for The Avengers. So how does this film stack up?
First the plot. Tony Stark is trying to recover from the events of the aforementioned Avengers film, staying up all night making new Iron Man suits (42 and counting) and neglecting live in girlfriend Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow). Not that they have time to worry about relationship drama when dealing with a new nemesis called The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) who isn’t afraid to take the fight directly to Stark himself.
This film sees the Iron Man franchise back on form. New director and co writer Shane Black is a smart fit for this film. Having worked with Robert Downey Jnr on Kiss Kiss Bang Bang he plays to the actor’s strengths in this film, making sure Tony Stark is full of the witty one liners that makes him such a joy to watch. This is probably the funniest of the Iron Man films to date.
As well as being hilarious with several laugh at loud moments, the film also delivers on an emotional level with Tony and Pepper’s relationship getting ample screen time. The couple are great together, bringing a real warmth to their scenes-probably helps that this is their third time playing these characters and so they fall back easily into their role.
There are also some jaw dropping action sequences that Black directs with great assurance considering this is only his second film. It’s hard to pick the best one but stand outs definitely include the attack on Stark’s home (as seen in the trailers) and a daring rescue to save the passengers on a falling airplane.
Of the supporting cast its great to Don Cheadle get more action this time as War Machine/Iron Patriot while Ben Kingsley is fun as The Mandarin and thankfully not overused in the role. Guy Pearce is suitably smug in his role as a business rival to Tony but ultimately isn’t that interesting. Rebecca Hall does well in what she’s given as Tony’s old flame Mya but unfortunately isn’t in it enough to show what she is really capable of.
There are rumours that this could be Robert Downey Jr’s last Iron Man film. I obviously can’t reveal how this film ends but if this ended the last time we see him put on the Iron Man suit he definitely bows out on a high.
Rating 4/5-Start the Summer Blockbuster season in style and prepare to let yourself laugh, gasp and be amazed.