Iron Man 3 *****


Run time: 130 mins Cert: 12A


Synopsis: Tony Stark (Downey Jnr.) finds his personal world destroyed by a new enemy called The Mandarin (Kingsley). A global terrorist who will stop at nothing to achieve world domination. Tony is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him.


Mismatched buddies, snow, bromance and Christmas, it must be another movie from writer/ director Shane Black. After making his debut feature with the clever Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang, Black has decided to enter the world of superheroes as his follow up feature.


No mean feat, since Iron Man 2 was a complete train wreck with too many villains and dull set pieces. Thankfully the bad guys are anything but dull. While the action scenes maybe over the top, but they are exciting and fun at the same time.


The two villains in this instalment are Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) and The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley). Killian appears to be a rather one dimensional character, but Pearce plays the part with relish making this slimy, crazy baddie memorable.


With The Mandarin, Black has decided to go with an alternative version compared to the source material. In the comic books, the character is a kind of Ming the Merciless figure. Now he is a terrorist leader trying to bring terror to the west. Which works better for the film and with one great twist. Kingsley completely hams it up to the max in his performance.


In regards to the other characters, Pepper Potts (Gywneth Paltrow) is given more to do and even wears the Iron suit. Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) is given some of the funniest material. While Rhodes (Don Cheadle) and Stark have more time to bond in a Lethal Weapon style relationship. Which is funny considering that film was Black’s first screenplay. Stark is more reserved in this film at the start, but this does not stop Robert Downey Jnr’s slick trademark wisecracks.


The actual plot flows between the general comic arc to a spy influenced narrative, which gives the movie a unusual but unique take on the genre. It takes elements from the Extremis comic-book storyline. There are more humour and twists compared to the previous sequel.


A much better movie than the previous film and a better script than last year’s The Avengers. If rumours are true and this is Downey Jnr’s last Iron Man film, then he has gone out in style. Stay till the end of the credits for an amusing scene that Marvel fans will get a kick out of.


Reviewed by Paul Logan

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