Words: Stewart Thorpe
Director: Shane Black
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Ben Kingsley
Running time: 135 mins
Robert Downey Jr. returns as Iron Man in the third and final installment of the franchise. Iron Man 3 sees us returning to billionaire playboy, Tony Stark’s life, one that was once a cosy sanctuary but is now haunted by the events of The Avengers. In conjunction with his personal issues we also see the rise of super villain The Mandarin, who sets about terrorising America and eventually Stark’s life after Stark purposely discloses his home address for the Mandarin to come and find him.
It’s clear from the off when Blue (Da Ba Dee) by Eiffel 65 starts playing, that the film is going to continue with the light-hearted and playful feeling from the first two films. Throughout the film there’s a brilliant mix of humour, action and emotional scenes, and though at 135 minutes it’s the longest of the trilogy, the film passes by with ease.
Most superhero films usually build a plot around villains matching up against a heroes with a resultant conflict. Whilst Iron Man 3 does follow this route to an extent, we also sees Stark spending a lot of time out of his Iron Man suit and focusing on the personal problems he’s facing. It’s certainly not your average Marvel film, for more reasons than one, but it’s certainly an extremely enjoyable one.
Iron Man 3 doesn’t feature as much action as you’d may be expecting from such a long film, but nevertheless, there are some beautifully constructed scenes of sheer destruction, an absolute pleasure to watch as you’re left debating whether they were computer generated or physically constructed for better effect.
Downey Jr. is brilliant throughout but there is also some surprisingly superb performances from Ben Kingsley and 11-year-old Ty Simpkins, who both bring a great deal to the film.
All in all, Iron Man 3 is a quality film that shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Although it’s obvious that it is the final installment of the film franchise, Iron Man 3 can easily be watched as a stand-alone film, which has landed itself some criticism from the more studious followers of the Marvel universe. There are, of course, brilliant movie twists along the way and though you have to question why on earth it’s set at Christmas, yet released at the beginning of summer, it wraps up the trilogy in a very fitting way.