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Iron Man 3 Review: Superhero Action at its Best
The Iron Man movies have always divided opinion. We all agree that Robert Downey Jr. is the perfect Tony Stark, but some of us didn’t enjoy Iron Man 2 that much. However, whether you enjoyed the sequel or not, the trailers sure did make the third film look exciting and boy, the actual movie did not disappoint.
Set after the events of The Avengers, Tony Stark’s past comes back to haunt him. The loveable but arrogant hero wasn’t so nice before being trapped in a cave changed his life and he discovers there was one person in particular he really should not have upset. A terrorist known as The Mandarin is setting off bombs and causing the President concern. Stark decides to take matters into his own hands, but his world, and house, are torn apart and with Pepper at risk, Stark will stop at nothing to make sure she’s safe.
Usually superhero movies centre around the villains or the threat that’s endangering someone or somewhere they care about. Thus they become nothing more than an action packed mind-numbing ride. Which is fine, but sometimes we crave more than just cool special effects from a film, we want them to be orientated around the main characters. That’s why Nolan’s Batman movies are so good. It’s also why Iron Man 3 is perhaps the best out of all the Iron man films. Instead of just showing action sequence after action sequence, the story focuses on Stark himself. It’s a story of retribution and Tony becoming a better person. But don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of stuff being blown up too.
Iron Man 3 strikes a perfect balance between action and storytelling. Stark still has his ridiculous attitude and smart one-liners, but there’s a much more vulnerable side to him this time round. He’s having trouble sleeping and suffers from frequent panic attacks thanks to all the crazy stuff that happened in The Avengers. He’s obsessed with building better Iron Man suits, which is causing trouble between him and Pepper, the one person he’s trying to protect. On the flip side, there’s just as much action here as there is in any other superhero movie. The special effects are brilliant, and some key sequences, such as the plane “Barrel of Monkeys” bit, are fun and nail-biting. These set-pieces, combined with a deeper story, make Iron Man 3 better than The Avengers in my opinion.
To keep the review spoiler-free, I can’t really talk about the plot twist much but let’s just say it’s a refreshing change from the straight-forward superhero movies we’re all used to. Pepper Potts as a character is hugely improved too. I’ve always enjoyed Gwyneth Paltrow’s portrayal of Pepper, but at times, she’s little more than a damsel in distress. But in 3, she really does become kick-ass.
Iron Man 3 takes some unexpected twists and turns. It’s risky for an action movie, but it really does pay off. It’s not dark like the Christopher Nolan Batman movies, but it does try to become more than just another superhero film. Robert Downey Jr. continues to be the perfect Tony Stark and there’s plenty of wise-cracks in between Stark’s emotional issues, just as you would expect. The only problem is, you need to have seen The Avengers before watching Iron Man 3 as there are (far too many) references to the ending sequence of The Avengers. Luckily, aside from those references, none of the other characters turn up or intrude in on the plot. Some may enjoy the fact The Avengers links a part of the Marvel universe together, but personally, I could see it getting very irritating quite quickly.
Overall Iron Man 3 is hugely enjoyable and I recommend it more than building your very own Iron Man suit. Oh, and don’t forget to stay until after the credits are finished for an amusing extra scene.