First up, let’s set the scene. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr - Weird Science) is a little fucked up from the events in The Avengers. Yeah, he got to go through a wormhole in space, fight freaky aliens, die a little bit and get touched up by The Hulk when he fell back to Earth (in true David Bowie style). Suffice to say, that’s gonna mess with your head a little. Things aren’t made better when evil terrorist The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley - Coronation Street) starts to bomb seemingly random targets in the USA. In a possibly insane move, Stark throws down the gauntlet and invites the most dangerous terrorist in the world to come and have a go if he thinks he’s hard enough. This is not a good idea…
The most noticeable thing about Iron Man 3 is the incredibly sparkling dialogue. This, I assume, can only be because the co writer (and director) is none other than Shane Black, the man who gave us the likes of ‘Lethal Weapon’ and the wonderfully profane and funny ‘The Last Boy Scout‘. With him on board, Stark’s witty lines get wittier, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow - Duets) is more bearable and there’s even a kid who is not annoying at all. This, people, is a first for Hollywood (and yes, I mean you, Short Round). So full marks for dialogue, but what about the plot?
Well, without ruining anything the plot is pretty good. It is loosely based on the ’Extremis’ comic storyline, one of the best Iron Man has had, but don’t look to that for any real clues. It’s a reasonably tight plot, and is hinged on a great performance by Kingsley, who is definitely the one you will be talking about when you leave the cinema. Robert Downey Jr IS Tony Stark, mind, and as usual his performance seems effortless. Even Guy Pierce (Neighbours/Home & Away) pops up as a complete dick and throws in a few surprises. There’s also decent interaction and character development for Jim Rhodes (Don Cheadle - The Bernie Mac Show), as his War Machine alter ego is upgraded to the sparkly red white and blue Iron Patriot. All in all, a good story that doesn’t disappoint.
‘Iron Man 3’ will not leave any fans wanting, as it ticks all the boxes we need. The first film set things up and was, in retrospect, okay. The second film improved on this with a much better story and villain, whilct Iron man three throws in plot twists, some genuinely thrilling peril and a villain that you can’t see Stark getting the better of. Thoroughly enjoyable, if not at The Avengers level, this is a great, fun film with lots of things going BOOM.
Oh yeah, and I suppose you want to know if you should sit through the freakin’ credits. First of all, the initial credits are a brilliant pastiche of 80’s TV action series, so watch those for a laugh. If you then sit through the standard trawl of credits (always fun to look for daft names) you will get a further scene that is quite fun, but it’s NOT a teaser of any kind. Up to you, true believer, but I was glad I saw it.