Whittling the focus down from six superheroes back to one, The Avengers was always going to be a hard act to follow. We saw the X-men prequels on shaky territory the X-Men Origins: Wolverine took some months to break even while X-Men: First Class made a loss in it’s cinema run.
The character of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jnr.) is a force unto himself as he already has two successful films behind him. The third installment sees Stark suffering from post traumatic stress after the events of The Avengers. The film-makers take it for granted that you know all about the alien attack on Manhattan, probably because of the $220,000,000 cost of the film nearly being tripled in the box office.
Shane Black takes over from Jon Favreau as Director and he also co-writes the screenplay. He uses his action movie experience to it’s full effect. Black penned the screenplays for the Lethal Weapon films and other like The Long Kiss Good Night and Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang in which he also directed Robert Downey Jnr.
The action is better paced than the previous two installments; the humour is on an equal par. Stark goes through an amusing character development while still retaining his acidic humour. Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Palthrow) gets a chance to try on the suit while Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin and Guy Pearce provide worthy adversaries even if their motives and back stories are somewhat thin. There are some nice twists and lots of explosions.
But of course the reason we all go to see these movies mainly because of the suit. Black does not disappoint in this department, there are enough improvements to make this probably the best of the three. As Hollywood are all about trilogies these days this does feel like the final installment. There are rumours that Robert Downey Jnr. may hand the character to a new actor but we shall have to wait for The Avengers‘ sequel to see if he does.
One for the cinema.
Iron Man 3 is in cinemas now.