So, last night me, my friend and his son went off to see Iron Man 3, the third film in the franchise and the first marvel film to come out after the Avengers. There was a concern between us as to whether this film could keep up, quality wise, after the greatness that was the Avengers or whether a film with Iron Man on his own just would seem a bit boring. Thankfully, this wasn't the case as by the time it ended we all agreed that it was excellent, though whether it was better than the original Iron Man was a different question.
There will most likely be spoilers, so if anyone's reading this who hasn't watched Iron Man 3, I would suggest going to the cinema to watch it and then coming back to read this.
Back? Good. Or if you haven't left you have been warned.
So, the film's plot breaks down like this. After the Avengers, Tony Stark (once again played to perfection by Robert Downey Jr) looks to be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress; unable to sleep, having panic attacks, etc, and has pretty much locked himself away building Iron Man suits. However, Stark wakes up from his isolation when Happy Hogan (Jon Favereau) is injured in a bomb. It seems that, of late, a megalomaniac called 'The Mandarin' (Ben Kingsley) has declared war on the US. So Stark (in all his wisdom), upset over Hogan's injuries, threatens the Mandarin, resulting in the destruction of his home and all his suits (except for his most recent, problem-ridden prototype). It then becomes a race for the truth when Stark looks into the bombings and finds that they could be the result of Think Tank AIM and it's boss Aldrich Killian (played Guy Pearce).
In truth, I think the reason the film doesn't seem as good as Iron Man 1 is simply in the tone of its execution. Gone is the ACDC, with the film opening with narration by RDJ's Stark which made me think I'd walked into a re-showing of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. In fact that would make sense what with Director Shane Black having done both films and with much of the buddy-cop aspect shown between Stark and James Rhodes (Don Cheadle). This, though, wasn't all I wasn't comfortable with as there were some other issues that took away from the film. One of which is a re-occuring gag that Stark's remaining suit doesn't work properly, which begins as both humourous and also relevant to the story, but soon becomes a little tedious. Also, I didn't like the credits which felt like they were ripped off of some bad eighties tv show. Also, the giant bunny was just creepy.
Of course, just because of these few problems doesn't change what made this film good. It's like Christmas dinner in that no one like brussel sprouts on their own, but included in the meal, then the meal is still fantastic. I think what makes Iron Man 3 good is A. the cameos from comics, which are abundant. From Roxxon Oil and the return of Yinsen in a flashback, to the inclusion of AIM and Coldblood, this is a film that wanted to give the comic lovers value for money. Also, the surprise twist surrounding the Mandarin was inspiring and actually made sense if you look at the rest of the franchise. Then there was the final fight scene which was a geeks wet dream with an Army of Armors (which was SO cool) coming to the rescue (and Stark seemingly using each one) followed by a superhuman Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) coming to the rescue and finishing of the bad guy (which was even cooler).
For me, this film is not as good as the original, but then how can it be? The first Iron Man had so much charm of setting the standard, which is a hard thing to surpass. But Iron Man 3 doesn't fall short by much and is not only a fantastic film but a great end to the trilogy (assuming that Marvel make no more) which is capped off nicely with a short post-credit scene which doesn't focus on anything else in Marvel's universe but itself.