- 26 April 2013
- Shane Black
- Drew Pearce, Shane Black
- Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Sir Ben Kingsley, Rebecca Hall
- Running Time:
- 130 minutes
Tony Stark and Bruce Banner are mates, so heād probably recommend this over Captain America.
Who is Iron Man?
Billionaire, genius, playboy, philanthropist ā qualities that could apply to both Tony Stark and Robert Downey Jr. The role has always seemed interchangeable between the actor and his onscreen counterpart, with a mirrored story of celebrity redemption and a wit and charisma that belongs to most movie villains. The answer may seem obvious, but by using this soul-searching question as the impetus for Iron Man 3, the franchise returns to the essence of what made this superhero the biggest box office ābuster of all the solo Avenger films.
As such, Stark is transported to a remote place, far from his lab and girlfriend Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow). Itās taken him full circle, from being being trapped in the deserts of Afghanistan and battling the Ten Rings terrorist group, to crash-landing in Tennessee and pitted against Marvelās leader of the Ten Rings, the Mandarin, played with all the acting range that warrants Ben Kingsleyās knighthood. Like all villains in the Iron Man movie universe, however, heās been stripped of his alien connections and made relevant by turning him into āthe ultimate modern-day terroristā. He punctuates the movie with threatening Bin Laden-like messages and, after Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) is badly injured in an attack, Stark decides to leave his own public message, inviting the Mandarin to his Malibu mansion.
Aside from the obvious ties to Warren Ellisā Extremis mini-series (2005), Iron Man 3 also puts its own spin on Daniel and Charles Knaufās Haunted arc, where Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall) believes sheās working for the good of the world, but the Extremis virus is actually being used to take down Tony Stark. In the movie, Extremis co-creator and founder of AIM (Advanced Idea Mechanics), Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) uses the treatment to undergo a makeover. It turns out heās been suffering from a severe bout of the uglies, so his drive to develop this virus doesnāt seem as well-intentioned as Rhys Ifansā Dr Curt Connors in The Amazing Spider-Man. Instead, he treads the well-worn path of rejected victim to supervillain, but at least he has more of a plan than Sam Rockwell’s Justin Hammer and Mickey Rourke’s Ivan Vanko in Iron Man 2.Fighting on the side of Uncle Sam is War Machine (Don Cheadle), rebranded as the Iron Patriot. Heās given plenty more to do in this film, aside from defending his new name from a sardonic Tony Stark, and even Pepper has her own arc (plus a nod to Rescue from the comic-books). But perhaps the most talked about supporting cast member ā whose appearance in the trailer kick-started its own Twitter feed ā is the Giant Bunny. It turns out to be a Christmas present for Pepper, and we canāt decide whatās weirder: the realisation that Stark has no idea what women want in their stocking, or that this is a spring-timed movie set in December. Isnāt terrorism awful no matter what the time of year?
Perhaps they were looking for a way to shoehorn the striking visual of Stark carving a path through the snow with his battered Iron Man suit behind him, looking like a Marvel-branded sleigh. The cold climes and blue tones will give Film Studies students plenty of textual analysis ammunition but the rest of are left feeling like weāve wandered into one of those year-round Christmas shops. Weāre sure a re-watch in 7-8 months time will have us feeling festive, though, particularly the ET moment where young boy Harley (Ty Simpkins) discovers the broken-down superhero in his shed. Steven Spielberg would never have signed off on Starkās retort to Harleyās dad disappearing six years ago, though: āWell, that happens. Thereās no need to be a pussy about it.ā
Things start to move into Terminator territory as Stark becomes the boyās protector when the Extremis super soldiers start coming after him. Just like the T-1000, they appear like regular humans and are downright creepy because of this. However, behind the special effects fireworks and superb action pieces on display, thereās a real story at its heart that you could accuse Avenger Assemble of lacking. There are a couple of unexpected turns before the credits roll, along with an answer to the question of who Iron Man really is, but that was never really in doubt.