Synopsis: Overwhelmed by the events in New York City from AVENGERS ASSEMBLE, Stark must conquer his fears in his attempts to combat the mysterious terrorist known as the Mandarin, and in doing so, he puts everything and everyone he loves in jeopardy.
Black’s third installment in the highly profitable and iconic Marvel series sees Robert Downey, Jr. return as Tony Stark, once genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist turned troubled protector Iron Man.
Much like Stark, the tone of IRON MAN 3 is clearly different, opening with Eiffel 65′s Blue, leading into a well-crafted cinematic tale of self-exploration and humanity in a newly inhuman world. The ‘threequel’ will undoubtedly please most, exploring a whole new side of the loveable Iron Man who we discover is not as invincible as the source material might claim and leaving easter eggs a plenty to discover, some of which the most devout of fans may even miss.
Following Downey Jr. back into the fray is Paltrow as Pepper Potts, now C.E.O of Stark Industries, Cheadle, returning as Colonel Rhodes, a.k.a. War Machine turned Iron Patriot – one of many aspects of the film contributing to the many layers of sociopolitical commentary that can be found within the film if examined closely enough – Pearce, as one of the charming and only ever-so-slightly psychotic antagonists Aldrich Killian and Ben Kingsley as the embodiment of terror known only as the Mandarin, though not precisely an incarnation reflective of that in the comics.
Though oft compared to its predecessors, IRON MAN 3 proves to be one of this year’s biggest and best summer blockbusters with beautifully shot scenes rich in CGi courtesy of 17 different VFX companies. It is undoubtedly full of heart, has plenty of ambition and only just teeters at the existentialist questions that would baffle the everyman. It never quite wholly satisfies, but will keep you happily satiated until we next see Downey. Jr. in THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON. Combing a surprisingly complex level of what feels to be genuine character development and the right mix of action and comedic dialogue, IRON MAN 3 a much-see, a must-own on DVD, and arguably one of the best films of the year. This is especially the case for collectors and Marvel enthusiasts. Four Stars.
Extras: Deconstructing the Scene: Attack on Air Force One, THOR: THE DARK WORLD (Exclusive Behind the Scenes), Marvel One Shot – Agent Carter, Iron Man Unmasked, 10 Deleted Scenes and Gag Reel. Grab the Blu-ray.
This review was originally posted over at The Hollywood News.