Fans said The Avengers could never be done. There’s no way you can have all these heroes in one movie and make it work. The fans were wrong. The Avengers was the biggest and best movie of last summer grossing over a billion dollars worldwide. Now Iron Man 3, the film franchise that started the Marvel superhero gold rush, has to face unachievable expectations when it opens up in theaters this weekend.
Iron Man 3 has our cocky hero shaken after the alien invasion in New York City. Tony rarely sleeps and spends most of his time tinkering with new armor in his seaside Malibu Mansion. That is until a rival technology company named A.I.M headed by Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) and Iron Man’s nemesis from the comics The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) complicate his life. Tony is stripped down to his bare essentials and has to get back to basics to take down his rivals and protect the people he cares for.
Once again Robert Downey Jr. shines as the billionaire hero who is not as confident in his abilities as he once was. Downy Jr.’s charisma carried the misguided Iron Man 2 and he does it again in the third chapter. Only this time he has the benefit of an improved story with a spy thriller twist. Iron Man 3 also has its share of big action scenes including the assault on the Mansion, the harrowing Air Force One rescue and the climatic showdown which throws the kitchen sink at you when it comes to Iron Man Armor.
As far as the villains go, it will be interesting to see the reaction to Iron Man 3. I can imagine some Iron Man aficionados being upset with the treatment of The Mandarin. I was surprised by the brave direction of the classic villain, but I realized that not everything translates today on-screen as it did thirty years ago in a comic book. I didn’t mind the turn The Mandarin takes because the real show-stealer was Guy Pearce as Aldrich Killian. Killian is an antagonist that Stark unknowingly creates with this arrogant demeanor. Killian and his band of extremist soldiers are ruthless villains who are a true threat to Stark and anyone who gets in their way.
So is Iron Man 3 better than The Avengers? Not a chance and you’re a fool if you go into this movie thinking it’s going to be. Also don’t go into Iron Man 3 expecting a bunch of cameos from our other favorite heroes. The Avengers are mentioned, but outside of a few brief seconds, they don’t appear on-screen. This is Tony Stark’s story. I do think as a stand alone film in the Marvel Cinematic universe, Iron Man 3 is a fun roller coaster ride that still finds a way to get back to its original roots. In my opinion, I think director Shane Black has given us the most entertaining Iron Man film to date. The question is…. will it be the last solo Iron Man project? Things get tied up pretty nicely for Tony Stark so we’ll have to wait until after The Avengers 2 to see if we get anymore Iron Man adventures on his own. Overall I give Iron Man 3 3 potatoes out of 4.
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