Jon Favreau laid a very strong foundation for the Marvel Cinematic Universe when he directed Iron Man and Iron Man 2, and while Robert Downey Jr. is still the man in the armor there is now a different man behind the camera, Shane Black, who was instrumental in helping Downey Jr. revive his career with a great performance in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Black and Downey worked great before, will the chemistry between direct and actor work together again? Will Black be able to fill the big shoes left by Favreau? The answer is a very happy and resounding yes.
The Avengers survived the events at the end of The Avengers and the team have gone their separate ways. Tony Stark has returned to his life but all is as it should be. Stark almost died during the incident in New York, and he is still dealing with this issue. In fact, Stark’s PTSD plays a heavy role in this film. This is a much more vulnerable Iron Man than we’ve previously seen. Then on top of that all through the film his Iron Man suits either aren’t working at all or are on the fritz. Stark spends most of the film not in an Iron Man suit and is left with his wits to figure out what is going on, which is a great change of pace for the franchise. This is a very different, much dark Iron Man that not everyone may got on board with, but I for one, thought it was great.
Stark begins to investigate a series of bombings instigated by a terrorist known as the Mandarin (a very fantastic Ben Kingsley). Without giving too much a way there is also a moment in the beginning, a flashback to 1999, where Stark learns of Extremis, an experimental regenerative treatment intended to allow recovery from crippling injuries, invented by Maya Hansen. Also there is another scientist, Aldrich Killian, who offers both Stark and Hansen a chance to join his company, Advanced Idea Mechanics (or AIM to those comic fans in the know), Stark choose to embarrass the man instead, which proves to have been a disastrous choice.
In the middle of the film Stark spends some time with a spunky kid. In most films the arrival of a spunky kid spells doom. However, somehow in this case it works. Maybe it’s that the kid is actually a pretty good little actor and he manages to hold his own against the quick witted, fast talking Downey. Perhaps it’s the chemistry between the two, or perhaps it’s a little bit of both. Whatever the reason, this cliche of the spunky kid that fails 99% of the time works here at it adds a nice level of humor to the film when it’s needed.
Iron Man 3 has a very different feel to it that it’s processors. It is a darker, more personal film that manages to feel like a Shane Black film and finds it’s place in the Iron Man franchise at the same time. It’s hard to step in after someone else has made two films and continue the story and Shane Black has done a fantastic job.
The film is presented in 2.35:1 and 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. This is a wonderful looking and sounding film. The audio is very well mixed.
Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter (15 min.) A great short about what happened to Steve Rogers girlfriend one year after the end of Captain America: The First Avenger Featurettes (20 min.) You get two of these and I found them to be better than most EPK making-of vignettes. They really provide some fun and interesting insight into how this film came together and how they made it. There is a really great bit about how they actually practically shot the Air Force One rescue with very little CGI and wires. Yeah, that’s really people jumping out of a real plane. Exclusive behind the scenes look at Thor: The Dark World: (2 min.) A very quick look at the upcoming Thor film. Deleted/Extended Scenes: (16 min.) Start strong with full Bill Mahr and Joan Rivers bits. Then you get to hear Kingsley do a bunch of different accents. With these deleted scenes you almost forget that there is an action element to this film, as these focus on the comedy and manage to funnier than most comedy deleted scenes. Gag Reel (5 min.) which has some good moments and finally Audio Commentary: with Shane Black and Drew Pearce.
If you’ve been Marvel movie fan up to this point then there really is no reason not to like this film. I think its even better than Iron Man 2 and is a worthy edition not only to the Iron Man franchise, but the Marvel Universe as a whole. Also, there is a great bit at the end of the credits, as always.
Marvel Studios presents Iron Man 3. Written by: Drew Pearce and Shane Black. Directed by: Shane Black. Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Gweneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Jon Favreau and Ben Kingsley. Running time: 130 minutes. Rating: PG-13. Released: September 24, 2013..
Tags: Ben Kingsley, Don Cheadle, guy pearce, Iron Man, Iron Man 3, Jon Favreau, Robert Downey Jr, Shane Black