After an explosion leaves his top security man and highly regarded friend, Hogan (Jon Favreau), fighting for his life, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) gives the terrorist who lays claim to the attacks his address and asks for a meeting face-to-face. The terrorist, known only as The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), agrees and Stark soon finds his house being demolished along with much of his life.
Meanwhile Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow), Stark's girlfriend and manager of Stark Industries, meets a face from the past in Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce). When she goes missing shortly afterwards, it seems as though the Iron Man has lost everything.
In my review of Iron Man I said that the reason I liked it so much was because I could see it potentially becoming real at some point in the future. I take that back.
With Iron Man 3, it is like director Shane Black (in only his second directing shift) took that very thought and said to the team, "right, how mad can we make this franchise?". The answer, is a resounding "very mad".
I will admit, that contrary to my prior thoughts, I did enjoy the first Iron Man and its sequel for bringing something fresh to the comic book genre. It does seem that you can have too much of a good thing, as Iron Man 3 delivers more of the same but without the originality. I imagine that Iron Man 3 will probably fade into the background of its predecessors' success.
That's not to say that there aren't good bits - or even that you shouldn't see the film at all. It is still peppered with one-liners and its humour still feels fresh. I don't think I'll ever get bored of listening to the Tony Stark Show as he and JARVIS (Paul Bettany) exchange quips as Stark bullies a robotic arm.
On the subject of the robotic arm, it goes to show how much effort was put into the previous films as much of Iron Man 3 relies heavily on the empathy that eminates from them. One scene shows the audience exactly how much he cares about his inventions in a typically laugh-out-loud but tender moment that has come to typify the franchise.
Much of the film comes undone in the last act. The final scene seems like a last hurrah and it was far too over-played and drawn-out. There is only so many times that a man can come back from a beating - and I'll leave it to you to decide which character that is aimed at.
At the end of the day though, the audience must come to realise that, like Stark, there is only so much empathy that can be shown towards machines. Perhaps then, despite all of his brilliance as the character (and he has been superb), Robert Downey Jr. can give no more as Iron Man.
The end of the credits explains that Tony Stark will return, but this only seems to add fuel to the speculation that Downey Jr. will not be reprising the role. I fear that without Downey Jr. the franchise will fail. As I've said in the past, it now seems as though character and actor have become married into one co-existance.
Perhaps though, this is what the franchise now needs.
Review by wizzardSS on . Film Rating: 3/5