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Iron Man 3 (DVD)

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13 Reviews

Whilst it is good fun and certainly watchable, you can't help but feel Iron Man 3 falls short of its predecessors. Not for the purists.

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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

    13 Reviews
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      12.02.2014 21:28
      Not Helpful
      1 Comment



      Iron Man has to stop the mandarin.

      Truly one of the best films I have had the pleasure to see in my life. I have always loved the Iron Man films, but this one tops all of them. Obviously it has a few problems, like flash backs to the Avengers, which people whi haven't watched the Avengers will struggle to understand. Despite this it is an action packed movie which cam be watched with your family. A few laughs here and there and a few plot twists regarding the villain ( I won't say anymore as I don't want to ruin it). It was one of the biggest MARVEL films in the box office. One of the best movies of 2013. It is also the first film in phase 2 of the MARVEL cinematic universe. As with all MARVEL films there is a scene after the credits so you have to wait for that. Overall it is a brilliant film.


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        14.12.2013 03:10
        1 Comment



        This is a movie that really fits in the category of hit summer blockbuster.

        Well, Marvel created the huge blockbuster movie The Avengers that hauled in over one billion dollars in the box office. So now, can the new Marvel movie Iron Man 3 live up to Marvel's expectations? Here's the bottom line, Iron Man 3 could not only be the best Iron Man movie ever, but to an extent, the best Marvel movie ever.

        Let's start off with saying one thing; Iron Man 3 is different from the rest of the Iron Man movies. The days of Iron Man 2 are gone, and this Iron Man movie is much darker in tone and gives brand new situations that don't feel cliché in the slightest to bash out Iron Man's physical and emotional capabilities. This movie reminds us that without the suit, Tony Stark is not a superhero, he's a man with normal limits and he has a line in which if he crosses, he could lose his mind. This movie has shown Tony Stark's vulnerable side even better than the beginning of Iron Man, the first movie. Also, the villain here is much more complex and yes, a bit cliché but without giving any spoilers, I loved Ben Kingsley's performance in the movie.

        Robert Downey Jr. performs outstandingly well in the role of Tony Stark and he keeps the vulnerable side and his cold, sarcastic side alive and showing in every scene. With a stellar cast, great new direction in the series' future and a great and witty script, this movie was great to watch as a summer blockbuster.


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          13.12.2013 16:53
          Very helpful



          A must

          Released in the spring of this year, this multi-million dollar budget super hero adventure film from director Shane Black is well on its way to becoming one of only a handful of movies to break the billion dollar mark in terms on box office takings. This film marks the 4th time Robert Downey Jr. has played the title character Iron Man: a charming billionaire playboy mechanic who vows revenge on an evil terrorist mastermind after his friend is hospitalized in a gruesome bombing attack right outside the front door of a theatre.

          In the role that ostensibly resurrected his troubled career, Robert Downey Jr is as entertaining and arrogant as ever, narrating early, "You know who I am". An analogy for the film's biggest flaw; as a standalone film, that quote embodies that not much is done to establish these characters, or their universe... but, if you're familiar with earlier installments, this 130-minute action spectacle is a real treat, although watching it without viewing the previous movies is something I wouldn't recommend. Although you will pick bits and pieces up, you will end up walking away from it with a number of questions, most of which wont be answered unless you have seen the previous film.

          Downey still has nightmare flashes to his actions in "The Avengers", which are incorporated effectively into the rudimentary plot, that once again sees our hero stripped away of his suit and powers, forced to MacGuyver one home-brewed solution after another. A force to be reckoned with, Gwyneth Paltrow truly comes into her own as the sexy and formidable girlfriend... and her chemistry with Robert is undeniable in their fourth outing together. Guy Pearce and Ben Kingsley play the bad guys, and both effortlessly slip into their bizarre and eccentric characters.

          Even the minor supporting roles, like Maya Hansen, Jon Favreau, James Badge Dale, Don Cheadle, or child actor Ty Simpkins do a fine job with the fun and quirky material. Unfortunately, the talented William Sadler is extremely underutilized and wasted as the President... reduced to nothing more than a MacGuffin for the protagonists. Combining uber-cool glimpses of near-future technology with a wicked smart sense of humour, this feature takes a bit of time to get going, but the chaotic finale with dozens of disposable henchmen is completely delightful.

          Meaninglessly set around Christmas time, this U rated picture showcases Iron Man at his angriest, but also at his most vulnerable, forced to stave off attacks from the Mandarin, his toughest adversary yet, especially when the unstoppable villain literally walks through fire, a-la T-1000. Fans of the source material may not be pleased with the inventive and original take on Iron Man's iconic foe - but casual viewers such as myself will likely enjoy the twists this film takes. The patriotic score from Brian Tyler mixes drums, trumpets and strings to create a sense of importance and urgency to the film's larger set-pieces: all of which are accomplished with intricately detailed and realistic visual effects.

          The Marvel / Disney pairing should be applauded for consistently threading together another fine picture within Stan Lee's creative comic-book adapted universe, even if it isn't always believable. A light-hearted, rewatchable, and enjoyable ride for all fans of the series, "Iron Man 3" has, "Simplified thrills with hectic effects Fans of the comic may not appreciate the treatment of the primary villain, but I applaude the acting and visuals and would definitely recommend this movie. On par with the trilogy's inaugural effort, this was a competently made and entertaining movie with many laughs... but it ultimately wasn't as strong as it could have been. Bought when it was first released, I payed £9.99 on Amazon, of course the BluRay copy costs more, but this time of year, you will be able to pick it up cheaper than that with it being Christmas.


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          25.11.2013 11:58
          Very helpful
          1 Comment



          New director, new direction...

          Star - Robert Downey Junior
          Genre - Comic Book/Action
          Run Time - 130 minutes
          Certificate - PG13
          Country - USA
          Awards - 8 Wins (14 nominations)
          Blockbuster Rental- £.3.99per night
          Amazon -£10.00 DVD (£19.99 Blue Ray)
          = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

          In 1963 a man dressed in a nice suit entered the Colgate head office and announced that he could increase their profits by 15% within the year. Impressed, they asked the man how. Simple he said, just make the hole 50% bigger. The nozzle was originally designed small so to help the consumer squeeze the right amount so they didn't waste any. The man said that with a bigger hole people accidentally squeeze out more toothpaste and so waste more, meaning they have to buy more Colgate per year, which they did, and so the profits rose 15% and the commercial world changed forever, not about quality and reliability anymore. It's exactly the same in Hollywood with movie sequels. You can't push toothpaste back in the tube once the dollar signs are in studio chief's eyes. After the really enjoyable opening Iron Man (2008) and enjoyable sequel (2010), its time to make that hole smaller on the Iron Man franchise. But this genre is so lucrative these days the studios simply have to keep flogging the horse until it falls so to fund those studios. John Wayne would turn in his grave to see so much rotting equine flesh in the tumbleweed.

          It's a shame, really, as Christian Bales Batman and Toby McGuire's Spiderman pretty much saved the genre, Rob Downey Juniors brilliant Iron Man making the superhero movie feel smart and adult once again, what the original comic/graphic novel book thing was supposed to be all about. It was dreadfully camp back in the day and if you think Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sly Stallone, William Baldwin and Ben Affleck were making superhero movies then you know just how bad it had got.

          John Favreau was the first to jump ship and turned down the chance to direct IM3 after doing the first two and so veteran studio director Shane Black of the Lethal Weapon trilogy was bought out of semi retirement to fill in here having previously worked with the always brilliant Robert Downey Junior on the enjoyable Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man 3 only his third movie in 15 years.

          According to Imdb.com IM3 introduces some known Marvel villains to the franchise but deliberately out of context in Iron Man's world, as the fans will quickly point out. We have Savin, aka Coldblood, originally a cyborg assassin who was not tied to any one particular Marvel comic book. We also have Brandt (Stephanie Szostak), based on Ellen Brandt, the ex-wife and villain to Man-Thing and Taggert (Ashley Hamilton), aka Firepower, who was African-American in the comics (not white as in the film) and had his own armored suit to fight Iron Man. Expect these guys to feature in Iron Man 4.


          Robert Downey Jr... Tony Stark
          Gwyneth Paltrow ... Pepper Potts
          Don Cheadle ... Colonel James Rhodes
          Guy Pearce ... Aldrich Killian
          Rebecca Hall ... Maya Hansen
          Ty Simpkins ... Harley Keener
          Jon Favreau ... Happy Hogan
          Ben Kingsley ... Trevor Slattery
          James Badge Dale Savin
          Stephanie Szostak Brandt
          Paul Bettany ... Jarvis (voice)
          William Sadler ... President Ellis
          Xueqi Wang ... Doctor Wu

          === The Plot===

          Stark (RDJ) recalls a New Years Eve party in 1999 whilst chatting with beautiful academic Maya Hansen (Rebbeca Hall), inventor of Extremis--an experimental regenerative treatment intended to allow recovery from crippling injuries. Disabled scientist Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) wanted to offer them a place in his company 'Advanced Idea Mechanics', but Stark rejecting the offer on the stroke of the new millennium, humiliating Killian by leaving him on the roof of the hotel out in the cold watching the fireworks.

          We flash forward to the present day and Killian now a handsome healthy tanned man with no sign of his disability, Starks number two and partner Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) impressed with the scientist and his ideas, Stark somewhat jealous. But he has handed over control of Stark Industries to Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and so leaving it up to her what to do with Killian. Stark is also taking a backseat in policing the world with his Iron Man creation, suffering from panic attacks after his encounter with the alien foe in Iron Man 2. Starks playboy days are over and he spends all day and night tinkering with his suits in the lab.

          But crime and terrorism has to be countered and the army has commandeered one of those suits and Colonel James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) is now the dude in the iron suit, known as Iron Patriot Man! But Stark is about to be dragged back into the action when his personal body guard and friend Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) is seriously injured by a suicide bomber, a terrorist calling himself The Mandarin ( Ben Kingsley) apparently behind it, threatening the stability of the world with increasingly deadly attacks. The intelligence services just can't track this guy or organization down as they leave no forensic evidence. Stark, in a fit of anger, calls The Mandarin out on live TV to come and get him, a bad idea, soon on Starks doorstep with rockets and guns.

          Isolated without his best suit and his lab no more, Stark tries to hunt down the man he think is The Mandarin by dissecting his past, ending up in rural Tennessee with a sparking malfunctioning suit and a new friend, precocious 10-year-old Harley (Ty Simpkins). And it's not long before Stark has his first big clue, a picture of man from the past who is out for revenge...

          ===The Numbers===

          Costing the perfunctory $200 million to make for the big action summer movie this did an impressive, but expected, $1.2 billion back, the highest earning of the trilogy and the highest grossing solo superhero movie of all time, beating both Spiderman and Batman. It is Disney's second highest grossing film ever and cinemas highest grossing trilogy to date. It's the 16th movie ever to gross one billion dollar and 13th in the all time list. As I said, superhero films are now the most lucrative genre in Hollywood and we will be working our way through the whole of the Marvel and DC comic lineup.


          I enjoyed it but not as much as number two and nowhere near as good as the original film, which I thought was fantastic. The twists are predictable and no one dies. Here we are in tricky territory with a new writer and director and it shows. The attraction of Iron Man was leaving the screen to Rob Downey Junior's witty banter and charismatic James bond style characterization and using the minimal use of CGI to contrast that. We know by the Phantom Menace that it can all go very wrong very quickly if there is too much stuff on the screen. If directors can have pretty much what they want now as far as special effects go they often choose to. CGI certainly bought the Iron Man concept alive on screen in the way Maguire's Spiderman was reborn but here Black can't resist doing too much and spoils it all by half-way. The end sequence is very silly with all the new Iron Man remotes and you can see that's only there to include an action packed scene in the video game.

          Another problem is that writing, Starks ober clever persona delivering some terribly pithy stuff at times here, not what you expect from Stark. It was almost like Black accidentally flicked a lever and we were back in 1985 with Michael Keaton beating the palm of his hand whilst curling up his Lycra lip. I'm afraid we have seen all this stuff before in the first two films and giving Pepper Potts and John Faverau more scenes in the film is almost like RDJ asked the director to do exactly that so he could have time off and do other things. Black's original cut was over three hours. RDJ has no real way out of the franchise and its showing.

          It's just lost what believability it had with the introduction of the new suits and has become just another golden goose. I suspect the surprisingly high rating of 7.4 on the Imdb.com website is because the film and Stark character have been dumbed down so more room for more explosions so to draw a wider audience in recession hit America. It's a well known fact the big studios are now concentrating their finite resources on the big lug movies that are guaranteed huge returns and so less Little Miss Sunshine's and more 'Kapoow' at the box office to come. Saying that you will still enjoy enough of IM3 to justify the rent or purchase as Rob Downey Junior is just so good on screen.


          Imdb.com - 7.4/10.0 (294,754votes)
          Metacrtic.com - 62 critic's approval
          Rottentomatos.com - 80% critic's approval

          ===Special Features===

          -Deconstructing the Scene: Attack of Air Force One-

          Straightforward special effects stuff.

          -Exclusive behind the Scenes-

          A look at the new Marvel Thor movie.


          New Yorker -'The trouble is that, as the plot quickens, any cleverness withdraws, to make way for the firecrackers of the climax. That is not Black's forte, and his movie duly slumps into a mess'.

          The Guardian -'The finale is explosive, but Iron Man has some rusty patches too'.

          Globe & Mail -'After a while, the steady diet of tongue-in-cheek starts to taste monotonous as day-old gum'.

          Movie Metropolis -'The way Black surrenders the movie's edginess to the generic onslaught of flashy visuals is a mild disappointment'...

          Vue Weekly -' A wisecracking warrior; on the inside, an anxiety-attacked guy who tries to insulate himself with arrogance--that brings this blockbuster down to sympathetic size'.

          Vulture -'Black is good at giving his heroes a morbid, self-hating edge and even better at coming up with hateable villains'.

          Wall Street Journal -'The third iteration of a franchise that began so well becomes a hollow hymn to martial gadgetry. The suits and story clank in unison'.



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            29.10.2013 18:06
            Very helpful



            A lovely film for Marvel fans

            Iron Man 3 is decent if you don't base it off the comics. It is set as the second best film at the box office, but is this film triumphant?

            It's acknowledged that Iron Man films are well known for weak plot lines and this is definitely one. The standard narrative of Tony Stark sitting in his mansion making technology whilst the enemy is destroying everything, Miss Potts does everything and Iron Man comes in at the end to ironically save the day. Pretty much the plot line for one and two, right? Well three is different, as he spends majority of the film on the road.

            Furthermore, the narrative in the third film is made up better than the first two films. Which, makes it better than the first two already, but not by a major lot. Iron Man 3 has an extra sub-plot to keep the audience engaged, this being what happened in The Avengers. This is a nice little touch because it acknowledges previous films from the Marvel series. These events tormenting Tony matched with Tony's comedy statements, no matter how harsh, automatically makes this film better than the first two on a whole.

            As the Iron Man films progress Tony Stark got more 'cocky' shall we say and this lives up to the expectation of The Avengers. This is acknowledged in The Avengers when he had a dramatic change in attitude, but this attitude change lived on in Iron Man 3. Admittedly, he had a hint of an absurd attitude in Iron Man 1 and 2, but it was mainly Tony Stark being a woman's type of man. This absurd attitude then excelled a lot in The Avengers and Iron Man 3. I am inclined to say that the major twist of behavioral issues in Iron Man 3 was to be expected.

            The acting once again was flawless from Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Ben Kingsley and other substitute actors. They keep the audience engaged successfully. New scenery is also introduced and the special effects are brilliant.

            This film was brilliant for the ending of Iron Man. However, overall nothing is over. Tony Stark will probably make a suit without his reactor for The Avengers 2. I say probably because he is only rumored to be joining the film. Why not? He lets people use his suits and they don't have a reactor to power it? Fair enough, it doesn't work as good as Tony's but hey, this is Tony Stark, he'll find a way around it.


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            14.09.2013 08:44
            Very helpful



            Enjoyable third Iron Man film

            Up until The Avengers, the Iron Man were limited to scientific methods of display whether it was our hero or his villains. Once the events of The Avengers opened a dimension to another world and let alien creatures in, not only did Tony Stark's ironclad hero gain further notoriety and reveal the man behind the mask, but it also allowed future Iron Man directors to push the boat out with further villains; which is exactly what Shane Black does here.

            The events of the film follow the timeline of Marvel's Avengers sequence, but while there are some flashbacks to events already transpired, they don't have a strong impact on whether or not this film will make sense - it's perfectly okay to watch this if you haven't seen any of the previous films. Billionaire Tony Stark's business is in weapons technology, but he has since turned his hand to creating flying suits of armour that do good; and some pretty snazzy good things too. Moving on from anything before, Stark has spent a long time since the events of The Avengers down in his lab, designing and redesigning, creating and recreating new suits, developing his technology whilst clearly suffering from a post traumatic stress disorder. Indeed, this forms an integral part of the emotional journey of the film, resulting in a clever and typical post credits sequence that will make those who have seen the sequence of films smile.

            There's a new villain in the world though - the Mandarin, a terrorist who wills top at nothing to reexact revenge on the Western World for crimes against people, no matter how far back in time you go. Slaughtering pockets of civilization, it's impossible to find him, let alone stop him. Stark snaps, issues a challenge and gets what he asked for. Battered and bruised, severe personal destruction and emotionally distraught, Tony has to regroup and man up before the Mandarin destroys even more people, with the President the next man in his sights.

            It sounds very cheesy, and ultimately is. People looking for deep and meaningful have never really found it in Marvel films, no more than they are likely to get it from Marvel comics, so I don't know why the criticisms come in regarding this. Marvel films are always likely to be about good vs evil, lots of action, heroes doing things us normal folk can't, fighting villains who are incredibly evil but who have traits we'd secretly like to have ourselves. Simples as Alexander the Meerkat would say. It does what it says on the tin, and this third Iron Man film takes a step forward from what I thought was a disappointing villain in IM2 (Mickey Rourke's electrically charged whip wielding weirdo Whiplash suiting Rourke's eccentric recent film choices rather than fitting in with Marvel's all out gung ho action villains with a bit of nouse.

            No, this third film focuses where it should: on a post Avengers Stark with a bigger villain to contend with than before. Robert Downey Jr is once more the fast talking egotistical billionaire with a heart that he plays so well, and while I can see that the constant jokes would annoy some, it fits with the character and the branding of the series and so it can stay. Gwyneth Paltrow continues to shine as beautiful long suffering assistant turned girlfriend Pepper Potts, although owing to Tony's mental state through most of this she actually gets a bit more of a starring role, which I thought was the cleverest character development of the series as it provides the base for other developments to take place without seeming too shallow and contrived. This along with the continuance of Paul Bettany's voice as Stark's computerised scientific assistant Jarvis are fundamental to the film, moreso than military contact 'Rhodey' switching in the second film to Don Cheadle and remaining with him here. Again, he gets more of an integral role at times, although at parts of the film it was almost as if he was added in because he was there and had been paid.

            The stars come with the villains though for me. Guy Pearce and Ben Kingsley are delightful as the main thorns in Stark's side, shining in every scene, with the latter providing one of the better cinematic scenes I've seen in the past year towards the end of the film, a game changer that reveals quite a lot but I can't reveal here for spoiler reasons. Pearce has always impressed me, although he is unlikely to replicate the skill shown in Memento or LA Confidential in a film where tongue in cheek is of the essence. Here, his turn from geek scientist to revolutionary villain allows for some of Kingsley's Mandarin's worst acts to come to the fore, allowing us to shirk believability to one side due to the inter-dimensional events of the film sequence. If you haven't seen The Avengers or any of the films in the sequence then this will all appear far fetched - it should be, it's based on a comic of superheroes against supervillains.

            Directors have their familiarity that you start to notice, and Shane Black, following on from some of his other well known films, gets this one to be set at Christmas time. Ever festive, the notion that the Mandarin is ruining Christmas for millions of people is never far from the characters' lips, and the inclusion of a kid as one of Stark's helpers for a short part of the film drives home the heroism of Iron Man and just how evil his enemies are. It's somewhat contrived and forced in appearance, but certainly fits the routine and comes as no surprise.

            Somewhat underused though is firstly Rebecca Hall as a former flame and botanist contact of Tony's who plays an important but virtually bypassed role (I wonder if she was in more scenes that ended up on the cutting room floor); and Iron Man 2 director Jon Favreau as Stark's friend Happy Hogan, the annoying friend (very well acted by the way) who has to be included in the film but more for comedic value than anything else. He spends most of the film in hospital following a scene that is supposed to have deep emotion involved with it. The problem is that everything about the character up until that point and indeed in the previous film was comedic and so this loses a lot of the impact it could otherwise have had.

            The final mention for me goes to the suave and cool James Badge Dale, perhaps recognisable to some as Chase in '24' or Leckie in 'The Pacific'. If this were a Bond film, he'd play the villain's sidekick who gets all of the dirty action jobs. Playing everything cool throughout the film, every time he pops up you want to go 'Uh-oh!' and this is exactly the impact his character should have. It's through him really that we see the revolutionary regenerative technology that forms part of the otherwise over the top and unbelievable scientific element that The Avengers' aliens allow to seem quite normal and commonplace in this film. Black does a marvellous job of keeping things ticking over, and I was thoroughly entertained from start to finish. I still think the first film is the best, as the initial introduction to Stark and Iron Man is virtually impossible to be beaten by any further sequels. The film has its cheesy moments, and is likely to be considered average by a lot of people. It sounds as if I've praised this to kingdom come, whereas in fact it's merely a very solid continuance of a series of films. If you haven't seen any other Marvel sequence films, some elements won't make as much sense and while you can still enjoy it as a film, it should be judged on its own merits. Well worth a watch and does all it should (and, possibly, could) but I think that a fourth may be a bridge too far if they're thinking about it. The second Avengers film should be enough with 5 Iron Man films. This isn't like Wolverine where the back story is immense and detailed: it's a playboy scientist who has inherited money and science and has made a suit of iron. He just has a very funny way of showing us. Recommended.


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              29.05.2013 13:46
              Very helpful



              Disappointing, given how much promise it showed - but with Downey Jr., it's always worth it

              It would be safe to assume that after the events of "Avengers Assemble", our Iron Man Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is quite capable of handling almost anything that comes his way. He fought alien robots, flew off a nuclear bomb out of the earth's atmosphere, and quite literally came back from the dead. And yet here is another sequel in which Stark is really, really about to meet his match. Every superhero film promises somewhat of an upgrade when it comes to antagonists, inventing one badass villain after another. Here the billionaire playboy philanthropist squares off against an army of fire-breathing (yes, really), explosive human bombs who also have the ability to regenerate - yes, it gets really that silly.

              Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after saving the world by rescuing New York City, Stark is solely focused on his work, ie making more and more Iron Man suits (these all come in very handy later on), an unhealthy obsessive behaviour that has his loyal girlfriend Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) worried. But soon they're both given something to worry about as Stark's arrogant, philandering past catches up with him. Both international terrorist the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) and genius inventor Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) seem to be gunning for his downfall, and in a spectacular scene that really does hit the screen quite suddenly, Tony Stark's coast-house is no more (the trailer doesn't do this scene enough justice - it's quite the stirring moment)

              Stuck at a complete loss both in terms of resources (Stark puts together his very own low-budget suit using supplies from a convenience store, which contributes to one of the film's best scenes) and spirits, we see Stark reach rock bottom which sets things up nicely for chronicling how he gets back up on his feet. But instead we become stuck with a clumsily written jargon-full script that would have suited a police procedural more than anything else, of how Stark puts the conspiracy pieces together. The trouble is, the overall plot is no way near as complex as it thinks it is, and instead of focusing on Stark himself, the film is too preoccupied in juggling the large ensemble cast that really could have lost a couple of characters.

              Among the wasted are Don Cheadle, as Tony's trusted friend inside the Pentagon, who only sporadically shines towards the end; Rebecca Hall, Stark's ex-conquest who has troubling information on her boss Killian, although ultimately serving very little purpose, which is almost an insult to just how talented Hall is as an actress; James Badge Dale seems to have fun with his pure-evil, psychotic villain's sidekick role, even though he too, is given a quick, anti-climatic write-off.

              Part of what made "Iron Man" so popular in the first place was down to Downey Jr. himself and that he's still in the central role is still worth the entrance price alone. He's still got the cool, suave and intelligent sides intact, as are his lighter, humourous quips. He is given more to explore here, most notably the superhero's obvious vulnerability that surfaces. And whilst in the previous two installments he had Paltrow's sassy CEO to exchange banter with, here he spends most of his time paired up with a kid (Tye Simpkins) who likes to invent a few things of his own. The dynamic and chemistry aren't quite as fun as when Downey Jr. was with Paltrow, but the boy opens up an interesting angle for Tony Stark to relate to, and who doesn't like seeing his snarky comments aimed at an innocent boy?

              The two main villains have plenty of time to shine, with Pearce and Kingsley more than apt for their roles. Pearce, having a strange knack for playing over the top villainous roles ("Lawless", "Prometheus") and still coming off rather well with very little or no embarrassment at all, once again repeats his forte here as a man with a personal vendetta against Stark himself. But the real highlight is no doubt Kingsley: and to reveal too much of his character would be to ruin him role altogether - but all that can safely be said is that he's not at all who you think he is. And it's Kingsley with his mighty talent that actually provides the most laugh with his hysterical character. Never before have we seen someone like this in a superhero movie wanting to be taken semi-seriously, but his involvement certainly elevates the enjoyment factor of the film in the most unexpected way. Perhaps the best kept secret was Kingsley's role in the film, and his genius spin on the character is a great surprise.

              As with any "Part Threes", the director does go overboard with all the action scenes - they have to be bigger, louder and more bombastic than they were. The explosions here are certainly those things, but doesn't make them any more enjoyable in any sense. They appear more chaotic, and in shambles, which is why no longer how much they stretch on for, there is little fun to be had overall. But as a finale bonus, a certain actress is given a rare chance to shine in a brief action flash, only to have her entire scene undermined by how quickly everything wraps up with a lazy voice-over.

              Having already crossed that highly coveted one billion dollar mark internationally (and it's only been one month or so since its release), audiences are clearly still interested in whatever story Stark has to tell. He has fared well even before the rest of the Avengers entered the picture, although the quality of his latest outing shows otherwise. Downey Jr.'s contract for his solo Iron Man outing is reportedly up after this third film (we still get to see him in the Avengers sequel). Let's pray, for the sake of Tony Stark's future, that he signs up for as many sequels as possible - as whatever the film's quality is, we can be sure of one thing: Downey Jr. will always be on top of his game.


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              14.05.2013 10:00
              Very helpful



              A fun superhero movie, but arguably the weakest of the Iron Man trilogy.

              After the record breaking Avengers, the task of launching Marvel's second wave of movies, leading up to another ensemble flick staring Earth's Mightiest Heroes, falls to Iron Man. The question on everyone's lips is can Iron Man 3 keep the momentum of hit superhero films going? Following up the Avengers is an unenviable task and the pressure is further compounded by the fact that superhero films are known for faltering at the trilogy mark (just ask Spider-man or the X-Men.) Behind the scenes it is all change with Marvel owners Disney replacing Paramount as distributor and Jon Favreau vacating the directorial hot seat in favor of Lethal Weapon writer Shane Black.


              In a post Avengers world we are introduced to billionaire/superhero Tony Stark who is suffering from the effects of posttraumatic stress disorder. Yes, nearly losing your life after going up against a spiteful Asgardian god and his army of extraterrestrial lackeys will do that to a guy. With nightmares plaguing his dreams, Stark spends his nights locked away in his lab fabricating Iron Man armors, the only things that give him any sense of security. Dwelling on past alien threats proves to be the least of his worries however after he becomes the target of a more earthly menace - namely a bearded terrorist known as The Mandarin.

              Adding to Stark's Christmas shopping list of worries (yes this is a Shane Black movie so it has to be set during Xmas) is Aldrich Killian, a fellow scientific entrepreneur, who is eyeing Tony's love interest Pepper Potts in addition to peddling an invention known as the Extremis serum. Said concoction can miraculously restore lost limbs and heal all manner of injuries, but it also has the potential to turn those who consume it into living weapons capable of emitting searing heat blasts. Not something you want to go up against as metallic suits plus scalding rays equal molten scrap.


              Robert Downey Jr once again carries an Iron Man movie with his brilliant portrayal of the charismatic Tony Stark. With a lesser leading man Iron Man 3's script could have resulted in a mediocre action film, but Downey's witty delivery rescues the project turning it into a highly entertaining superhero yarn. He cannot however save Stark's bouts of PTSD from feeling like a tacked on plot device. Dealing with posttraumatic stress disorder isn't anywhere as grand as contending with your impending mortality (Iron Man 2) or growing from an egotistical playboy into someone who uses his talents for the greater good (Iron Man 1.) The nervous breakdowns never impede Stark's ability to kick ass and the character himself doesn't seem to give the condition much credence, often laughing it off.

              Legendary actor Ben Kingsley plays the role of The Mandarin, whose movie incarnation turns the racially offensive Asian stereotype, from the comics, into a more fearful Bin Laden-esque terrorist leader. From the movie's marketing and some tense scenes, were the character goads the U.S president on live TV, I was hoping that The Mandarin would prove to be a Bane level mastermind that would challenge Stark. Unfortunately the eventual meeting of the two proves to be anti-climatic leaving Guy Pearce's Aldrich Killian to pick up the villainous slack. That's a shame, as I couldn't get myself too excited about Iron Man tackling a wealthy businessman for a third successive film. It also doesn't help that Killian's back story, of a dork that gets spurned by the rich protagonist, reminds me a little of the Riddler from the dire Batman Forever.

              The supporting cast includes Don Cheadle who reprises his role as Rhodey whose War Machine armor is rebranded into the cheesy star spangled Iron Patriot. Cheadle seems to be having a blast this time round, relishing his character's more substantive role, were he plays sidekick in numerous actions scenes. On the flip side Pepper Potts, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, gets less screen time. Although she gets her moment to shine in the movie's climax, for the most part she is relegated to damsel in distress, which is a waste of her acting talents. Jon Favreau also features in the movie, despite no longer being the film's director. He makes a cameo as Stark's bodyguard Happy Hogan who provides some comedic relief via an unhealthy obsession with security badges.


              Audiences seeking an exciting popcorn flick should leave the cinema satisfied with Iron Man 3. The movie follows the Avengers blueprint of delivering lashings of action and comedy. Downey's dialogue will make you chuckle and it is good to see that even the child ally he makes later in the film isn't spared from Stark's sarcastic barbs. The action scenes are a special effects spectacle that will have you on the edge of your seat. Highlights include the final battle featuring a multitude of Iron Man armors and a thrilling rescue sequence were Iron Man attempts to save several victims who have been ejected from an aircraft.

              The movie won't receive the universal praise of its predecessors though. I can imagine that some hardcore comic book purists will not approve of the direction the story takes with respect to one of the characters (I wish I could say more, but it pertains to a big twist I would rather not spoil.) Personally I enjoyed the movie, but in comparison to the previous two Iron Man films I would have to say that it is the weakest of the three. I was especially disappointed by the lack of Iron Man we get. Stark spends the majority of the film out of the suit after his armory gets destroyed (yeah revealing your home address to a bomber on live TV isn't the smartest of ideas.) This forces Tony to fend for himself with just a handful of secret agent like gadgets. That's a shame. I wanted to see Iron Man not a mustached American James Bond knock off.


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                13.05.2013 19:25
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                A fun but flawed sequel

                Iron Man 3 (or "Iron Man Three" as the end credits would have it) is the third go around for Robert Downey Jr's irreverent take on the cult Marvel Comics superhero. The major change for this one is that Jon Favreau has been replaced in the director's chair by Shane (The Last Boy Scout) Black and the witty Black (who also co-wrote the screenplay) brings a much more flippant and insouciant air to proceedings, the humour quotient amped. I strongly suspect this is the only Hollywood blockbuster you'll ever watch that has a joke about Croydon. Black is more interested in character interaction, dialogue and giving people funny things to say than Iron Man shenanigans and this is both a strength and a weakness. It's a colourful and amusing entry in the superhero stakes and zips past in entertaining fashion but ultimately it does feel more like a Shane Black film than an Iron Man film. While general audiences will have a lot of fun I think the pesky fanboys will be less forgiving of the gaping plot holes, the treatment of certain characters and the willing disregard Black displays for the Marvel film universe that has been unfurled over the last several years. I found myself quite torn in that I enjoyed the film a lot while it was playing but did find myself nitpicking when I thought about it afterwards. Although Iron Man 3 is supposed to be the start of Phase 2 for Marvel as we move towards the next Avengers it feels much more like the last gasp of Phase 1. The film is set a few months after the events of The Avengers and finds multi-billionaire industrialist and inventor extraordinaire Tony Stark suffering from sleepless nights and anxiety attacks whenever he remembers the New York battle with that alien armada and having to fly through the worm hole to save the world.

                This extended encounter with Gods, monsters and aliens has left him feeling vulnerable and worried about the threats he might have to face in the future. Can he keep those close to him safe? He is after all just an ordinary man behind the high-tech armour, jet boots and repulsor rays. Tony has been spending the sleepless nights endlessly creating and tinkering with his Iron Man armours and is now up to Mark 42 - a prototype suit that can be remote controlled by Stark's thoughts in encephalo fashion and can also quickly attach itself to him in flying pieces during an emergency situation. Trouble is soon looming for our preoccupied insomniac hero though in the form of two villains. The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) is a shadowy Osma Bin Laden like terrorist who has been striking deep in the heart of America while Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) is a rival businessman who has been dabbling in a dangerous and powerful genetics altering technology called Extremis. When Stark's lavish beachside home is attacked by helicopters and his Iron Man armours are apparently destroyed, Tony finds himself all alone with only the battered and damaged - not to mention untested - Mark 42. Can our bearded wisecracking hero still save the day?

                What's good about Iron Man 3? Well, Robert Downey Jr is always funny and charismatic and could probably play this role in his sleep by now. I like the way the film is constructed with Stark narrating the story to an offscreen listener (stay for the post credit easter egg to see who) and the "Classic Bond" fan in me loved the old school James Bond riffs that Black seems to draw on. There is a spectacular mid-air plane sequence involving Iron Man that scores points for using real skydivers rather than CGI and the interplay of the supporting actors with Downey Jr is relaxed and witty. Gwyneth Paltrow is starting to come into her own as Pepper Potts and it's good to see Jon Favreau in front of the camera again as Happy Hogan. Don Cheadle is not the most convincing action lead but he makes Rhodes feel more like a friend of Stark than the dull Terrance Howard did in the previous films and he also gets to don the War Machine armour (here made to look like Iron Patriot from the comics). Guy Pearce enjoyably hams it up as Killian and I liked the wonderfully laid-back turn by James Badge Dale as Killian's main henchman Savin. You are never too far away from a decent laugh either. My favourite Shane Black line in the film? When one of the villain's henchmen says - "Don't shoot! Seriously, I don't even like working here. They are so weird!" I think the biggest problem for fans of the comics is going to be the depiction of The Mandarin and in this regard Iron Man 3 does feel rather like an elaborate joke aimed purely at annoying fanboys.

                In the comics, The Mandarin is Iron Man's deadliest and most famous enemy. He is to Tony Stark what Moriarty is to Sherlock Holmes or Blofeld is to James Bond. The Mandarin is a Chinese wizard with flowing robes who looks like Fu Manchu or Lo Pan and has ten magical rings that give him access to alien technology. Now, someone at Marvel has obviously decided that The Mandarin is too much of a racial stereotype to get away with these days and for understandable economic reasons China is the last place modern Hollywood wants to offend. So The Mandarin here has been refashioned as a more racially ambiguous villain who seems to operate from the Middle East. Disappointing to think we'll never see The Mandarin from the comics onscreen but all well and good I suppose. Ben Kingsley's line reading as The Mandarin is rather intriguing too and it appears as if a very memorable villain is still going to emerge despite the changes. However, I suspect that the ultimate arc of The Mandarin here is going to split audiences down the middle. General viewers will like it and fans of the comics will not. To be fair, Ben Kingsley seems to be enjoying himself and some of his lines got the biggest laughs at the screening I attended. It's just a shame though that the full potential of The Mandarin will probably never appear in one of these Marvel films now. I have to be pedantic for a moment and run through a few other quibbles that bugged me. Why are Tony's armours so fragile in this film? We've seen his Iron Man suits battle alien technology and even stand up to a scuffle with The Mighty Thor in The Avengers. Here they seem to fall apart at the drop of a hat. It seems inconsistent with the previous films.

                Also, having established that the world is full of superheroes and that there is a government agency to keep an eye on superpowered or alien threats, where is SHIELD is this film? It seems a trifle odd and convenient that they just vanish while Tony Stark is battling the Extremis villains - especially as Air Force One is hijacked in the film. And Tony Stark spends precious little time as Iron Man and for most of the film runs around like a government spy trying to get the drop on Killian. I suspect that the thesp in Robert Downey Jr wanted as few scenes as possible with Iron Man capers and prefers to have his face onscreen. Another quibble is that when they have a sequence where Iron Man does something and then we learn that Tony was merely remote controlling the suit from a cupboard (or something) it's simply not as dramatically satisfying as having him actually in the suit doing these things. I could point out too that the Guy Pearce villain is an exact carbon copy of The Riddler from Batman Forever. It is extraordinary how they pilfer the whole Riddler arc lock stock and barrel, even down to Killian as an uber nerd meeting Stark early on and becoming bent on revenge from a perceived snub. Still, Pearce is a lot of fun and chews up the scenery in every scene he's in. The film doesn't make much sense in the end as two of the major developments in the last act are - when you think about it - things that Tony could presumably have done at any time he wanted to. So, essentially, he didn't even need to get so battered and bruised and into so much trouble and could have wrapped this all up much earlier.

                The big action set-piece at the end is somewhat of a mess but - like Iron Man 3 in general - it's fun and you forgive Black some of his excesses and inability to grasp logic and coherence because he constantly throws you funny lines and keeps the film full of energy. I enjoyed the thoroughly unsentimental depiction of the President (played as a bit of a sleaze by William Sadler) and Rebecca Hall adds some class to the film as a scientist who we are introduced to early on in a flashback set in Switzerland. Tony Stark does get a kid sidekick for part of the film but mercifully this doesn't play out nearly as bad as it sounds. Overall, there are far too many plot holes for this to be considered anywhere near a classic but the film always coasts along in enjoyable and entertaining fashion, never quite as sassy as it thinks it is but certainly invested with a lot more wit than your average popcorn blockbuster fare.


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                  07.05.2013 21:39
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                  See this film!

                  Personally I couldn't wait for this to be released. Avengers was alright but had not been enough! Didn't get to see it straight away because of work issues but I did see it on the 5th of May. Was not disappointed let me tell you that!

                  The film was 130 minutes long

                  Main cast:
                  Robert Downey, Jr. (Tony Stark,Iron Man)
                  -Very impressed, normal over the top charismatic self. Great performance as always

                  Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts)
                  - Not too impacted by her, she was there but that was about it.

                  Don Cheadle (Col. James "Rhodey" Rhodes / Iron Patriot)
                  -Great character, as always. Can be humorous at just the right time.

                  Guy Pearce (Aldrich Killan)
                  -Nice twist associated, very impressed. Great performance

                  Rebecca Hall (Dr. Maya Hansen)
                  -Don't see that much of her, only at important intervals, meh. Not really decided. Better than Gwyneth but that's not saying too much.

                  Jon Favreau (Happy Hogan)
                  -Funny character, impressed. Short lived, empathy felt even so. Well acted.

                  Ben Kingsley (The Mandarin)
                  -Nice twist associated, very impressed.

                  As with many movies nowadays there was a choice of 3D and 2D I personally hate 3D after seeing clash of the titans in 3D absolutely hated it, ruined the experience for me. So as you can guess I saw this in 2D, some of us split up and they saw the 3D version. Again mixed views.

                  The story is nothing to jump out your seat for, Stark threatens a terrorist that has been blowing buildings up and killing people. This obviously angers said terrorist and he attacks Stark's home. A chain of event lead up from this which are quite forgettable apart from the pleasant surprises along the way such as with the mandarin played by Ben Kingsley. Saying that I did not get bored at any point it always kept me thinking what other twist could they pull. The ending was very impacting but nothing special, nice to see but not surprising quite generic for this type of film. After the credits had rolled there is a scene with Dr. Bruce Banner where Stark was explaining all we had seen and Banner fell asleep, was a very funny scene that not many saw because they had left by that point. I knew that something would happen this is why we stayed to the very end.

                  All the 'main' characters from the previous movies are in this with a few additions. Such as the mandarin he is the villain in this title. An aspect of this will be very surprising and humorous. Another thing I liked them doing was renaming 'War Machine' to 'Iron Patriot' because it was a 'nicer' term that war machine, was a funny and nice addition (this is the character played by Don Cheadle) Re-hashing is something that may have been done here with the characters but I did not care or seem to notice until after when I had thought about what I was watching. It grabbed you, kept you guessing and I was certainly not bored at any point. I did like the play on Stark's anxiety it was a clever move, the boy was a nice addition to the film also. Acted brilliantly. The soundtrack was also great.

                  All in all it does have cracks in the full picture. But these are made up for in a big way. I enjoyed the film thoroughly, especially the many intense scenes. I would definitely recommend this film. Any Iron Man fan (would have already seen it!) but will be impressed. To any newcomers you will not be lost from the start.


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                  07.05.2013 10:10
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                  Another disappointing threequel hits the big screen

                  Threequels, eh? They promise so much and deliver so little. The Dark Knight Rises? Disappointing. Spider-Man 3? Bloated with too many villains? X-Men: The Last Stand? Safe and mediocre. You could make a claim for Return of the Jedi breaking the pattern, but that isn't really a superhero film and loses big points for inflicting Ewoks on the world. No, on the whole, Threequels suck. And Iron Man 3 is not about to break that streak.

                  After helping save the world from unnecessary punctuation (and aliens) in Avengers Assemble!, Tony Stark is not doing well, suffering from anxiety attacks that are affecting both his real life and Iron Man persona. Worse still, terrorists, led by the mysterious Mandarin are attacking America, using some new kind of devastating bomb that leaves no evidence. When Stark's long-time friend Happy is caught up in one of these blasts. Tony Stark goes all out for revenge.

                  Tonally, Iron Man is all over the place. It clearly wants to take the franchise darker, but then bizarrely tries to introduce an unnecessary cutesy sidekick. It wants to make Stark a complex, torn, psychologically damaged character, but then turns him into a bumbling buffoon; it wants to address serious issues (perceptions of terrorism, media manipulation), but then makes the film sillier and funnier than previous iterations. Essentially, it's trying to be everything to everyone and ends up meaning nothing to anyone.

                  The plot is disappointing and full of holes. Part of the success of previous Iron Man films was that whilst they might be fantastical, they were just about plausible (providing you can accept that someone can build a super rocket-powered suit). After the aliens of Avengers Assemble, all boundaries have clearly been removed and Stark finds himself facing a rather silly enemy that belongs more in a Superman comic than an Iron Man film. It doesn't sit comfortably with the world established in previous Iron Man films and feels contrived. It also doesn't help that there are multiple plot holes that further prevent it from being internally consistent or believable.

                  What's worse is that you don't get the film you expect from the trailer. That made it look as though Iron Man 3 was going to be a dark, revenge thriller with some cracking action. Whilst there are elements of that, the writers never quite have the courage to go all the way down that road. As a result, it ends up being something of an anti-climax. Had it had the courage of its convictions and gone down the darker route, it could have been the best Iron Man film yet. As it is, it's the worst.

                  Cast-wise things are a bit of a mixed bag. Robert Downey Jnr is as charismatic and amusing as ever as Tony Stark/Iron Man, even if the script can't quite decide whether it wants Serious Stark or Silly Stark. Arguably, it's Downey Jnr that saves the film - without his charismatic presence it would sink without a trace. Guy Pearce is reasonable enough as Aldrich Killian, although it's the sort of by-the-numbers performance you expect from this sort of role. Don Cheadle is as bland as ever as Rhodesy/War Machine/Iron Patriot/Whatever other new name we can think of, although Gwyneth Paltrow certainly gives him a run for his money as the decidedly unspicy Pepper Potts. As for Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin, heaven only knows what he is doing. He is clearly having a lot of fun, but it's not a feeling shared by anyone else.

                  The whole thing just plays out as totally unimaginative. Parts of it are highly derivative of Terminator 3; the finale is soulless (an army of remote controlled Iron Men) and feels like a repeat of the final set piece from Avengers Assemble, this time set in shipyard rather than New York and featuring a host of Iron Men rather than a Super Hero Collective. At 130 minutes, it feels very drawn out and I was more than ready for the end credits to roll.

                  Nor is the use of 3D anything to write home about. This type of effects-laden film is tailor made for spectacular 3D effects and Avengers Assemble has already shown what to do. The 3D is poorly used and if you really insist on seeing it, I would go for the cheaper 2D option if I were you. That said there are at least some impressive effects sequences. The destruction of Stark's home by The Mandarin's forces is well-filmed and genuinely exciting and there are a couple of others too.

                  Mind you, you know a film is in trouble when one of your favourite bits is the end credits. This isn't just because I was relieved to see them but because they are filmed in the style of a pleasingly cheesy 80s action series (the sort of thing that would have starred Lee Majors). For viewers of a certain age, it's a real nostalgia blast. As for the traditional Marvel post-credits sequence, don't bother. It is embarrassingly bad and patently obvious that Marvel is not yet sure where to take their franchise next. It's not worth sitting through 10 minutes of credits for.

                  I'm not entirely surprised that Iron Man 3 suffers from Threequel-itis, but I am disappointed. The ingredients were there for it to be something good - an established (and normally reliable) cast, a director who has a proven track record in writing and directing slightly off-beat action tales (perfect for Iron Man's world) and a trailer that promised a much darker take on the hero. What a shame all of this is ignored in favour of a derivative script, uneven tone and anodyne action sequences.

                  Basic Information
                  Iron Man 3
                  Director: Shane Black
                  Running time: approx. 130 minutes
                  Certificate: 12A

                  © Copyright SWSt 2013


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                    06.05.2013 17:11
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                    The best cinematic; solo, outing for Tony Stark yet!

                    The time has finally arrived for Marvel to roll out the 'Phase 2' of their cinematic campaign. As expected Tony Stark is the hero Disney has chosen to lead the way. The question is; can even the great Tony Stark produce an adventure that doesn't feel slightly passé after the events of The Avengers? The answer; my friends, has to be a resounding YES!!!

                    Iron Man 3 takes place after The Avengers and features a Tony Stark struggling with PTSD after fighting off an Alien invasion alongside a Thunder God and a Hulk. Sadly Tony has not the time to rest up as a sinister terrorist known as The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) declares war on America. So far he has set off 9 explosions without leaving any fragments of a bomb behind. The government is stumped and terror is on the rise, but Tony stark still feels comfortable declaring war on the Mandarin live on national television!

                    His former bodyguard Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) is now head of security for Stark tech, and suspects that a rival business man named Aldrich Killian (Guy Pierce) may be up to shenanigans with his work on a project he terms 'Extremis', but his investigation into Killian will place Hogan into deep waters as he uncovers a secret that could potentially change the face of warfare forever!

                    I have to admit that I was a little hesitant going into Iron Man 3. Even post Avengers the ideas behind both the 'Extremis' story and The Mandarin seemed a little too fantastical for the Iron Man movies. Thankfully new writer/director Shane Black has proven me wrong and provided a wealth of exciting new opportunities for the Marvel cinematic universe.

                    I had a blast witnessing each of his intense action scenes as Iron Man and War Machine; now re-named The Iron Patriot (Don Cheadle) battled with a string of souped up villains that were able to fling fireballs without the aid of an iron suit. It has revitalised the series after the disappointing Iron Man 2, and proven that future writers can step out of the established formula and still succeed.

                    Thankfully a lot of the time things remained grounded by the actors involved. Iron Man Alumni Robert Downey Jr. and Don Cheadle return and give the same charismatic performances that fans love. Meanwhile Guy Pierce gives an unsettlingly charming performance that solidifies him as Tony's biggest rival yet, and Ben Kingsley terrifies with his chilling propaganda promos as The Mandarin. Like I said, I was a little worried about the Mandarin, but Kingsley has brought the role to life, and I was very happy with the way the character was presented to fit in with the tone of the film.

                    Thankfully that tone has retained the same balance of humour and action that has made the series so loved. As the trailers suggested it is certainly a lot darker than the last films, but I was relieved to see that darkness tempered with an equal degree of hysterical comedy. This comforts me that Marvel's 'Phase 2' is not going to be a Nolan Esq. drama fest and I can't wait for whatever comes next.

                    So what are you waiting for? Get yourself down to the local theatre for Iron Man 3 and enjoy the best cinematic; solo, outing for Tony Stark yet!


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                      06.05.2013 11:36
                      Very helpful



                      SUPERHERO MOVIE OF THE SUMMER

                      It has been three years after the last Iron Man film and last year's 'The Avengers' reminded us why we loved Iron Man so much, so it only seems right that Marvel's 'Phase 2' project started with the third movie of our favourite playboy billionaire philanthropist.

                      After the events of 'The Avengers', Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) is suffering from sleep loss and anxiety, spending all his time making Iron Man prototypes. His past comes back to haunt him as Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), a scientist Tony stood up years ago vengefully returns to cause havoc.

                      Meanwhile a new terrorist, calling himself 'The Mandarin', (Ben Kingsley) threatens America with spontaneous bombings in the states. When one attack sends his good friend Happy (Jon Favreau) into a coma, Tony responds personally, issuing a threat to the Mandarin himself, only for his verbal threat to be superseded by a bombing of his Malibu mansion.

                      In order to protect what he cannot live without, which is Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow), Tony vows to destroy this terrorist group in this soul-searching action superhero thriller.

                      From the start, the movie references 'The Avengers' and sets it very much within the context of the events that happened, but zooming in on Tony. Never ignoring the fact that there are others out there, Tony states that this is an American matter not a global crisis, hence not summoning the 'rest of the gang'.

                      The pace of the movie plays out as a retelling on events. If you watch till the end of the credits, it will make sense and the special Easter Egg is humorous whilst propagating the Marvel Phase 2 project. It firstly brings us back to 1999, when Tony meets Aldrich for the first time and how those events may have been a trigger for what is to happen. Back in the present day, the movie takes a drastic dark turn with the terrorism footage and the propaganda from The Mandarin, but these themes are alleviated with a well written and humorous script.

                      What was not evident from the trailer or the promotions were the villainous army which Tony has to fight against and I thought it was slightly outrageous and laughable at times the 'abilities' they have, but I mean, I've witnessed aliens and Asgardian Lords so this should really not bug me. But it does.

                      Iron Man 3 is definitely the strongest movie of the three. Learning lessons from Christopher Nolans 'The Dark Knight' trilogy, Tony does a lot of soul searching during a lapse of weakness. When his most beloved is in danger and America is threatened, there is a real sense of ultimatum during the build up (which could have been taken further).

                      As always, the action is spectacular and I think more so than ever, there is flair and elegance to the movement and combat of Iron Man, shot and choreographed with style that really leaves you at the edge of your seat. The five to ten minute finale fight sequence was brilliant, and whilst in the previous two movies were predictable, this was the complete opposite.

                      The ending offered shocks and surprises and ultimately many questions, but for sure, this is the best start to Marvel Phase 2 as we could have hoped for. Will there be an Iron Man 4?

                      Reportedly, Robert Downey Jr's contract for the Iron Man series is up, and in several interviews, the star has stated that it may be time to retire the red suit due to age as well as a desire to explore other genres. RDJ will be dearly missed as he is truly irreplaceable as Tony Stark.

                      With the way things end in Iron Man 3, there is a strong sense of closure, but in the superhero universe, nothing is impossible and perhaps his 'very likely' appearance in 'The Avengers 2' will end his run as Iron Man with a massive bang.

                      ~~~TO 3D OR NOT TO 3D~~~
                      I saw this in 2D as my friend does not like 3D movies but it was still visually stunning. There is A LOT going on in the finale sequence and I can imagine that it would look great in 3D, but could also be a headache for your eyes to follow. I might see this again in 3D because you know, it's Iron Man.

                      Robert Downey Jr- Iron Man/Tony Stark
                      Gwyneth Paltrow- Pepper Potts
                      Don Cheadle- James Rhodes
                      Guy Pearce- Aldrich Killian
                      Ben Kingsley- The Mandarin

                      Also stars Rebecca Hall, Jon Favreau and Paul Bettany.

                      Robert Downey Jr resumes his role perfectly and really is at his best in this movie, showing weakness and fragility yet still being smart and witty about everything.

                      The biggest surprise is Ben Kingsley. I won't ruin it for you, but wow, that was a really good performance.

                      Also, with Scarlett Johannson's Black Widow debuting in Iron Man 2, it was a shame not to see her reprise her role even for a short while in this movie, but she will be making an appearance in Captain America: Winter soldier, so all is forgiven.

                      'Iron Man 3' is the perfect follow up to 'The Avengers' and leads the way for Marvel Phase 2. Taking a darker turn, the movie captures themes that the previous two lack and takes the franchise to the next level. Full of eye-candy action, paired with a witty script and offering twists and turns, this is the best Iron Man film to date.

                      The closure the movie offers to the trilogy and the report of Robert Downey Jr's due contract seems more than just a coincidence. If this is the end of RDJ as Iron Man, well, he was sublime and I cannot foresee a replacement or anyone who could lead a reboot with as much charisma, style and wit. I also cannot foresee an Avengers 2 without Iron Man so, we will see.

                      COMING UP IN THE MARVEL UNIVERSE:
                      THOR: DARK WORLD (Nov 2013)
                      CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER (2014)
                      AVENGERS 2 (2015)

                      (also a SHIELD tv show in the works)


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