Iron Man 3 (Shane Black, 2013)

Back in year 2008, the first Iron Man movie was introduced to the cinematic world. It kickstarted the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), paved the way for the character of Hulk, Thor, Captain America to star in their standalone movie under the banner of Marvel Studios. Phase 1 of MCU ended with a bang in The Avengers (Whedon, 2012).

So now what can Iron Man 3 offers to us apart from having to face new villain? The latest installment has Tony Stark suffered from post traumatic stress disorder, he has nightmare sleeping at night or not sleeping at all. You may wonder why a super wealthy guy having a girl he loves and who can literally build anything any man can built has anything to worry about? Well, simply put, he is just a man in a can after all. The entire chapter in The Avengers was a whole new ballgame for Tony Stark. He discovered about alien invasion, demi-god from other dimension (Thor and Loki). He went into wormhole, fought with alien and almost die from it. Bear in mind in pre-Avengers movie timeline, since his escape from the Afganistan cave, he only fought with terrorist and mortal human beings with armour.

The new nemesis, in the form of The Mandarin, I love how the great Ben Kingsley portrays the menacing and wacky role. He has a significant different origin and character compare to the comic books. The dashing looking Guy Pearce plays Aldrich Killian, the inventor of Extremis virus and which may or may not has close allied with The Mandarin. The twist plotline about The Mandarin and Aldrich Killian may not goes down well with comic book purists, I admit it kind of take away Mandarin's authoritative presence in the end, despite the cleverness of the disguise plot. Then of course Gwyneth Paltrow returns as Tony's love interest Pepper Potts, who has a bigger role this time. Happy Hogan who was no longer a body guard to Tony Stark anymore, What? Tony Stark needs a bodyguard? War Machine was re-painted in red, blue and white, in case you do not aware of the flag-waving spirit, it was renamed to Iron Patriot for the sake of the obviousness.

Jon Favreau, the director of first two Iron Man movies replaced by Shane Black, who I did not notice stamping any distinctive directorial mark in the movie, however as a co-screentwriter, his snippy one-liners are reminicence of his 1980s & 1990s buddy cop movies. You can really see the technology advance of the metal suit throughout the Iron Man trilogy, frrom the crude prototype from Afganistan mountain cave to the brief case-like Suit as in Monte Carlo scene in second movie. Now Tony Stark is able to use neuro-controlled headgear to command his armour suit assemble to his body piece by piece. Moreover, he has a whole army of unmanned Iron Man at his disposal.

The middle act of the movie is set in a small town during Christmas season (in fact the whole movie is). Tony Stark takes shelter befriends a boy, need his assistance to recharge his iron suit. Here is where the storyline strip off his armoury complacency. When he is in the Iron Man suit, there is nothing onslaught that he cannot address (just remember what he went through with his Avengers fellows). Take away his hi tech suit, all left underneath is his resourcefulness to turn things around, a side that we seldom get to see.
I will never get tired of watching Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, I would bring up the old cliche of "he was born to play this role" if I have to, seriously I just cannnot see other actor who will be as charmingly arrogant as he is. "I am Iron Man", he quipped. What stand out from other Iron Man story is, Tony Stark does not hide behind the mask of Iron Man, he does not shy away of letting the whole world knows that he is Iron Man indeed. It is important to know that at the end the movie, I am still eager for another chapter of Tony Stark story. The viewing experience of Iron Man 3 is marginally enjoyable than the pedecessor, while the first and original Iron Man movie is still my favourite among three


1 star = Pathetic, SowYau feel ashamed of watching it
2 stars = Off the mark material, approach with caution
3 stars = Generally good, you should watch it if it's your favourite genre
4 stars = Excellent, strongly recommended
5 stars = A classic status? Only time will tell. But it is definitely in SowYau's Hall of Fame List