The first big blockbuster of the summer arrives in the form of Iron Man 3. Fresh off the back of Avengers Assemble Marvel had quite a challenge following on from their biggest success ever. It was an obvious decision for them to follow up their big team-up with their strongest solo franchise, Iron Man. The first Iron Man movie was a great introduction to the character and one of the better superhero origin films of the last decade or so. It’s sequel, however, didn’t quite reach the same enjoyment, it had a muddled plot and the final battle was extremely anti-climactic. There was every reason to believe that the third instalment would bring things back on track for Stark Industries. It’s the first in the franchise without Jon Favreau directing, instead it’s the turn of Shane Black, it was said that Iron Man 3 would be a much more personal adventure for our hero to contrast with the Avengers and as with all sequels, expect it to be darker than its predecessors.
Iron Man 3 is a very personal adventure for Tony Stark, he spends a large part of the movie without his iron suit and is left to save himself without his gadgetry. It’s an attempt to strip things down and give Downey Jr’s billionaire superhero a chance to make us feel for him again. Unfortunately, it’s only partly successful. While the movie is a good few steps above Iron Man 2 it still lacks the spark that can be fond in the first one. The action is well handled and fun to watch, as are the jokes – Ben Kingsley’s Mandarin is especially funny – but the overall feeling from the movie is one of mediocrity. One that’s happy to skate by without trying too hard. It works, just about, but is ultimately a disappointment and something that Marvel Studios can’t afford to be doing if they want to keep the momentum going. There’s plenty to be enjoyed here but, ultimately, this feels more mass produced than most superhero movies and ends up having less heart than it should do.
While Iron Man 3 is an enjoyable watch, I think, if the franchise carries on in this vain it won’t have too much more time. The box office obviously disagrees with me at the moment but let’s hope that when a fourth instalment gets planned they do something really special.