Iron Man has done it again. Already shattering world records, the third installment of the Iron Man franchise is one of the most anticipated releases of 2013 – and rightfully so. With new director Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), Iron Man 3 is revitalized once more. It is jam-packed with action and plot twists that are complemented by Tony Stark’s sardonic wit. Though it may not be the most revolutionary movie, fans of Iron Man and The Avengers will be very happy with this latest release. It closely follows the already-established formula, but has some new life breathed into it by Black.
Working more as a sequel to The Avengers than Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3 shows what life is like for Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) after saving the world in his near-death Avengers experience. Physically, he is alright; but mentally, he is a little unstable. The film opens up with a glimpse into Tony Stark’s past – it’s New Years Eve 1999, and Stark is spending the evening with a beautiful and smart girl in the midst of her own genetic experiment (Rebecca Hall). On the way to his room, he blows off oddball scientist Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce).
Cut to present day. Stark, now living with Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), is kept awake at night by terror dreams. He is constantly working on new suits for Iron Man, trying to improve his design. Pepper is approached by an old friend, Aldrich Killian, who has shed his nerdy past and turned into a handsome man. He asks Pepper to help him with his Think Tank, which breaks into the human brain and reconfigures DNA to heal the physically ailing. Pepper turns him down, believing that this genetic re-modification will lead to the creation of human weapons.
While this is happening, America is threatened by Iron Man’s latest villain, The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), a character reminiscent of Osama Bin Laden. The Mandarin hacks his way onto America’s mainstream media, takes over the airwaves, and promises mass destruction. He lays claim to a vicious attack on Hollywood’s Chinese Theatre (in a scene that hits a little too close to home after the events of the Boston Marathon.) Stark’s best friend and bodyguard Hogan (Jon Favreau) is injured in the Chinese Theatre blast, so Stark promises revenge against the Mandarin, and thus the action begins. The villain literally hits him at home, and Stark must put the pieces of the puzzle together in Tennessee, with help from a young boy (Ty Simpkins). Confronted with twists and turns (and some impressive CGI) Tony Stark is forced to question if it is himself who makes the superhero, or if the superhero suit makes him. Along the way he discovers that things aren’t always as they seem.
Fans of the franchise will adore the latest installment. Robert Downey Jr. is in great form as Tony Stark, delivering his lines with the perfect dry sense of humour. Guy Pearce plays a great nerd-turned-stud opposite Downey Jr. Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle are as good as ever in their roles. But Ben Kingsley’s performance alone is worth the price of admission. Both terrifying and hilarious, Kingsley’s take on The Mandarin made the movie for me. Following the previous films’ success – and the worldwide box office sales – Iron Man 3 is guaranteed to be a blockbuster summer hit.