I get to write this while people all over are enjoying midnight showings. Yay for me!
This was always going to be a tricky one for Marvel. How to follow up The Avengers without building on it really, but still make a good film. I would say they were once again successful with Iron Man 3. However, this is the most polarizing Marvel Studios film to date, which I think is unfortunate. Most negative reviews I’ve read are not very well thought out or nit-picky, a consequence of having to deal with post-Avengers syndrome.
From the start, you can tell a new director is at the helm. This is a movie that is well written and funny, adding new darker tones to the quippy Stark, who can no longer sleep after the events in New York. The acting is great. Downey is his usual self, Cheadle gets to shine a bit and take the lead from time to time, Pierce and Kingsley are great villains, and Paltrow does fine as Pepper.
There’s a strong tinge of darker emotion in Iron Man 3. We’re not allowed to be light-hearted until the end, when we get a breath of fresh air. We see an emotionally wrecked Tony Stark, suffering from panic attacks and malfunctioning suits, undertaking a mission to save the woman he loves, we see Pepper Potts, taking a new role in protecting Tony and putting herself in danger, we see brutal attacks on the President and Stark, which leave savage distruction in their wake, and in the end, we see Stark trying to put a chapter of his life behind him.
There is one particular thing that is going to have many people upset, and it is odd that I am not one of them. I’ll just say this, don’t be bitter when you realize that Shane Black and Marvel completely had you fooled, hostage to the slight of hand. Also, I think it is fair to point out that Tony Stark does more detecting here than Batman does in the entire Dark Knight Trilogy, so thanks for that Chris Nolan.
You should go see this film, it is emotional, funny, and satisfying. Here’s hoping Downey is back for the next one.