Is Tony Stark just a man inside a machine, or is he something more? This is the idea that populates Marvel Studio’s Iron Man 3. Following terrorist attacks by a madman known as The Mandarin, as well as unexplained explosions that cripple someone close to him, Tony Stark dons the suit once more to bring those responsible to justice. What follows are some very worthy twists and turns, along with some very funny, and original Tonyisms.
Robert Downey Jnr is back and he’s having the time of his life with Tony. It’s no longer a role, or a job, this is just him reveling in a character that he has defined. While watching his performance you feel that everything he has done as Tony Stark has been building to this, and he does a great job. Strong turns are also put in from regular cast members including Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper, Don Cheadle’s Rhodes, now The Iron Patriot, along with Iron Man’s ‘personal bodyguard’ and head of security Happy (Jon Favreau). Newcomers include Guy Pearce, who made an impressive turn going from subtle cameo to all out crazed villain with Aldrich Killian, creator of the Extremis virus. Where Tony Stark is the embodiment of the Heroes Journey, Killian is the Heroes Journey gone really, really bad. Following Killian is James Badge Dale’s Eric Savin, a particularly nasty character if I do say so myself. Rebecca Hall brings her own magic to the role of Maya Hanson, creating something interesting with the character. But the scene stealer is Ben Kingsley, as a character you won’t soon forget.
While I felt the first act was kind of slow, the film then geared up quickly skyrocketing into the stratosphere, with its final action piece being a full out insane explosion fest that hasn’t been seen since Schwarzenegger’s “Eraser’. While you were watching this film, you felt that you were experiencing the end of this heroes journey that Tony Stark has been on, the final stages of him recognising that its he is the one who drives the suit, and not the other way around. Whatever story is left to tell will have to be told with Avengers 2, and hopefully an Iron Man 4, as the filmmakers have definitely left things open for further questions. With any luck Tony will return.