On The Edge Films

Cinematic Thoughts for Cinematic Minds

Iron Man 3

2013/ USA

Director: Shane Black

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Stephanie Szostak, James Badge Dale, Jon Favreau, Ben Kingsley

Cast your minds back to January of this year. Some may remember I wrote a review of Avengers Assemble that appeared in our first edition in which I said it was barely above average.

Well that and Iron Man 2 were the reasons I wasn’t really looking forward to the third instalment of Iron Man and if I had anything else to keep me busy on its release date I probably would’ve done that instead. However, I did go and what I got was one of the nicest cinematic surprises for me this year along with Oblivion.

The story picks up after the events of Avengers. Ingenious industrialist Tony Stark (Downey Jr.) is struggling to cope with life post-alien invasion, suffering a series of anxiety attacks and chronic insomnia. Anybody who fought extra-terrestrials and got sucked into a colossal wormhole above New York would likely require a spot of psycho-therapy. Meanwhile, a national terror threat looms in the foreboding form of The Mandarin (the legendary Ben Kingsley). After The Mandarin’s crusade of terror harms a personal friend of Stark’s, the iron-clad hero is finally spurred into entering the fray but his quest for vengeance is derailed in its infancy and the once proud, already fragile Tony Stark is forced into a corner and broken down until only his most rudimentary assets remain – his cunning and ingenuity.

The Iron Man must undertake a reconstruction/rebirth if he is to ever hope of defeating his dangerous new enemies, many of which have been injected with a chemical named ‘Extremis’ which grants the host various fire-powers, near-invulnerability and the ability to glow red sometimes, which I would be handy for reading at night. They can also spontaneously combust in a fiery, agonising death which I can see as being a bit of a pitfall. Saves on cremation bills I suppose.

Eventually, our eponymous hero is fighting (almost) tooth and nail to save everything he has left that he’s miraculously grown to care about, including his new girlfriend Pepper Potts (Paltrow) and finds out whether the man makes the suit or whether it’s the suit that makes the man.

Now I reckon I’m pretty safe in making the assumption that Iron Man is the majority of the populace’s favourite Avenger and certainly for me, his character is the most interesting, though it will be interesting to see what Mark Ruffalo can do with Bruce Banner in a stand-alone Hulk movie after getting some intriguing glimpses in The Avengers. What trumps that film for me in Iron Man 3 is the more purposeful direction, the far more exciting action sequences and the intimate glimpses past Tony Stark’s brash, arrogant façade. In fact I’d say it trumps its two predecessors also in this way. Thankfully though, all the usual Stark wit and classic Downey Jr. line-delivery and timing are still there.

Surprisingly the plot was fairly novel and interesting. A fair couple of twists even pop up but it’s still easy enough to follow without being tedious. Stark sums it up pretty neatly himself with the sound bite; “There’s no politics here, just good old-fashioned revenge”. And boy, am I glad.
Where the others were directed by Jon Favreau Iron Man 3 sees Shane Black take the helm and he rises to the challenge, this being his second film he’s directed and interestingly also his second in which RDJ plays the lead (the first being Kiss Kiss Bang Bang way back when in 2005).

Anyway, enough with the trivia. To wrap it all up, Iron Man 3 is a superbly entertaining action film and a damn good comic movie and it contains a relatively large amount of character when compared with the other Avengers films. I’m convinced the addition of Sir Ben Kingsley to the cast has helped somewhat with that, the regular entertainment value of RDJ playing the role of Tony Stark notwithstanding.

If you’re looking for something funny, playful and exciting to watch soon then Iron Man 3 will take you where you need to go. Put simply, this film was a lot of fun. Not life-changing or revelatory, of course – just a good bit of fun.

I will give this my full recommendation to our esteemed readers. Even if there is a distinct lack of AC/DC.


-Saul Nix


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