Stark’s merely standard, but this sequel is solid

The Iron Man series is defined by Robert Downey Jr’s performance as Tony Stark – so if you enjoy his arrogant charm and biting sarcasm, then prepare yourself for more of the same.


This instalment begins with a flashback to New Year’s Eve 1999, the events of which get the ball rolling on the development of the franchise’s latest villains. In the present day, a terrorist organisation, headed by the mysterious Mandarin (Kingsley), has been setting off bombs all over the United States. Eventually, Stark is provoked into responding and makes it his mission to take out Mandarin and his organisation.


Most viewers will approach this instalment with trepidation, given that the second film was only average at best. Although it’s technically the third in the series, it comes after 2012’s Avengers, making Iron Man 3 the sixth overall film in the Marvel Studio’s franchise. Stark’s character was easily the most interesting and likeable of that film’s heroes.


There are many moments in Iron Man 3 that refer heavily to events in Avengers. Stark is now a troubled individual, suffering from PTSD due to the previous film’s alien invasion. Though meant to add more depth to his character, it just seems strange that this is apparently the event that pushed him over the edge into panic attacks. In many ways, Stark is already a flawed hero, which adds to his likeability, but his character does not develop or change much throughout this film or the series as a whole.


As far as acting is concerned, the actors are certainly moderately convincing. However – and this is more a problem with the script – the characters are fairly flat, and their character development doesn’t really go anywhere. The storyline tends to be a bit predictable, as well as cheesy on occasion.


That said, the film’s plot makes up for any lack of depth: never dragging, making the film still enjoyable and entertaining. The action sequences are spectacular and impressive, and there were some creative ideas floating around in the plot. Downey Jr delivered his role solidly, despite the thinly-constructed script. Overall, Iron Man 3 is entertaining action rolled into a decent plot – not bad for its genre.


Iron Man 3 (11)

Dir: Shane Black; US action, 2013, 140 mins, Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, Ben Kingsley
Premiered April 25
Playing nationwide