Tony Stark is one of the most unique superhero protagonists in the genre and the main reason why last years Avengers did extremely well, being built almost entirely on his character. Iron Man 3 is as much an ode to this character and to his brilliant portrayal by Robert Downey Jr.
Iron Man 3 is also an ode to the technological and innovational fun of the Iron Man series. What it isn’t is a complex, heartfelt story, despite the attempt to do so through Tony Stark’s difficulties in handling what happened in New York and his relationship with Pepper Potts. While I understood the necessity to put these in, I felt they were unnecessary, complicating and bogged down what I believe to be the true strength of Iron Man – the fact that it is so unabashedly fun and tongue-in-cheek.
It is in this, along with Robert Downey Jr.’s performance, that Iron Man 3 really shines. In particular, the storyline between Stark and a young boy from Tennessee was incredibly well-played, absent any cloying sentimentality between the two. Most films that include kids in their story lines have a tendency to over-sentimentalize it and push for a major shift in the protagonist because of the kid. I fully enjoyed the fact that Iron Man 3 did not go in that direction and this storyline actually became one of my favourite threads in the story.
Without spoiling too much, I also enjoyed the twist to the Mandarin storyline that was employed. I’m not sure if others enjoyed it but I liked how it was pretty reflective of some more serious truths in our world nowadays while also adding very Iron Man-esque comedy into the film.
Iron Man 3 is a brilliantly witty, fun and entertaining film with plenty of laughs and great Tony Stark one-liners. While it occasionally induced eye-rolling during its unnecessary and trite emotional scenes, they were thankfully very limited. Iron Man 3 succeeds because it doesn’t take itself seriously and clearly prides itself on what it’s good at – having a unique, careless protagonist. This self-awareness alone helps make Iron Man 3 the best film of the year so far.