Iron Man 3

120px-Film-stripFirst cinema film in almost two-and-a-half months around work, baby and other commitments. It better be worth it…

Iron Man 3

“Where’s my sandwich?”

Plot-in-a-nutshell: Nasty bad man starts blowing places up and Iron Man / Tony Stark decides to stop him

See it if you like: well, Iron Man and Iron Man 2. Dur.

So how does this do as a rounding-off to what’s apparently going to be a trilogy? Very well, in my opinion. Not perfect, but good.

As has to be the case, it’s much “bigger” in terms of wow factor than the previous two. How you manage to top that kind of thing on an ongoing basis is probably what limits most films to trilogies. Iron Man 3 manages it without getting (too) stupid and also without just being a repeat of the first two.

There is a little less of the wise-cracking in this one, and this is in part due to the overall darker tone. IM3 has a much more complex plot and a much nastier villain to go with the increased action quotient. The effects are also staggeringly good as well, due in part to the huge digital effects crew listed in the end credits.

For once, though, Robert Downey Jr has serious competition as the best actor. Ben Kingsley is simply superb as the evil Mandarin, a terrorist seeking to overthrow – or destroy – the US government.

There are some nice moments with Stark dealing with children in various situations which manage not to be at all mawkish, and an under-running theme of “how did you get out of that wormhole in New York?”

As ever, no spoilers, but there is an end-of-credits sequence. I shall say no more.

Oh, do watch the start of the credits up until the part where the big text list appears even if you’re not staying until the end. They’re made up of flashes from all three films, put together in a 1970’s-esque TV montage. It seems to suit the Stark image perfectly.

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I Am… (for the second time)

OK, this was worth waiting the extra few days to catch…

Iron Man 2

“It’s good to be back!”

Plot-in-a-nutshell – bad men try to make new Iron Man outfits, real Iron Man has real-life crises and has to stop them. Come on, it’s a superhero film. You want a plot?!

It’s very, very rare for a sequel to outdo or even equal the original. Iron Man 2 has succeeded. Whether it’s better than the first is going to be a matter of opinion but it’s certainly every bit as good.

What I liked most about the first film was the wonderful banter, mainly in dialogue involving Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr). It’s fast, sharp and witty. I seriously wonder if they’ve hired a scriptwriter from The West Wing to add the extra zing. In all honesty, this dialogue gave me more laughs than I get from many so-called comedy films.

OK, let’s be honest. It’s not a complicated plot. A bad guy (Mickey Rourke) makes a cool exoskeleton with electric whips. Another nasty rich man wants to rip off Stark’s suits so he can make money in the weapons market. Things get out of hand, and a huge special-effects and explosion-laden fight ensues.

In with all of this, romance maybe seems to blossom between Stark and “Pepper” Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow). Samuel L Jackson reappears as Agent Nick Fury, and the Avengers project starts to gain some momentum. There is a very interesting post-credits sequence that’s apparently worth staying back for. I didn’t. So I read about it here.

This is a simple film with a good core set of actors. The effects are superb, the action sequences big and silly, the dialogue – as mentioned – witty. As far as it goes, and it doesn’t try to pretend it’s anything it’s not, this is a great piece of entertainment.

Which – after all – is what you’re after when you watch a film.

That and Scarlett Johansson in a sexy black outfit. Tick that box as well. Phwoar.

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