Director: Shane Black
Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Ben Kingsley, Rebecca Hall
Plot: After the events that took place in The Avengers, Tony Stark has a personal crisis which quickly escalates when he takes on two threats from an old acquaintance and a terrorist known as The Mandarin.
Review: Iron Man part three will go down as being the most different of the trilogy so far. Heck, it's not even in the vein of last year's Avengers blow up fest. So if you walk into this expecting a slam bang actioner, you're not going to like it that much.
That being said, Iron Man 3 is awesome. The entire film, scripted and directed by Shane Black, works like a comic book story arc, where we don't just watch our hero fight every twenty minutes. We get to see what exactly makes him tick, when he is most vulnerable, who are his enemies and why they want him dead, and more importantly how he's going to overcome the odds when he doesn't have what he needs the most. To that end, Black's film works more like a semi slow burn thriller, which is most evident during the middle third of the film when Tony Stark seeks help from a young boy to fix his armor and attempt to make a comeback.
Actionwise, there are four that stand out the most: the attack on Stark's house (which you've seen in the trailers), an aerial rescue of falling people, Stark fighting his enemies without the armor at the boy's neighborhood, and the memorable final sequence (I won't spoil it for you, except to say it's kick ass). Some may say that it's not enough because of the long delays in between those sequences, but it works for me.
Once again, Robert Downey Jr proves why he's the best guy to play Tony Stark. Out of the three films and The Avengers, here's where he gets to show the most about who Tony Stark is, and not about who Iron Man is. Downey's ability to show vulnerability while laughing and occasionally stumbling in the face of danger is a sight to behold. Gwyneth Paltrow gets a bigger role here than before as Stark's long suffering girlfriend Pepper Potts, so much more that it happens at the expense of Don Cheadle's character Rhodey, who becomes little more than Stark's sidekick. Guy Pearce as usual makes a commendable villain in Aldrich Killian while Ben Kingsley hams it up as The Mandarin, and with great effect. Iron Man comic fans will notice a huge difference in the way Black handles The Mandarin here, and I suspect it will have a mixed reaction. I personally thought it was cool. Ty Simpkins gets a special mention as Harley, the young boy who helps Stark.
The downsides would be the abovementioned reduction of Cheadle's screen time, as well as the subplot involving the President and Vice President, which is a mere distraction at best. Other than that, the film is solid overall.
I'll warn you again: Iron Man 3 isn't what you may expect it to be, but I think you ought to give it a try. I sure loved it, you might too. (4/5)
P.S.: Wait till the credits finish rolling for one final scene.