For the first MCU film post The Avengers, Tony Stark returns in his third solo standalone film in 2013’s Iron Man 3.
This is the first of the Stark films not directed by Jon Favreau, with Shane Black who had previously directed Robert Downey Jnr in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Much like that film, Black also wrote the screenplay, this time with the assistance of Drew Pearce. Favreau took on a role of executive producer of the film and played the character of Happy once again.
It’s christmas time in Los Angeles, and Tony Stark is struggling to come to terms with the events of New York (The Avengers). He suffering with anxiety and sleep problems. As a result, he is working through the night on developing the Iron Man Suits and additional tech, much to the frustration of Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow).
Enter Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) a previous acquaintance of Stark and Potts who has been developing a process in which the genetic coding of a human body can be accessed and reprogrammed to build humans with enhanced abilities. Killian is working with a former ‘friend’ of Stark – Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall). In addition to this, a terrorist faction led by ‘The Mandarin’ (Ben Kingsley) are beginning to wreak havoc through bombings and hacking TV stations to broadcast messages in which he assures the US President that he will learn a number of lessons.
In very much an investigation into ‘what would Tony Stark be without his suit’ a number of events transpire that force Stark to go back to his technical abilities to solve the riddle of the Mandarin and prevent a worldwide event.
In what has been the last standalone Stark film, Downey Jnr again delivers a charismatic performance in the character that will now forever dominate his entire career. He finds moments of comedy, but interestingly more weakness in the character than has previously been seen. The double bill of additions in Pearce and Kingsley are both impressive, Kingsley impressive on an interesting journey through the film.
Beyond the additions, the old gang are back with returns from Gwyneth Paltrow, Jon Favreau and Don Cheadle.
This film is more of a standalone story than Iron Man 2, and less plugged into the broader MCU, if anything it tries to distance itself from the idea that with any sign of trouble, all of the Avengers will now be assembled.
Its another enjoyable film, and I find it landing somewhere thats better than #2 but behind the original.