Film Review: Iron Man 3 (2013)

Iron Man 3 has a distinctively different style than the previous two films in the Robert Downey Jr. starring series. Written and directed by Shane Black, who previously directed RDJ in the off-beat dark comedy, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Black presents a story that feels more like a spin-off or side quest for Tony Stark, rather than a climactic bookend to a trilogy.

I suppose Marvel’s intention, unlike Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy, is to extend the current Iron Man series further, although I find it difficult to see how much more RDJ can take performing this role, especially after The Avengers 2 is finished. While RDJ is as entertaining as ever with his usual witty charm and manic brilliance, he seems tired in this movie, as if he just wants to get it over with so he can move on to another project.

Unlike the previous films in the series, Iron Man 3 focuses more on Tony Stark rather than Iron Man, and this decision provides a much different tone more akin to a detective story than a superhero story. The pacing felt very similar to Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and Tony Stark is even very similar to RDJ’s character from Kiss Kiss, Harry Lockhart, as he finds himself in a place of mental instability (PTSD), unable to sleep and having panic attacks after his recent battle with Loki and his alien army that took place in The Avengers.

There is a lot more off-beat humor and downtime in Iron Man 3, which I found to be a nice change, although fans who are expecting Iron Man 3 to simply be the next chapter in continuation of the series will probably find the change of pace to be undesirable, as has been the case with several negative reviews that I’ve seen online.

The bottom line is, if you enjoy watching RDJ do his thing, you will enjoy Iron Man 3, and if you can allow yourself to separate it from the previous two films in the series, you will be able to appreciate it more as a sidestep than a misfire.

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