The third instalment of the Iron Man franchise was released in the UK on the 25th of April and stormed straight to number one in the box office. Shane Black unleashes his underrated talents on the film, taking over from Jon Favreau, with a somewhat darker approach.
Black has only directed two films, including Iron Man 3 (the other being the darkly funny Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, also starring Robert Downey Jr) but has been the writer of many great movies including the Lethal Weapon franchise. His tendency for dark humour is ever present throughout Iron Man 3 adding a humorous swing to a film much darker than the previous two Iron Man flicks. Black was actually recommended for the role by Robert Downey Jr, and he certainly proved his ability.
Iron Man 3 sees Tony Stark face a very formidable enemy in the shape of Ben Kingsley’s ‘Mandarin’, a ruthless terrorist intent on wiping out the US and Stark himself. However all is not what it seems, but I won’t give away the twist! Kingsley steals the show about half the way through the film amid a twist that came as a completely unexpected surprise. He’s a versatile veteran and a fantastic addition to the film. Guy Pearce’s performance was also top notch, with him proving his ability as a villain once more after his very successful stint as the horrible Charlie Rakes in John Hillcoat‘s Lawless. This is perhaps Stark’s most formidable enemy yet and the tension throughout the film is unreal.
Some of the visuals are beautiful, and it’s obvious that Shane Black has upped the film’s game somewhat, throwing the characters into a much scarier situation than in the previous films. There are fight scenes and explosions galore and the special effects are breathtaking. Tony and Pepper‘s relationship is so much deeper and more developed this time around and their on screen chemistry is touching and believable, and at times enough to bring a tear to your eye!
Although it’s uncertain where the Iron Man franchise is going now after an ending that renders Stark practically an average, normal human being again, and with talk that Robert Downey Jr may even retire from the role it’s hard to tell what’s in store. If Iron Man 3 is to be the last in the series though, it certainly went out with a bang and an unforgettable ending.