Firstly, I love a good comic book movie and, probably due in large part to never having actually read a comic, I enjoy most big screen outings for Marvel, DC or their ilk.
Secondly, my adoration of Robert Downey Jr knows no bounds.
From the almost flawless ‘Chaplin’ to Sherlock Holmes, to Larry Paul, a singing lawyer in Ally McBeal – I will pretty much watch Downey Jr do anything.
So Iron Man 3 was pretty much always onto a surefire winner with me.
That’s not to say I wasn’t concerned, neigh alarmed, by the opening credits to Eiffel 65’s Blue (Dab uh dee dab uh dah) because I was!
Thankfully, it’s just so we know that we’ve been transported back to the 1990s to set up the story – all aboard the Tony Stark debauchery train!
New director Shane Black has put his own stamp on the franchise. There’s no AC/DC, there’s quite a bit of touchy feely relationship stuff with Pepper Potts and there are lots of references to Stark struggling mentally with the aftermath of The Avengers.
But it’s still the Iron Man we know and love, with one liners only Stark can deliver, the obligatory cameo from Stan Lee and, of course, the suits.
And there’s actually more Stark than Iron Man in this third outing, with the classic hero striped of all his ‘powers’ narrative playing out against Guy Pearce’s ridiculously charismatic villain Aldrich Killian.
And then there’s the Mandarin.
SPOILER: Turning the Mandarin into a drunk out-of-work actor called Trevor Slattery – played brilliantly by Sir Ben Kingsley – may have alienated some of the purists, but it’s genuinely laugh out loud funny and it fits the Iron Man world created in the first two films by director Jon Favreau.
The nightmarish regenerating soldiers and the somber tone of the threat the world faces are set against Stark’s interesting take on surrogate parenting ‘dads leave, no need to be such a pussy about it!’ and the fireworks truly are spectacular.
A fitting third installment.