That will be the question on everyone’s lips after watching Iron Man 3, and that’s not even a spoiler! The end of the Iron Man trilogy had a lot to live up to as Phase 1 of Marvel’s Avengers plan did fantastically well, and with this film kick-starting Phase 2, there was a lot of hype. Undoubtedly, there will be a lot of rumours and speculation surrounding this film and where it will take us in the end, but for now, just accept that this is a damned good film in all the right ways.
A Much Darker Atmosphere
The previous films had ‘dark’ moments in them, usually where Tony Stark was under threat and faced a decision or situation that was designed to test him and show the hero elements to his personality. This was balanced with a lot of humour to prevent that dark nature from taking over and making the films aimed at older audiences rather than the much wider audience intended.
In Iron Man 3, this dark nature is given free reign and following on from the events in Avengers Assemble, our hero is having trouble recovering and returning to his old self, if that’s even what he wants. The events in that film has opened his eyes to what he can really become but there are things stopping him and a good part of the film is dealing with Tony Stark’s demons rather than the problems faced by Iron Man.
There’s still plenty of humour throughout the film. In my opinion, there is less obvious humour and much grittier, dark humour that will have you laughing on the inside more than on the surface. I like this a lot more, as it suits my preferences but it isn’t for everyone. This is worth keeping in mind when watching the film, the atmosphere is completely different to the previous films but it has to be to really tell the story and let Tony develop.
Pushing the Boundaries of His World
In each film, we have seen Tony create a host of gadgets and pieces of tech to help him survive and show off his flamboyant style, and this doesn’t change in Iron Man 3. From assembling the very first version of the Iron Man suit, to new power cores and mobile versions he can access in any area, the next big breakthrough would be watched closely. The trailers gave us an idea before seeing the film of what kind of things we could expect. A new mobile version of the suit followed by a whole new group of suits hit the screen in this film and in all honesty, because of the trailer, I wasn’t as surprised or impressed this time around.
It is a fine line to work, but once you watch the film, you can put two and two together and you know who things will end in some shape or form. This disappointment was quickly put to rest when you consider the circumstances of the whole film. This isn’t just about Iron Man as a hero, but Tony Stark as a hero and where the two personalities begin and end. In that light, we don’t see too much of the innovation and there is a great spectacle to behold once those suits arrive on the scene.
The End Result
I’m unsure as to where this film rates out of the three. It is better than Iron Man 2 but is it better than the first one? After watching it once, I would say it wasn’t as good, but still a brilliant film. The more I think about it, the less sure I am about that. It’s hard to beat the first of a trilogy in most cases, and it could be that I like the style of this film better rather than the film as a whole.
Shane Black’s influence is brutally clear in this film and his work speaks for itself. There have been influences of him in the previous films but this film seems a lot more complete in that regard. There is also an influence of Joss Whedon after the incredible job of Avengers Assemble and the way the whole franchise is fitting together shows the strength of the characters and the universe it is set in.
I have a feeling that the more I watch this film, the more I will like it and in time, it may well become my favourite Iron Man film. It will always be close between the first and the third but there is a lot more confidence in this one than the last, just in the way to script comes across and how well the actors have settled into these roles now. If you haven’t seen it, then I’d recommend it. It’s a fantastic film and one of the best I’ve seen for a long time.