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Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3

By Arpad Lukacs • August 29th, 2013
Static Mass Rating: 5/5
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

Release: September 9th, 2013
Running time: 130 minutes

Director: Shane Black
Writers: Drew Pearce, Shane Black

Cast: Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce, Don Cheadle

Iron Man 3

My first encounter with Tony Stark was many years ago when I followed Spiderman down the rabbit hole. The rabbit hole, in this case, was a futuristic amphitheatre that spontaneously appeared in New York’s Central Park and attracted not only the Spidey but all Earthly superheroes and villains to be transported to a far-away galaxy and fight in the epic tale of the Secret Wars. I was overwhelmed by the scale of the story and the many participants, but I took notice of the guy in the Iron suit when the Molecule Man lifted up and then dropped an entire mountain on him and a few others. Trapped underneath, it was Iron Man’s armour (with a little fine-tuning by Fantastic Four’s Reed Richards) that blew a gaping hole into the side of the mountain, allowing the group to escape from beneath. In spite of his lack of superpowers, Iron Man was a force to be reckoned with; his technological genius made him equal if not superior to those around him.

The silver-tongued mechanic’s return to the big screen in Iron Man 3 could just be a new movie that needs to be bigger and better than the previous two, but there’s a unique and significant feature to director Shane Black’s take on the franchise. This is the first film in the Marvel universe that takes place in a post-Avengers world. The events in Joss Whedon’s blockbuster are simply referred to as “New York” and it’s not too hard to see the parallels between this world and the real one when a troubled Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) says: “Nothing seems the same since New York”. Global terrorism was left in the wake of the superhero-assemble with The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) being its new face, while Guy Pearce plays geneticist Aldrich Killian creating the latest generation of super soldiers. Both of them are heavily re-imagined versions of their originals, tailored neatly – and smartly – to make sure that Iron Man 3 has the ability to surprise. The twist is one that brings the room and everyone in it crumbling down.

Iron Man 3

Although Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) has never been anything less than equal to Tony Stark with the two of them easily making the most watchable couple in the Marvel universe, here she will become just a little bit more equal than before. This might come as a surprise even to the know-it-all fans who think Rescue is going to seal the deal. The tone of the film is levelled perfectly for Stark’s post-Avengers state of mind and his subsequent predicament, without ever losing that clever wit we have come to love about the franchise. This is true even when the hero befriends a kid in that non-sentimental ‘Starkish’ manner, without falling into the Spielberg-trap. The coolest superhero reminds us once more why he was frequently butting horns with the ever-so-naïve and idealistic Captain America in The Avengers.

The franchise has been frequently borrowing real personalities from the news business with the likes of Christiane Amanpour, Bill O’Reilly and Jim Cramer commenting on events taking place within the story. Iron Man 3 upholds the tradition and those of us who enjoy his New Rules will surely giggle at the appearance of America’s most outspoken liberal and what he has to say about the repainted Iron Man suit and the government. There are memorable scenes of course – what happens to Tony Stark’s home is revealed in the trailer, but there is more. When Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns (2006) was released, many responded to the film by saying it may not be amazing, but “just wait for that scene with the airplane”. There’s a scene with an airplane yet again, making that breath-taking ten minutes really hard to forget. But here – in what’s undoubtedly the best Iron Man film so far – you have to take a far more elaborate version of the fast-paced aviation extravaganza and imagine a great and engaging film built around it. Then, you have Iron Man 3.

Iron Man 3

Arpad Lukacs

Arpad Lukacs

Arpad is a Film Studies graduate and passionate photographer (he picked up the camera and started taking stills just as he began his studies of moving pictures). He admires directors that can tell a story first of all in images. More or less inevitably, Brian De Palma has become Aprad’s favourite filmmaker.

Then there’s Arpad’s interest in anime. He was just a boy when he saw Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind on an old VHS and was hypnotised by the story of friendship, devotion and sacrifice. He still marvels at the uncompromising and courageous storytelling in Japanese anime, and wonders about the western audience with its ever growing appetite for “Japanemation”.

Have a look at Arpad's photography site, and you can follow him on Twitter @arpadlukacs.

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