Super-heroes are by definition people who are a little different. Not just in the powers or abilities which set them apart from the rest of us, but in what has led to them this point. Often they have found life difficult, sometimes darkness has shaped them from their childhood. For Iron Man, he’d been captured in war, suffered a life-threatening injury and found a way to turn it all for good.
All the same, he was still irritating. The movies bearing his name have presented Tony Stark (Iron Man’s every day identity) as a super sucessful business-man who can have whoever and whatever he wants. He also happens to be able to put on a cool iron suit and save the world every now and then. The first film was a riotous joyride; the second fun with a over-blown ending. This third one still puts the accent very much on fun. Robert Downey Junior’s lead character is still fast-talking, wise-cracking, insufferable and irritating (in a good way for the audience, in a bad way for anyone who wants a relationship with him). Now there’s feet of clay, though. He’s beset by occasional panic attacks about which he lives in denial and covers over with arrogance, bravado and the trappings of success. His iron suit, we’re allowed to suspect, is as much a protection against himself as against whatever foes the world has to offer. This time that takes the form of an elusive and strange terrorist master-mind with very public designs on the life of the President. It’s a fun build-up; Gwyenth Paltrow is irritatingly under-used in an important role when we see an unnecessary amount of bit-part male supporting players. Such is the way of a mega-dollar, institutionally sexist industry.
The climax is slightly too long also, stretched just past the point of too many robots doing slightly too much hitting of each other. The 3D is pointless, as always. But it’s a good, fun entry in the expanding super-hero movie universe; a universe of flawed heroes finding identity in their scars. Not bad role models, it turns out.
I rated this movie 4/5 on rottentomatoes.com and 7/10 on imdb.com. I saw this movie in 3D IMAX format.