|Iron Man 3 is out now. Picture: 2012 Marvel|
In his fourth outing as billionaire industrialist Tony Stark (counting last year’s Marvel Avengers Assemble), Downey Jr finds himself in what is his biggest Iron Man film yet.
Ok, I'm guessing it's his biggest Iron Man adventure yet, since I still haven't seen the second film, and I only saw the first three days after seeing the third.
Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder following his near-death experience in Avengers Assemble, Stark now spends much of his time not sleeping, instead choosing to build Iron Man costume after Iron Man costume, each more advanced than the one before, although not in all cases better on first try.
A glimpse into Stark’s past as a womanising (he’s now happily shacked up with Pepper Potts) playboy reveals his first encounter with Guy Pearce’s villain, Aldrich Killian, who morphs from the nerd we see in the opening scenes to a suave and more-than-slightly-creepy scientist.
He’s not the only bad guy Stark encounters. There’s also the terrifying Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), who prefers to send threats via videotape, hacking the airwaves of television stations across America.
An angry Stark tells the Mandarin to come and get him, resulting in the film’s first huge extended action sequence (and they only get bigger from there). The battle also sends Stark on a journey of discovery (literally), which includes some of the funniest and most touching scenes of the film as Stark pits his wits against the child who helps him get back on his feet.
Iron Man 3 has all the superhero film chops you need, from a likeable yet flawed hero to convincingly unhinged baddies to big set pieces to a tribute to Downton Abbey. Okay, maybe the last one isn’t typical superhero film fodder, but it put a smile on my face, and other moments made me laugh out loud (apart from the Christmas jokes - maybe this film was meant to be released a few months ago?).
I loved the huge action sequences, even though they went on for ages they still held my interest and made me breathless with anticipation as to what came next. And the abilities of Killian's army of bad guys was, well, pretty horrifying.
It might not be Oscar-winning, but Iron Man 3 is definitely worth a couple of hours of your time. And that ending? I did not see it coming at all...