Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow return for more superhero fun in Shane Black’s Iron Man 3.
The time round the pair face a double-bill of bad guys; Guy Pearce’s Aldrich Killian, a scientist who holds a personal grudge against Stark, and Sir Ben Kingsley as a very deliberately Osama Bin Laden version of The Mandarin.
Their combined assault on Stark and the US comes at the worst possible time for our hero.
The events of Avengers Assemble have taken their toll on Stark who is suffering from anxiety attacks and PTSD. Instead of fighting evil he’s locked himself away in his lab, leaving James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) to come centre stage as the Iron Patriot.
From this low ebb, Stark’s world gets even worse. When Pepper lands in danger Stark finds himself without his arsenal of suits and reliant on a young boy (Ty Simpkins) for his only back-up.
The question being posed is simple – is Iron Man defined by the iron suit or the man inside? While the answer is never really in any doubt, Drew Pearce and Black’s script has a lot of fun providing it.
Iron Man 3 is a punchy, smart action film with plenty of good gags and some great action sequences.
The regulars look ultra-comfortable in their roles, adding to the film’s sense of confidence, and are well served by a script that gives fans of each some rewarding stand out moments.
If, as some suggest, this does end up being Stark’s final standalone adventure then the franchise is going out on an unquestionable high which might in time be seen as the best of three films.
Be sure to hang around for a nice post-credits scene…
In cinemas 25th April 2013
Our verdict: 4/5