“Since that big guy with the hammer fell from the sky, subtlety is kind of dead” a line said to Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) by the head bad guy, and so it proves. Evil guys get regenerating limbs, breathe fire and explode while Tony Stark gets through Iron Man suits like a man with a cold gets through a box tissues. In fact Stark dealt with a whole alien invasion (The Avengers) with less suit casualties than here.
The enemy this time around is The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) a sinister terrorist who is not only capable of making outlandish threats – he can back them them up too. He now plans to kill the president and install a political-puppet in his place, but can Stark stop him?
I wasn’t a fan of Iron Man 2 and thought it was especially stupid when Don Cheadle also got an Iron Man suit. It just seemed to dilute the whole concept. If you give everyone a suit then what’s the point of Iron Man? However to it’s credit this film runs with this and dials the silliness and craziness up to 11 so that none of that matters anymore. In fact the scenes between Cheadle and Stark are some of the funniest here and now half of the main characters get to wear an Iron Man suit at some point. This film is really about what Stark can do out of his suit, and quite often when only partially wearing it.
Overall this is a big implausible mess, but it’s much better than Iron Man 2, and is full of variety, action, surprises and humour. Also good performances from all the cast. At the end of the film Robert Downey Jnr says “I am Iron Man”, and he’s right.