The Avengers have saved the world, and since then split up with little to no contact, because Tony Stark is on his own again, and suffering a little. But then along comes The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), a mysterious terrorist leader who is making all kinds of nasty explosions go off and threatening the president to boot. When Tony's head of security is injured in an attack, he decides to declare war on the Mandarin, who responds promptly by blowing the crap out of his mansion. Now alone and lacking his arsenal of suits, Tony must pool together all his resources to get to the bottom of the plot and take down those responsible.
I'll start by saying that Iron Man 3 is a great summer blockbuster. There are masses of explosions, plenty of well planned out action sequences, and that token comic relief that has become synonymous with these new Marvel titles. That being said, I did leave the movie a little disappointed, mostly because a lot of the time the action and comedy severely overtook any semblance of plot. Sure, there was an underlying story, but not everything is explained in a satisfactory way, and there were several plot holes I could point out immediately that just seemed to be brushed off with more explosions. This lack of detail really took the edge off the bad guys, as it wasn't clear exactly what their end game was a lot of the time.
Thankfully, there are some great performances throughout that help to carry the whole thing a little better. Downey Jr. is fantastic as always, especially when paired with Ty Simpkins as Harley, the banter between them is probably some of the best in the movie. The role I was most excited for was The Mandarin, and Kingsley has a great tone and presence that makes him distinctly menacing. Unfortunately the character is ruined before long in a disappointing scene played out for comic effect, leaving us with another villain taking the reins, Aldrich Killian, played by Guy Pearce, who just kind of falls flat, and for some reason reminded me of a slightly more competent Justin Hammer, as seen in Iron Man 2.
So if you like your superhero movies, you probably won't want to pass this up. Explosions and action scenes galore, and even though Tony spends an annoyingly long time out of the suit, he still manages to pull some kick ass moves. But when there isn't stuff blowing up, the plot is kind of messy and confusing, and it's unclear even what Tony's behaviour is going to be like from one scene to the next. Sure, there has to be some kind of character progression after his near death experience in The Avengers, but it just didn't seem to be handled all that well in this movie, and only employed properly when there was a slow moment to clearly point it out. So overall, it's a good movie for shoving popcorn in your face, but it's not great. I certainly feel a little disappointed after seeing what can be done with The Avengers. But hey, I still have faith they can get back on track.
My rating: 3/5