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Iron Man 3 (2013)
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Ben Kingsley, Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Don Cheadle.
Director: Shane Black

Let’s face it, film sequels are never expected to be better than first installments- it’s just a law. So when I sat down in the cinema to watch Iron Man 3, I was just hoping it would be worth the money. (I saw it in 3D, and as I’m sure you’ll know, 3D tickets are really expensive.) With a star-studded cast, including the great Sir Ben Kingsley, I found the film was just merely watchable.

This was because, even though Kingsley’s portrayal of “The Mandarin” (or as we later came to find out, the ditsy Trevor Slattery) was hilariously fantastic, and Robert Downey Jr. consistently delivered throughout the movie as Tony Stark, I found the film lacked a little something that the previous two films left me thinking, “What an awesome film I’ve just watched!” I came to the conclusion that it was because of the disappointing reveal: (SPOILER ALERT) The Mandarin wasn’t really The Mandarin.

As well as that, you could kind of guess that Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) had a role to play in all the unusual attacks, so the whole twist of the film was really quite blatant (unless that was just me? Who knows…)

My main gripe with Iron Man 3: I thought the storyline didn’t really flow- the trailer set it up to be a completely different film to what it ended up being, and that was mainly due to the fact that Sir Ben wasn’t the villain at all. From the trailer, I was hoping Kingsley as The Mandarin would be as brutal as Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) was in Iron Man 2- it just didn’t happen.

Yes, the real villain had a motive to kill Tony Stark, as Stark completely ignored the chance to work with the mastermind thirteen years previously. And yes, the Extremis virus used against Iron Man was great. But it still didn’t live up to my high expectations after watching the trailer (I have to admit, when I watched the trailer I was incredibly excited).

However, I do praise all of the performances by the cast, the chemistry between them was brilliantly displayed onscreen. I loved that Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) finally got to try on a Iron Man suit. A slight annoyance about the film was the limited screen time of Rebecca Hall (as botanist and Tony Stark’s ex-one-night-stand, Dr. Maya Hansen) especially since her character played a vital role in the creation of the Extremis drug. Still, this might just be me doing a little nitpicking.

As much as I have my dislikes about Iron Man 3, the climax of the movie was really superb. The special effects in the battle scenes were first-class, and I really enjoyed when all of the suits worked together to destroy all of the Extremis warriors- it’s one thing I love about superhero movies, and Iron Man 3 didn’t disappoint in that area (thank god). A twist I did enjoy was Ms. Potts becoming one herself- that was a shocker I could appreciate.

Sidenote: I couldn’t have been the only one to expect Thor to show up in the final battle scene, could I? The superhero was mentioned a few times, if not by name, and I had a feeling he’d come to lend a helping hand- again, though, it must’ve just been me.

Overall, I was unhappy with the main storyline, but I do think that I would give it the benefit of the doubt and I’d watch it again… only if I didn’t have to fork out any money.

My rating for this film is 6/10.