Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Q. Who is the comic relief in Iron Man Three?

A. Everyone!

For example...

Tony Stark: After the slow wallowing of the second film, it's great to see him returning to his stand-up comedy persona from the first one again. In this outing he has to balance it with panic attacks following the events of The Avengers, but even here his defensive quips never let up. I like the way in which he avoids the subject, so that the film doesn't have to.

'Kid': It's not that often that a child character comes across as anything other than baggage, but Ty Simpkins had us all (the rest of the cinema and myself) chuckling out loud throughout his scenes.

Mandarin: Ben Kingsley's finest hour. What's that? He once played Gandhi? No I think you'll find that was Trevor Slattery. Hollywood often portrays British people badly. Again all the laughter here in this London cinema tonight proved otherwise. Or maybe those lines were extra ones just for us, like they got in China...

Happy Hogan: With a name like that, we're expecting jokes, and this security guard who never misses Downton Abbey doesn't disappoint. Again with the British jokes.

The Iron Patriot: Yes, it's the US government's rebranding of Iron Man, including changing the outfit's colours. Priceless.

Pageant Judge:
Need. I. Say. More. (true believer™)

Even the opening credits are a parody of the 1970s action genre, and as such might make more sense where they belong at the start of the film to set the scene for the flashback opening. A coupla' decades too retro I grant you, but still more sense than at the end.

I could go on and on here, but while this movie kept us guffawing right through to the brilliant final post-credits scene with Bruce Banner, that's about as laugh-out-loud as it got. We didn't scream in hysterics, we merely chuckled, but we did keep on chuckling.

There is a little drama in here, such as when Pepper appears to fall to her death, because Stark clean forgets he can change into Iron Man to save her, but most of this sitcom is padded out with action. The sequence when Iron Man has to save a dozen people falling from an exploding aeroplane is absolutely breathtaking, and all the more so in 3D.

Also most of the technology on show here is a thing to behold too. Is this story really set today in 2013? Surely that should be more like 2113?!? Ah, well, that's the quasi-futuristic Marvel Universe for you, which here even still retains organisations like the evil Roxxon conglomerate.

Best of all, this threequel returns to the first movie's outlook of being principally a Tony Stark film. It should always be about the guy inside the suit. Guy Pearce finally gets to make a good movie too, rather than merely a popular one.

Overall, I'm glad to have seen this on the big screen (with the big speakers), although disappointed that there are further scenes we missed due to being in the wrong country, and 4DX elements with the same notation. Also I clean forgot to pick up the audio description headphones from reception, which I'm sure would have clarified the plot for me, and further enhanced the 3D.

All the same, nitpicks aside, this is one threequel that succeeds throughout, while at the same time making it all look so effortless.

For a film so packed with gags, it's impressive that Iron Man Three doesn't really drop any clangers.

'Tony Stark will return'? He'd better.

(available here)

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