Iron Man 3

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Tony Stark tries to cope with the events in New York at the end of Avengers as a new enemy rises to threaten America, and Tony himself.

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Shane Black, 2013
This movie is so great. There’s a voice over, a ficus joke and a Christmas setting that are reminiscent of RDJ and Shane Black’s other brilliant collaboration, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, WHICH YOU SHOULD ALL GO SEE RIGHT NOW PLSTHNX. The character development is solid, the post-credits scene is a blast, and it has a lot of heart. Just as importantly, it has a lot of ‘splosions, as well as some fantastic action set-pieces that make full use of the applications of Tony’s intelligence.

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Tony grows up a lot in this film, and it’s a tight and intriguing personal journey that puts the second Iron Man film to shame in how it handles the struggle between man and machine. The “I’m dying, woe is me” mess of Iron Man 2 is downgraded to much more effective panic attacks. We all know Tony Stark is the role RDJ was born to play, and in this one he really brings all his experience to the fore: the dizzying highs and crashing lows that Tony experiences are no doubt aided by RDJ’s own struggles. The villains are great – Ben Kingsley turns in a fantastic performance that I don’t want to spoil, and Guy Pearce is pure evil under simmering charm – and the good guys even better. Tony and Pepper are dynamite in this movie, and I swear I’ve never liked Gwyneth so much in my life.

Pepper Potts and Rebecca Hall’s Dr. Maya Hansen make a good case in support of a point I’ve been mulling over for a while. There should be more women in films. I’d love for there to be a whole movie like this where most of the characters are female. These are comic book movies, existing within a certain universe, and you still see several sexist moments – girls in bikinis swanning around rich guys’ mansions here, a beauty pageant there. But Pepper and Maya are good female characters. Pepper has crowning moments of serious awesome in this movie, and Maya is complex and interesting in her own right. Just having more female characters isn’t the point – we need more characters like these ones, who are cool and have their own agenda and are their own people. I would love a female superhero movie as much as the next girl, and don’t feel satiated by the fact that a lot of the supporting female characters are cool, but they are cool.

This movie would be almost perfect except the part where Guy Pearce has dragon tattoos and breathes fire.

Iron Man 3 on IMDb

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