After two Iron Man movies, The Avengers and cameos in other Marvel pictures, it’s hard to tell what Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) has left to prove. He still delivers a quip better than any other superhero in the biz; the suit is still cool; and the villains still seem beneath him. But it’s fun.

The glue in all this silliness is Downey. His natural charm and charisma go a long way in Iron Man 3’s more absurd moments. For example, whose idea was it (co-writer and director Shane Black?) to remind us over and over that Stark and Co. just defeated a bunch of aliens? Call me crazy, but aliens (The Avengers) seem tougher to defeat than a guy who’s trying to turn people into bombs. That’s the plot in Iron Man 3, but at least Guy Pearce is the villain. (Again: charisma.) 

The worst thing that happens to Tony here is the occasional anxiety attack and the destruction of his home. Otherwise, are we in any doubt? There’s also the question of whether the filmmakers are too cavalier about terrorism—but remember, it’s a comic book. Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle return. By the bye, the 3-D really kills John Toll’s cinematography.


Directed by Shane Black

With Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow and Guy Pearce

Regal Santa Fe Stadium 14

129 min.