Matt Adcock’s film review: Iron Man 3

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“Hi, I’m Tony Stark. I build neat stuff, I’ve got a great girl, occasionally I save the world. So why can’t I sleep?”

Yes, the wisecracking, heavy metal-suited superhero Iron Man is back, fresh from helping his fellow Avengers thwart an all- out alien invasion.

Life should be good for brilliant industrialist Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) but he’s wracked with anxiety attacks as a result of his near-death exploits to save the planet.

To make matters worse, a massive new threat has emerged in the form of an uberterrorist called The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) who apparently has no limit in his bloodthirsty campaign to ‘teach America a lesson…’

Iron Man 3 has a lot to live up to after the billion dollar success of The Avengers.

It’s the first release of Marvel Studios’ Phase Two superhero films that will lead up to the second super team collaboration – coming soon are Captain America: Winter Soldier and Thor: The Dark World.

So can the slick armoured Iron Man still deliver on his own terms? One word: Yesyesyes.

New director to the series Shane ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’ Black takes over with much gusto and delivers a film that succeeds as an amazingly entertaining spectacle, complete with all the explosions, death defying acrobatics and jaw dropping action you could wish for.

Black is a dab hand at comedy, too, and Downey has the lead role nailed in getting the right mix of funnies, trauma and heroics.

Everything works really well. As well as the truly menacing villains – The Mandarin is backed up by mad scientist Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) – there are some nice new allies, too.

The pick of them is a young kid named Harley (Ty Simpkins), who gets his geeky dreams fulfilled by being able to help Iron Man in his hour of need.

The cast includes returning roles for Stark’s love interest Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and James Rhodes/War Machine (Don Cheadle) but it is Kingsley, in supercharged scenery-chewing mode, who steals the show, obviously relishing his role almost as much as Downey does his.

Iron Man 3 brings the trilogy to a satisfying conclusion – it’s best not to know too much about the plot but you can be assured that there are some great swerves that will keep you glued to the screen for the two hours and more of running time.

The blockbuster season for 2013 has just blasted off in fine style!