To some, the idea of letting Shane Black, the creator and writer of the Lethal Weapon series, Last Action Hero, The Last Boy Scout, and the amazing Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, be the director of Iron Man 3 seemed like a weird joke. What kind of results would come out of Shane Black writing what is essentially a Disney movie? After all, you can call Shane Black a lot of things, but family friendly isn’t really one of them. All of that aside though, it’s safe to say that what you’ll get out of Iron Man 3 is a solid Shane Black movie, which is always a good thing. It might not be the movie that fanboys will fawn over, but it does a great job in kicking off phase 2 of Marvel’s future cinematic takeover.
Iron Man 3 picks up after the events of the alien invasion that nearly destroyed New York. Tony, now alone and nowhere near the rest of the Avengers has to cope with the anxiety attacks that seem to occur whenever he thinks of his near death experience. Pepper Potts, is in charge of Stark Enterprises now and Happy, Tony’s bodyguard and lifelong friend is head of security because Iron Man doesn’t need a freaking bodyguard. Even Tony’s best friend, Colonel James Rhodes seems to be flourishing as the United States one man army, War Machine.
While his friends are doing well, Tony isn’t sleeping and so he does what he does best, he tinkers and builds more Iron Man suits. His lack of sleep isn’t done any favors when a new villain emerges from the shadows and poses an imminent threat to the safety of the citizens of the United States. One of the Mandarin’s attacks lands a little too close to home and injures Happy pushing Tony suddenly on the warpath, perhaps a little overzealously so.
It’s hard to review this movie without being a little spoilery, so be warned very mild spoilers ahead.
The problems with this movie that people might have are only mild at best. Similar to The Dark Knight Rises, Tony isn’t in the suit very much. He has to rely on his intellect once his ego gets the better of him and in that respect, this is where Iron Man 3 is a fantastic Shane Black movie. All of the actors involved do a great job, because they’re directed great. Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle’s characters are all given meaningful things to do, and their characters are really expanded upon. And although the time in the suit isn’t very long, when Iron Man is on screen, it’s truly fantastic and some of the best Iron Man visuals of the franchise.
While some out there might not have wanted a Shane Black superhero film, he does amazing things within this world. It’s funny when it needs to be, and even when it doesn’t need to be. It’s tense when it needs to be, and it is so incredibly tense at times. Marvel’s Phase 2 plan to start a new mega-franchise that will ultimately culminate in The Avengers 2 is off to a good start, and all thanks to one of the most talented guys in the industry, Mr. Shane Black.