ByMatt Carter, writer at
If the zombie apocalypse kicks off you'll find me in the Winchester. @moremattcarter
Matt Carter

Iron Man 3 powers into theaters next week and early reviews are suggesting that this could be the strongest Iron Man movie we've seen so far. It's also the first Marvel movie since the commercial smash-hit The Avengers and the launchpad for the studio's Phase 3.

Indiewire thinkx it's a "solid, sometimes surprising start to marvel's phase two movies," and although the trailers and promos had suggested that this third installment might be a darker take on the character "if anything, it's more committed to the action-comedy feel than the previous installments, even as and co-writer Drew Pearce manage to find space for some strong character work, this is the film that seems to get under Tony Stark's skin the best, and lets find new notes to play."

IGN also agrees that this movie is unique in that "the film is not only a direct follow-up to Iron Man 2 but it also plays as a pseudo-sequel to The Avengers." What follows though is a "back-to-basics" Iron Man story with Stark soon suit-less, homeless and hell-bent on revenge." This is the first movie in the franchise to be directed by Lethal Weapon scribe Black who "injects a healthy dose of fun into proceedings, as well as a fair few twists and turns, though one senses at times he'd like to ignore the New York events altogether to concentrate on his own story." They conclude with "once again Marvel has been proved right, their left-field choice [in recruiting Black] resulting in a comic-book movie that expertly melds action, comedy and drama to become the finest Iron Man movie yet."

THR is equally enthusiastic about the movie, lauding it for its "screwy humor and large-canvas spectacle." However, the Extremis storyline didn't always hit the right notes with them feeling, "the Extremis phenomenon of flammable humans is probably the least appealing element here, as it provokes memories of vaguely cheesy werewolf eyes and Dr. Phibes-like flesh effects."

Time Out London is also not completely sold on the movie, calling it "a mixed bag" but is overall a "scrappy but overwhelmingly likeable superhero sequel." The problem it seems, is it tries to be all movies to all people which results in a film which "never settles into a comfortable groove. It tries to be an angsty 'Dark Knight'-style game changer, an 80s-throwback action romp, a nudge-wink pastiche and a CG-fuelled spectacular. It's undeniably entertaining – and worth seeing for Kingsley alone – with the misfires never fully overshadowing the moments of glory. But in the wake of the triumph of 'The Avengers', 'Iron Man 3' still feels like something of a disappointment."

Variety found Iron Man 3 to be "by far the most digital-looking series entry" and concluded that "perhaps fittingly for a movie that introduces a new generation of remote-guided Iron Man suits, Iron Man 3 all too often feels as if it were assembled by a machine."

The Financial Times revels in the movie's "jivey in-jokes" and Downey's "out-sized charisma," but bar that is just "things blowing up, a great big endless boring noisy confusing nothingness given occasional zip by Gwyneth Paltrow in a temper." Harsh.

Finally Empire praises Shane Black as "the perfect blacksmith, forging smart new tech and scenarios for the swaggering super-genius" and that "people will be talking about Ben Kingsley’s performance for ages to come — it's a tricky, delicate role, handled beautifully." Overall they end the review by saying "if this does turn out to be Downey Jr.'s final solo outing, it's a very strong exit," and you really can't argue with that.

That's enough of the critics' opinion, I want to hear your thoughts on the movie. Use the comment section below to share your opinions on Iron Man 3.



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