Premise: Presenting as almost a mulligan on Iron Man 2 , Iron Man 3  presents a similar narrative as the previous film albeit presented in a way that is more fitting with the first film. Terrorist group headed by The Mandarin which is attempting to undermine America’s global presence and attack Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) head on by using a genetically enhanced super soldier.
Story: Seemingly attempting to reprise the concept of the second film but dial down the presentation to something a little more succinct the story handles a little more gracefully. While lacking the overall depth of the first film, this is still a worthwhile addition to the franchise (of course omitting the second entirely). The film unfortunately does little to deepen or otherwise modify the by-the-numbers nature of the narrative other than to present a little more prominently Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr.) slowly fracturing psyche as he struggles to balance his personal, profession and superhero lives. It still makes for an enjoyable viewing experience however, largely carried by the powerhouse performances by Pearce and Kingsley.
Acting: While the overall density of the film is arguably less sophisticated than the first film, it makes up for it with absolutely power house performances. Guy Pearce and Ben Kingsley are especially engaging who commit head and heart to their roles, of which Kingsley is especially notable.
Execution: The driving force behind this film is most assuredly the acting. The narrative is not quite deep enough that the film would have operated nearly as effectively had Kingsley or Pearce been cast otherwise. The overused instances of nearly slap-stick style humor detracts from the serious of the themes and the writing would have benefitted more had the character of Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) be presented a little less comically inept or possibly even eliminated entirely. All technical elements of the film are suitably represented and the film holds together for its 130 minute run time with only a few periods of slowdowns.
Overall Impression: All told, it’s a relief for a film as tolerable as this to follow the disappointment that was Iron Man 2. It would have been nicer still for the film to have borne a similar depth of the original, but alas, it is no less a marked improvement from the second. There are few faults with this film other than its distinctive lack of risk taking. It will be interesting to see where the film franchise goes from here.
- powerful performances by all, a more engaging plot than 2
- can be draggy at times, no risks taken by the filmmakers, bland at times