It had little of the wit and charm of the original Iron Man. Lots of confused, slam-bang “action,” though. Not as much heart.
There were some reliably good turns in Iron Man 3: Robert Downey Jr. as the titular superhero, Gwyneth Paltrow as girlfriend Pepper Potts, Ben Kingsley (who nearly steals the show) as an evil terrorist who’s not what he seems. But it all felt like stuff I’ve seen before, and there wasn’t as much of a focus on Downey’s character’s own demons … his alcoholism, for example. So there’s no real growth or arc. He doesn’t really change.
OK, I’m not expecting a kind of Shakespearean transformation here. It is a superhero movie, after all. Still, the strength and smarts of the first Iron Man made me expect something a bit larger-scale, from a psychological perspective, than what Iron Man 3 turned out to be – which was merely modest entertainment. A good superhero flick can transcend its genre. This one didn’t.
I’m assuming this franchise will continue to churn out additional installments. So be it. Do we need them, though? I say: Only if they approach the quality of the original. And I’m not sanguine about the prospects of that.