Tomatometer Watch: Iron Man 3

Can you guess the movie's Tomatometer?

by Alex Vo | Thursday, Apr. 25 2013

Iron Man 3

78%

It's only been a year since The Avengers assembled and saved the world, but Robert Downey Jr. is itching to put on his Mark III britches. With premieres in the UK and New Zealand under its belt, Iron Man 3 continues the global rollout: the film is out in several more European countries tomorrow, all leading up to the May 3 release date in Tony Stark's own United States.

The new film is set in the immediate aftermath of The Avengers, which has left Tony Stark traumatized and despondent, his social withdrawal creating tension with Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow). Ben Kingsley shows up as a mysterious terrorist called The Mandarin, along with new faces Guy Pearce and Rebecca Hall, and Don Cheadle hanging in the wings as Stark's closest frenemy, War Machine.
Jon Faverau, who also plays Stark's bodyguard in each movie, has passed on directing duties to Shane Black. Black is most famous for scripting seminal action screenplays of the '80s and '90s (Leathal Weapon, The Last Boy Scout) and his directorial debut, 2005's Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, a film that helped launch Downey's modern career renaissance. Black also wrote Iron Man 3's screenplay, continuing the auteuristic trend of recent comic book films (Christopher Nolan and his Dark Knight trilogy, Joss Whedon and his Avengers).

And now an early consensus is emerging as we post the international reviews.

"Easily the most entertaining film in the series," writes Andy Lea of the Daily Star, "A good deal of the credit must go to writer-director Shane Black, who proves to be the perfect choice to clean up the franchise after the ponderous Iron Man 2."

"Iron Man 3 is smart, funny and spectacular," agrees Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian, "It is quality Friday night entertainment: the innocent pleasure of the week."

Iron Man 3 does some daring things with the tone, something critics are alluding to without specific details.

"Given that so many of today's action films are crafted from the same mould, it was a pleasant surprise to see Iron Man 3 taking a few chances and offering a few unexpected twists -- both dramatic and comedic," says The Film Pie's Matthew Toomey, "If there's a weakness, it's the action scenes. It feels like they've been edited by someone with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder. There's way too much going on at once."

Time Out's Tom Huddleston offers the most lukewarm appraisal: "The result is 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."

The final Tomatometer for Iron Man in 2008 was 93%, while Iron Man 2 scored lower with 73%. What do you think of the reviews so far, and what do you think Iron Man 3's final Tomatometer will be?

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