x's Review of Iron Man 3
Iron Man 3(2013)
Tony Stark's third solo outing is his biggest and busiest yet, with funnier gags and higher stakes, but combining these two only builds on the problem at the heart of the series' dramaturgy. As played by Robert Downey, Jr., Stark's most appealing trait may be his insouciance, that impossibly fast wit that makes light of what the audience also knows are ridiculous circumstances. While this helps us identify with him, it has always created the problem of keeping us skeptical of threat. We believe in Stark, but not his world. This time around, though this dissonance takes some air out of the climax, it also drives the movie's best ideas - subversions of expectation like Ben Kingsley's transformation, and the hero being forced to MacGyver his way out of trouble instead of blast through it with digital effects. These inspired choices are the movie's much-needed signature, the exciting result of a storyteller's voice struggling to penetrate strategically-designed corporate machinery.