Movie Review: Iron Man 3 (2013) -- Updated

Tagline: "Goodbye--Iron Man."
"Ever since the dude with the hammer fell out of the sky, subtlety kind of had its day," declares Guy Pearce's character in Iron Man 3. Indeed, this film actually verbalizes its themes, saving me the trouble, but it does so earnestly and with such flair that I must bow to its commitment to the "there is no subtlety" message.

The bottom line of the poster to the left says:  "One year after the fight in The Avengers -- everything has changed." In fact, the movie starts before Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) had his life-changing experience in Afghanistan. Groundwork is laid. Forward to the present: Tony is now unable to sleep and tinkers endlessly in his workshop. While he deals with what is clearly PTSD, a man calling himself The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) escalates a campaign of terror. Brashly, Tony challenges the Mandarin, which leads to [REDACTED].

No spoilers here. It's a testament to the strength of the writing that there was a point when I thought it was all so predictable, only to have my expectations subverted. I was literally biting my nails as events unfolded. (Note to self: cut nails.)

It does get formulaic near the end -- almost like the director had a checklist of things to systematically wrap up -- but, hey, it's a comic book movie. It does what it does.

Apart from that, the only other thing I'll say is that the action scenes were spectacular, Stark's one-liners are brilliant, and you will probably clap at the end. I did.

I'm going to watch it again. This time, I'll likely have a proper nerd with me who will also wait to see the Easter Egg after the credits. If you've seen it, you smug bastards, don't tell me! DON'T TELL ME! I'M NOT LISTENING LALALALA~

In short: Iron Man 3 is terrific. Let the summer blockbuster season begin!

***

Update, 5/6/2013: Watched it again the next morning. I thought the script dealt elegantly with the disposal of the other Extremis agents -- let the third-tiers duke it out! Also, Don Cheadle's been working out, did anyone notice? Just me?

In any case, the second viewing was as enjoyable as the first. The interaction between Tony Stark and the kid played by Ty Simpkins (Insidious) is hilarious. I recommend watching past the ending credits. That way, the voice-over narration will make sense, and you will LOL.

This update brought to you by banana hazelnut coffee.