When Tony Stark’s friend and bodyguard is seriously hurt during a series of bombings, he swears revenge and becomes the target of a mysterious terrorist known as The Mandarin.
Shane Black takes over the helm of the Iron Man franchise and rekindles the partnership with its star for the hugely enjoyable post modern Noir Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. It shares the sardonic wit and banter of that film and injects a lot more humour into the story, concentrating more on the character of Tony Stark than his super-powered alter ego. Separating the two makes for a more satisfying story arc than the gizmo-orientated second instalment, especially since Iron Man is one of the few superheroes that are rather less interesting and entertaining than their “secret” identities. Unsurprisingly the set pieces are extremely well done, but the human angle makes them rather more suspenseful and the finale involving a cadre of customised suits schools Michael Bay in how a robotic action free-for-all should be done. The pacing is perhaps a little uneven and the inclusion of a kiddie side-kick questionable, but it has some great moments and the twist in the tale revolving around The Mandarin is a great idea.
A quality summer blockbuster.