The Good: Iron Man 3 is very entertaining. Even with a pretty straightforward plot, the cast of big name stars does enough to give the picture a large-scale action movie feel. The special effects are pretty amazing, especially when it comes to the numerous occasions when the Iron Man suit assembles/disassembles.
Shane Black, who previously collaborated with Robert Downey Jr on the brilliant Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, definitely has a talent for witty one-liners and irreverent humor. During the non-action sequences, the chemistry between Black and his leading man often shines. Especially fun is a scene when Robert Downey Jr and Ben Kingsley finally meet.
The Bad: As capable as Shane Black is, the movie does have its problems. I found myself preferring to watch more of the exposition than the action.
There's a disconnect between the film's calmer moments and the fight scenes, both of which are excellent but don't quite gel in the same story.
Whereas Kiss Kiss Bang Bang comes across as a film that Shane Black really wanted to make, Iron Man 3 seems to suppress the full range of Black's character interpretation and talent for dialogue.
Halfway through the movie, the viewing experience felt like driving in a nice sports car on an open road while being told you're not allowed to go higher than second gear.
Who would like this movie: Iron Man 3 is a worthy and superior follow-up to the second installment. It's not as pulse-pounding as The Avengers, but does a solid job on its own. The entire cast is well utilized and arguably over-talented for the subject matter (especially the versatile Guy Pearce). If you're looking for a fun action movie, this one delivers.
Shane Black was a great choice for a director, but unfortunately we're only treated to occasional flashes of his talent. It's not his strongest work, and I feel there's so much more he could have done with Robert Downey Jr.
But that being said, the movie still maintains enough enthusiasm to keep us eagerly anticipating the next Marvel productions.
(Barely 3 out of 4 stars)
Review written by: Joe Yang