Trailer Tuesday: Iron Man 3

A costumed hero whose attitude has turned sober and contemplative.
A menacing international terrorist with a booming voice.
A hero broken by booming-voiced terrorist, stripped of his toys and made to watch the destruction of his world.
A hero, isolated and forced to reinvent himself, relying on only his (distinctly human) wit and will.
A general downbeat tone...

Why, Iron Man 3 looks to be the Dark Knight Rises of the Marvel film series.

Not that I'm being condescending.

I'm actually really excited for the second sequel centred on Tony Stark, Marvel's genius billionaire industrialist playboy - played with cocky delight by Robert Downey, Jr. And my enthusiasm is despite the alright but otherwise underwhelming Iron Man 2. The original Iron Man (my review) is probably still my favourite Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, and I would love to be blown away all over again.

Anyway, what's to look forward to this time? Well, with writer-director Shane Black taking over directing duties from Jon Favreau, Iron Man 3 seems to be combining several elements from the comic book. Most notably, Ben Kingsley joins the cast as a more "real world take" on the Mandarin, Tony Stark's greatest enemy. Meanwhile, the War Machine armour (worn by Don Cheadle's Rhodes) is given an "Iron Patriot" makeover by the US military authorities. Oh, and crucially, Tony Stark has to contend with doubts about Iron Man's role in a post-Avengers world. After all, he is just  "a man in a tin can" that will never respond as quickly and intuitively to his thoughts as his own body. Enter scientists Guy Pearce and Rebecca Hall, with the Extremis nanotechnology of Warren Ellis and Adi Granov's popular 2005-2006 comic arc (which already heavily influenced the first Iron Man film).

Of course with all these disparate plot elements, Iron Man 3 - which is screening in converted 3D, alas! - runs the risk of feeling overstuffed as a 2 hour film. But I guess we just have to be hopeful that, as per The Avengers (my review), the perfect balance of parts is found.

For the record Gwyneth Paltrow and Jon Favreau return as Tony Stark's love interest, "Pepper" Potts and bodyguard/chauffeur Happy Hogan, respectively.

 Despite opening a week earlier in Europe (24-26 April), Iron Man 3 releases in the US and South Africa on the same day: 3 May 2013.


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