There is one killer twist in Iron Man 3 and it stands pretty much as a make or break moment. I say ‘pretty much’ because it did something else for me, it stood as a fork in the road and however hard the movie tried to play it off, I still couldn't get over the fact that I didn't know which goddamn road to take.
On the one side we have delirious blockbuster action. And a real case is made for this, with a massive smash-em-up session to end the film with. Every single three-dimensional pixel dedicated to frying your brain, to making your eyeballs pop out of your skulls, to making your ear drums tremor. And in that regard it more than satisfies, with pretty darn incredible looking action sequences. But just like Tennessee, that kind of action can be mind-numbingly cold.
On the other, we have laughs . . . barrels and barrels full of them. Iron Man 3 is hilarious; a comedic triumph of epic proportions. Mainly due to Shane Black’s whip-smart dialogue, which again shows why Downey Jr. is such a perfect fit for the genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist that is Tony Stark. His delivery is truly outstanding.
And then we have a middle-ground, which I am led to believe the filmmakers wanted us to occupy. Part laugh-out-loud comedy, part popcorn-munching action movie, all Iron Man. But it doesn't work, the two elements have no cohesion, and in the end they detract from each other. By, introducing such an out-there twist, Shane Black has doomed Iron Man to the mediocre. Instead of gelling together to form something greater - something Avengers-worthy, even - Iron Man 3 crumbles.
But standing proud in the rubble lays a sense of humour, a wit and, at times, a charm. Oh, and Robert Downey Jr.