And maybe my enjoyment of Iron Man 3 was affected by the fact I'm just not a big fan of the Pepper Potts character. Because she's such a key player in this third film and her role in the plot is nearly as important as Tony Stark's, Iron Man 3 felt as though the time spent with Rhodey (Don Cheadle) and the villains - Aldrich Killian (played by Guy Pearce) and The Mandarin (played by Sir Ben Kingsley) - was minimized to allow for room for more Pepper. Of the supporting players, Pepper's the least interesting of the batch, even with the neat little character twist that turns Pepper from assistant/girlfriend into something much more fierce.
Speaking of character twists...there's a doozy involved in Iron Man 3 which is like visiting Vegas in a lot of ways. What happens in Iron Man 3 stays in the theater - or at least stays out of reviews. What can be said is that Tony's messed up from trying to deal with that massive fight in New York that found him fighting aliens and fighting alongside a Hulk, a demigod, and a super soldier. Tony can't wrap his mind around what happened and has become an invention-obsessed insomniac who's distanced himself from Pepper and the world. But of course a mopey Tony wouldn't make for a great two hour action film no matter how cool the Iron Man suit or gadgets are, so he's forced back into action by the appearance of a terrorist named The Mandarin who's making this fight very, very personal.
Iron Man 3 has all the major action scenes you'd expect from a Marvel superhero film as well as quieter moments mixed in. Director Shane Black is up to the task of bringing supercharged fight sequences to the screen in a manner that lives up to the work done in prior Iron Man movies (although they pale in comparison to Whedon's The Avengers). Newbie cast members Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce, and Rebecca Hall are fine additions to the Iron Man world, with Kingsley's scenery-chewing actually completely right for the character.
So why didn't Iron Man 3 live up to its hype? It's hard to put into words, but it left me empty. Sure, it's a big-budget popcorn movie and fun enough while it lasts, but I'm not going to pre-order the DVD and watch it as soon as it's released. Once is enough for Iron Man 3. Oh, and don't bother with the 3D. It was completely useless and the glasses more of a distraction than an enhancement to the film. The 3D didn't add any depth to the image nor did anything in particular stand out that would make the extra money for a 3D ticket in any way worthwhile.
Iron Man 3 was directed by Shane Black and is rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief suggestive content.
Theatrical Release: May 3, 2013