‘Iron Man 3′ Flies High in First Reviews
Is 'Iron Man 3' sitting pretty already? (Photo: Marvel Studios)
The reviews are starting to zoom in, and it looks like "Iron Man 3" is going to be a hit -- with critics, at least. And they all seem to be noting one thing: The film is funny, in spite of all that dark seriousness that's been in the film's trailers.
Of course, barring disaster, everyone knows that Robert Downey Jr.'s latest turn as Tony Stark will dominate the box office when it opens in the U.S. on May 3. But the picture debuts today in several European and Asian markets, opens in the UK tomorrow, and has been screened for the international entertainment press.
As the first reviews hit the streets the word is good – critics are praising the film as exciting, clever and funny, and calling it an improvement over "Iron Man 2."
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"Iron Man returns refreshed and ready for action in this spirited third installment of the thus-far $1.2 billion-grossing Marvel franchise," Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter declared. "In a way a double-sequel, both to 'Iron Man 2' and to last year's mega-hit 'The Avengers,' 'Iron Man 3' benefits immeasurably from the irreverent quicksilver humor of co-writer and director Shane Black, whose obvious rapport with Robert Downey Jr. in his only other directorial outing, 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,' is further manifest here," McCarthy wrote.
The THR critic also had high praise for leading man Downey ("The star executes almost continual verbal pirouettes, barking out sardonic quips and rejoinders even in moments of greatest distress but, due to his exceptional lingual dexterity, it rarely gets old and never seems condescending to the admittedly cartoonish context") and the film's two villains, Guy Pearce as Aldrich Killian ("Pearce brings an arresting presence to his role as an egghead villain") and Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin ("a fabulously accoutered and adorned Kingsley has a field day as the elusive Mandarin").
Peter Bradshaw, critic for the British news site The Guardian, also gave IM3 high marks, giving it four out of five stars. Bradshaw praised the cast, called the film "luxury superhero entertainment," and described director Black as "the Aaron Sorkin of action comedy." "'Iron Man 3' is smart, funny and spectacular," Bradshaw wrote. "Stark now probably succeeds Chaplin as Downey's key creation as an actor, loosing off funny lines with virtuoso skill, throwing away gags and delaying punchlines: Alec Baldwin does something similar, but in a more reflective style. This may not be to everyone's taste and some odd repeated jokes about Christmas indicate that a different release date may have been planned. But it is quality Friday night entertainment: the innocent pleasure of the week."