Starring : Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Jon Favreau, Ben Kingsley, Paul Bettany, William Sadler, Dale Dickey

Director :

Release Date : 3 May 2013

How do you follow up a movie like The Avengers? By going back to the superhero who kickstarted the entire franchise of course; and boy, does good old Tony Stark deliver.

Based loosely on Warren Ellis’ stellar Extremis storyline in the Invincible Iron Man comic, Iron Man 3 pits Tony Stark against a cold-blooded terrorist called the Mandarin, as well as Advanced Idea Mechanics’ Aldrich Killian and his army of genetically enhanced soldiers.

For some reason, Stark isn’t able to call upon his Avengers buddies for help (Thor could have helped juice up his Mark 42 suit when it ran out of power, for instance), so the bad guys are free to wreak havoc upon his world, destroying his beautiful hilltop mansion and threatening the love of his life, Pepper Potts.

The decision to have Stark spend most of the movie outside his armour pays off tremendously for director Shane Black, especially since the “Man” in “Iron Man” is infinitely more expressive and interesting than the suit itself.

Charming and sarcastically witty without ever seeming snarky, this is probably RDJ’s best turn in the role.

The added time out of the armour allows him to make the character more likable than ever, and when he does don it, the combination of action and comedy makes the set pieces among the best in the entire Marvel movie franchise.

Iron Man 3 is probably the best one of the trilogy. There, I’ve said it.

It is definitely better than the clunky (and clanging) second, and although it doesn’t have the freshness and novelty of the first, it is still better in terms of execution, story and action.

But what really made me love this one more is the fact that Black decided to completely ignore the potential backlash from rabid comic fanboys, and just go with a story that turned this into one heck of an entertaining superhero movie.

That man has some solid iron bolts and nuts indeed.