After headlining two of his own movies and teaming up to save the world in
So it goes in his latest outing,
In a positive review for the Times, Kenneth Turan calls "Iron Man 3" a "spiritual reboot" and says, "like a stunt driver taking over the wheel while the car is moving at 100 mph, new director (and co-writer) Shane Black has managed to change this billion-dollar-plus franchise's tone for the better while keeping the same actor as Tony Stark." The most interesting thing about the film, Turan adds, "is that, far from being slicker than the first two versions, it is unexpectedly — and successfully — darker and more serious than its predecessors."
While the film "does tend to fall back on massive explosions and action set pieces as the conclusion nears," it also "creates the kind of jeopardy we can believe in, and for a superhero movie, that is an accomplishment in and of itself."
Dargis also criticizes the film for exploiting the specter of terrorism as a plot device without really saying anything about it: "Mr. Black and his colleagues, like other filmmakers who use the iconography of Sept. 11 and its aftershocks, want to have it both ways. They want to tap into the powerful reactions those events induced, while dodging the complex issues and especially the political arguments that might turn off ticket buyers."
Also turning in fine performances are
Ann Hornaday of the
Hornaday does concede that the film has its bright spots, including "a fine ensemble," and says it "ends with a tone of finality which, even if it's ersatz, feels like a well-earned respite."
And thanks to Black, Burr says, "a little oddball cleverness does sneak into the mayhem."
Joe Morgenstern of the
Ultimately, Morgenstern says, "'Iron Man 3' is an industrial enterprise fabricated for kids, and they will eat it up just as eagerly as the Iron Giant scarfed scrap metal. If you're not a kid, though, or if you want to keep your memories of the first