God knows, I loved The Avengers. It was one of my 2012 faves because it had everything the best comics had: death-defying wit, globe-shattering action, and a dynamic that touched on the dramatic core of its super-characters just enough to gift the film perfect balance. The Avengers, at its very best, was peerless action-comedy-drama wrapped around an unprecedented idea: not one superhero, but five.
Iron Man Three, comparatively, cluelessly clanks around its solitary fresh thought – that Tony Stark is suffering from post-wormhole panic attacks - for over an hour before deciding to just give it up and go for the big blow out - just like it gives up all the tension it builds around The Mandarin and Aldrich Killian trying to double-team Iron Man off the planet. Here were two foes who could finally be worthy of Stark’s wrath, two adversaries who were far more than just variants on a supersuit, and the movie just gives them up because it can’t fight against the overwhelming desire to let Robert Downey Jnr be a charming wise-ass.
At one point Stark loses everything he truly loves, but it has no dramatic effect on the character whatsoever - there’s no rage, no despair, no tears; just another pre-detonation punch line and a solution that’s literally more of the same: not one suit but…well, you get the idea.
Tony Stark, as a character, is beginning to bore me. As he’s currently the lynch-pin of the Marvel universe, that should be a cause for concern for someone. I’m more than reasonably disappointed that that someone wasn’t Shane Black.
Roomy rating: 6