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Iron Man 3 - The Blu Ray review

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Threequels - always a tricky hurdle to overcome, but as you may have seen during its big screen release, Marvel pulled off a master stroke hiring Shane Black to co-script and direct Iron Man 3.
King of the blockbuster screenplay, his work on Lethal Weapon and The Long Kiss Goodnight injected a freshness to the action genre that many scribes tried to emulate.

Back in the days when Robert Downey Jnr was almost unemployable, Joel Silver gave Black a few million dollars to write and direct Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. It was witty, exciting and proved RDJ was a great leading man.

Fast forward to 2013, and the boys reunited, doing what they do best: creating fun, witty, occasionally intelligent, exciting cinema.

By now you may know the plot for IM3.
Tony Stark (RDJ) can't sleep; terrorist The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) is wreaking havoc, while newcomer Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) is a smug entrepreneur keen on mucking about with Extremis, a scientific theory about regeneration.
And Jim Rhodes (Don Cheadle) looks like Captain America in an Iron Man suit as government-backed defender Iron Patriot.

When Stark's chauffeur/security head Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) is left hospital-bound after a Mandarin attack, Stark promises revenge, gives his home address, and is amazed when helicopters turn up and level the place.
Oh and Gwyneth Paltrow and Rebecca Hall trade dirty looks at one another as Stark's girlfriend and ex respectively.

The second act sees Stark stripped of his suit, teamed up with a smart kid whose snappy repertoire is a perfect match for Tony, and then all hell breaks loose in small town America. (Arguably the weakest part).

Thanks to a great twist, IM3 takes a sharp left hand turn, before the inevitable whiz, whiz, bang, bang finale with dozens of Iron Man suits and explosions.

The last 20 minutes is fun but overkill. However, the closing titles are a supercharged flash frame orgy of clips set to Brian Tyler's hip retro theme. One of the best things about the film.
I never tire of those credits, the best of the year in my opinion.

Yes, there's a credit cookie, so fast forward for that, and despite a sense of finality about the closing scenes, I'd be amazed if Stark and company didn't return in a few years. After all, the 1.2billion dollar gross on a reported 200m dollar budget is not a bad chunk of change.

I saw the movie twice on the big screen, in DBox/3D, and vanilla flavour 2D.
Normally I can take or leave stereoscopy, but that second, flat viewing made me realise how much better a movie can be with a rattling chair and three dimensional visuals.

The good news is it loses little on Blu Ray. The uber crisp picture and thunderous soundtrack is well worth a few extra quid, as is the witty yack track by Black and Brit co-writer Drew Pearce.

However, one of the best additions is Agent Carter, the short film which sees the return of Hayley Atwell's feisty WWII crime buster.
A couple of years ago I'd chatted to her as she plugged Captain America on DVD, and was keen to see if she'd return in Avengers Assemble.
Alas, no trace, despite that open-ended, touching sign off in which she said goodbye to beefed up love interest Steve Rogers (Chris Evans).

Reminiscent of A Matter of Life and Death, Rogers' final act of Forties bravery, to crash a huge plane before a spell in suspended animation, may have been fantasy, but the storyline was touching enough to be a nagging loose end.

Yes, we may see it pay off in upcoming Cap sequel, The Winter Soldier, but for now at least we get a small sense of closure with Agent Carter, a likeable short, nicely scripted and acted, with a top turn from Ms Atwell.

I for one wouldn't mind seeing an Agent Carter feature. Her fight against wartime bad guys and sexist colleagues is a story well worth revisiting.

As for Iron Man 4? Well, as mentioned in a previous blog for The Way Way Back, I wouldn't mind seeing Sam Rockwell stepping into the armour at some point.
Yes, he was in IM2, but I prefer to ignore that half-baked effort.
He has the right look and personality needed to help take Marvel's most lucrative hero into the future... after RDJ has had enough of course.

Iron Man 3 is out now on DVD and Blu Ray