IRON MAN 3 - HOME RELEASE (BLU-RAY)
Release Date: Monday 9 September 2013
Director: Shane Black
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Ben Kingsley,
Home Release Reviewed: UK Blu-Ray Release (1 Disc)
Reviewed by Kyle Pedley
Robert Downey Jnr’s ever-popular Tony Stark returns for the fourth (including Avengers Assemble) and potentially final time as his world is brought to fire and ruin at the hands of elusive yet deadly terrorist The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) in Marvel’s Iron Man 3. Coming off the back of the disappointing 2nd installment in the franchise, followed by the subsequent commercial and critical success of Avengers, Iron Man 3 had a considerable amount of expectations and responsibility on its iron-clad shoulders.
Thankfully it is a solid, suitably character-driven slice of superhero spectacle and fun which continues to find much of its charm and appeal courtesy of Downey Jnr’s winning central turn which remains fresh, funny and consistently engaging, even with the more insular, troubled character he has become after his New York shenanigans with the Avengers. For action purists and a younger audience there is a little muddying of the plot and slowing of the pace in the middle portion of the film in particular, with subplots such as Stark’s anxiety attacks feeling purposeful yet a little shoehorned in and ultimately not particularly well resolved. The film does kick up the ante for a suitably bombastic, visceral and satisfying extended finale, but never quite reaches the dizzying heights of spectacle and awe that we saw the same character headline with Avengers last year.
If Iron Man 3 is to be the last in the series, then it goes out on a decidedly more worthwhile high than the disappointing first sequel. True, there’s not altogether that much of the titular superhero in action, the motives and plot twists of the movies villainy is at times both hackneyed (get the President!) and unclear (Sales? Cover-up? Weaponisation?) but overall there is plenty to enjoy and appreciate in this slightly muddled but thoroughly entertaining slice of superhero goodness with that quintessential Marvel gloss and glean.
In all, the Blu-Ray release of Iron Man 3 provides a fairly standard collection of supplementary features with the usual collection of deleted scenes, a gag reel which unsurprisingly is mostly courtesy of Downey Jnr, and a collection of fairly short ‘making-of’ featurettes which do a decent but de facto job as far as such features go. There’s an enjoyable, easy-going writer-director commentary by Shane Black and Drew Pearce, as well as an incredibly brief (under 2 minutes) behind-the-scenes preview of the upcoming Thor: The Dark World.
The real highlight of the bonus features, particularly for Marvel enthusiasts and fans of their ‘cinematic universe’, is the 15 minute Marvel One-Shot short film Agent Carter which is included on the disc. Serving as a wonderful epilogue of sorts to Captain America: The First Avenger, the short depicts what happened to Hayley Atwell’s character of Peggy after the events of the film. It is a further indicator of the care and attention Marvel Studios and producer Kevin Feige are putting into rounding out the filmic representation of their beloved franchises and characters, and is a wonderful short in and of itself, depicting Peggy’s ascent into S.H.I.E.L.D. after a brilliantly executed and kinectic mission she defies orders to complete by herself. Compact, beautifully shot, acted and choreographed, and with a fan pleasing cameo or two, it is as much a draw for this home release as the main Iron Man 3 feature itself.
MOVIE RATING: * * * (3 out of 5 Stars)
HOME RELEASE (transfer, bonus features etc.): * * * * (4 out of 5 Stars)
IRON MAN 3 is released on Blu-Ray, DVD, Ultraviolet and Digital Formats nationwide in the UK on Monday 9 September 2013.
This review copy of Iron Man 3 was provided courtesy of Walt Disney Home Entertainment, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company UK and Ireland, directly. (A)musings Media gratefully acknowledges their contribution and support.