Jon Faverau, who also plays Stark’s bodyguard in each movie, has passed on directing duties to Shane Black. Black is most famous for scripting seminal action screenplays of the ’80s and ’90s (Leathal Weapon, The Last Boy Scout) and his directorial debut, 2005’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, a film that helped launch Downey’s modern career renaissance. Black also wrote Iron Man 3‘s screenplay, continuing the auteuristic trend of recent comic book films (Christopher Nolan and his Dark Knight trilogy, Joss Whedon and his Avengers).
And now an early consensus is emerging as we post the international reviews.
“Easily the most entertaining film in the series,” writes Andy Lea of the Daily Star, “A good deal of the credit must go to writer-director Shane Black, who proves to be the perfect choice to clean up the franchise after the ponderous Iron Man 2.”
“Iron Man 3 is smart, funny and spectacular,” agrees Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian, “It is quality Friday night entertainment: the innocent pleasure of the week.”
Iron Man 3 does some daring things with the tone, something critics are alluding to without specific details.
“Given that so many of today’s action films are crafted from the same mould, it was a pleasant surprise to see Iron Man 3 taking a few chances and offering a few unexpected twists — both dramatic and comedic,” says The Film Pie’s Matthew Toomey, “If there’s a weakness, it’s the action scenes. It feels like they’ve been edited by someone with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder. There’s way too much going on at once.”
Time Out’s Tom Huddleston offers the most lukewarm appraisal: “The result is a film which never settles into a comfortable groove. It tries to be an angsty Dark Knight-style game changer, an ’80s-throwback action romp, a nudge-wink pastiche and a CG-fuelled spectacular. It’s undeniably entertaining — and worth seeing for Kingsley alone — with the misfires never fully overshadowing the moments of glory.”