Scott Davis reports from today’s London press preview of one of 2013’s biggest films: the return of Tony Stark in Iron Man 3 (if you’ve not seen the trailers and TV spots, there are some minor spoilers ahead)…
“You’ll never see me coming.”
Unlike the legendary villain The Mandarin from the Marvel and Iron Man universe states so chillingly in the newest trailer, we will definitely see the new Tony Stark adventure coming. And in some style, if the Iron Man 3 taster footage screened for press today in London was anything to go by.
Giving us a taster of what is to come next month, today’s preview footage looks mightily impressive. The main chunk of proceedings was a look at the already teased-in-the-trailers scene that sees Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr.) ocean-view home suddenly blown to kingdom come by helicopters, led by James Badge Dale’s mysterious Eric Savin. Tony, in the house trying to cope with the arrival of Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall) as well as Pepper Potts’ (Gwyneth Paltrow) insistence of a holiday, is alerted to the approaching helicopters, which proceed to empty lots of explosives on the prime real-estate.
It’s a brilliant orchestrated scene, reminiscent of The Dark Knight Rises‘ depiction of a demolished Gotham in terms of scope and orchestration, and puts Tony in real danger of not making it to the other side. The CGI and direction (and wit) that Shane Black and company. have seemingly brought to the film looks and feels much more real-world, and more Iron Man, than the comic-book excesses of its sequel Iron Man 2.
The biggest thrill of the scene has to be the introduction of Tony’s latest amour, Mark 42, which with its advanced nano-technology, is his (and the franchise’s) best invention. Mark 42 allows Tony to use his mind to manipulate the suit, and there’s no better example of its capabilities than here. Such is the suit’s ability, he is able to not only attach it to himself whenever he needs, but he can attach the suit on others, shown in superb fashion as he uses the suit to protect Pepper, which fully envelopes her to protect her from the blasts, essentially become Iron
It’s a truly superb scene, and although not completely finished, it’s already shaping us as this year’s most breathtaking moment. Until a certain Man of Steel takes flight once more.
In addition, a short teaser of the film’s main villains was shown, with the aforementioned Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) and Guy Pearce’s Aldrich Killian, the man who created a killer virus known as Extremis with Maya Hansen in the comics. From what seems like a set-up for The Mandarin (known as “The Master” to his lackeys) to record a video message to presumably coax Stark into playing, it looks like our hero(es) will have their work cut out once again.
Iron Man 3 was already shaping up to be one of the year’s biggest blockbusters, and on this evidence, it may even end up on many a Best of the Year when Santa strolls back into town. Already touted as Marvel’s The Dark Knight in terms of tone, scale and villains who “just want to watch the world burn”, it definitely looks like it’s about to get a whole lot darker in Phase Two for all of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
Shane Black, an odd choice to direct considering his long absence from Hollywood and lack of large-scale experience, looks as if he has done his homework, and coupled with his brand of dark humour and witty dialogue, he may just have struck gold with this three-quel.
As part of today’s press event, Disney also showcased the ‘Become Iron Man’ attraction; visit the official site if you want to sign up to don the Iron Man armor yourself:
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, James Badge Dale, Stephanie Szostak, Paul Bettany, Jon Favreau and Sir Ben Kingsley, Iron Man 3 is unleashed in UK cinemas on April 25th and opens in North America on May 3rd. Stay tuned to Flickering Myth for more Iron Man 3 updates in the run up to the film’s release…