Threequels - always a tricky hurdle to overcome, but the good news is Marvel pulled off a master stroke hiring Shane Black to co script and direct Iron Man 3. King of the blockbuster script, his work on Lethal Weapon and 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 are back doing what they do best, creating fun, witty, intelligent, exciting cinema.
By now you know the plot for IM3. Tony Stark (RDJ) can't sleep. Terrorist The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) is wreaking havoc. 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 the 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 gf 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.
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.
Yes, there's a credit cookie, so stay 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.