Iron Man 3: Burning Down the House

by Ethan Alter May 3, 2013 8:00 am
<i>Iron Man 3</i>: Burning Down the House

Over the course of building Phase 1 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Studios developed a house style for their blockbuster comic book movies that included a bright color palette, a light tone (particularly compared to their Distinguished Competition's more somber wares like Chris Nolan's Batman trilogy and Bryan Singer's self-serious Superman) that made room for plenty of humor amidst the derring-do, villains with a lot of firepower (but not much menace) and straightforward stories that lobbed few curveballs at the audience. What's interesting about Iron Man 3, which kicks off Phase 2 of the MCU, is that it very deliberately goes about blowing up Marvel's house style... along with the house of its signature hero, Tony Stark -- played, as always, by Robert Downey Jr. That particular point isn't a spoiler, since it's been heavily featured in the movie's many trailers and teasers. However, in order to really get into why IM3 represents such a departure (at least for a little while) from the Marvel status quo, I'm going to have to get into more specific detail about what incoming writer/director Shane Black (taking over from franchise starter, Jon Favreau) has in store for Tony and his armored alter ego without, of course, giving the whole game away. So here's a Spoiler Warning for anyone who has an ironclad resolve to go into the theater without hints of any kind.

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