Iron Man 3: Google Goggles are for amateurs.
  • Iron Man 3: Google Goggles are for amateurs.

Since it's in the bizarre position of being the third film in one series and the seventh in the larger Marvel Comics movie universe, the average viewer will probably enter Iron Man 3 with at least two questions: With its focus on a solo superhero, can it possibly outdo the over-the-top team geekfest that was Joss Whedon's Avengers? Or will it at least be better than the property-management-obsessed mess that was Iron Man 2? The answers: Of course not, and, oh my God, so much better.

New Iron Man writer-director Shane Black treats Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark as less of a superhero than a jittery cross between James Bond and Thomas Edison, a wholly American, tech-obsessed adventurer. But he's got a sensitive side: Stark is suffering anxiety attacks after saving the world at the end of The Avengers, and his nervousness manifests as a lack of sleep, a compulsion for building dozens of new suits of armor, and an inability to be close with his girlfriend, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow, surprisingly likable)...

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