The moment the lights dim you can tell Iron Man 3 is nothing like its predecessors. Does it have a great superhero story? Yes. Does it build the Marvel universe? Yes. Is it a summer movie in all the ways a summer movie should be? Hell yes. What makes it different then? It’s the first Marvel movie made specifically for adults.
Now I don’t mean to say that Marvel has not had adult elements in all of its recent movies. But never before has a Marvel movie seemed so tailor-made for adults. What Shane Black has done with the character of Tony Stark is to not only make him more human but to also make him somehow more Tony Stark-esque, giving fans the Iron Man they deserve.
Iron Man 3 is loaded with everything that makes a summer movie great. Excellent action sequences you wish wouldn’t end. Genuinely funny moments. And a story that builds upon everything that Marvel has set in motion thus far. But most importantly, this movie sets a new tone for how adult a superhero movie can be without taking the Nolan route, something no one has achieved until now. If Iron Man 3 is any indication of what Marvel has in store for us post Avengers, then their movies can’t get here soon enough.