I know, I'm a big hypocrite, I harp on my dislike of sequels and remakes and then, every so often, one comes along that I like. There's an exception to every rule and there have certainly been some notable exceptions to this one. Godfather II comes to mind immediately; Grease II does not. I thought Iron Man 3 was a well written and entertaining move; stay tuned because I am very much hoping to enjoy the newest Great Gatsby as well.
Actually, Iron Man 3 is closer to being a sequel to The Avengers than to Iron Man 2; there are many references to The Avengers, but none to the earlier Iron Man films. This movie had the highest grossing opening weekend this year, second highest in history to The Avengers. I'm guessing that fact won't hurt Mr. Downey's resume.
This time around we find Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man suffering the effects of his adventure with the Avengers, his trip into the worm hole or whatever it was called and his near death. He's not sleeping and a constantly agitated Tony Stark is not a good thing for anyone. Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow) is by his side, offering support while simultaneously trying to rein him in, but that's tough job. His opponent this time out is The Mandarin, straight from the comics, but there are twists and turns that you won't see coming.
There is a great cast. Downey is Tony Stark; I'm never sure how much is acting and how much is ad-libbed and Gwyneth gives us a feistier Pepper than we've seen before. Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce (creepy) and Ben Kingsley are wonderful in support; Kingsley in particular seems to be having the time of his life, as does Jon Favreau. Favreau give up his directing chair for this installation and he uses his free time to ham it up royally. My favorite scenes involved Harley (Ty Simpkins,) a youngster who gives Stark as good as he gets but manages to pull it off without being bratty.
There is plenty of action, explosions, and the like, but it was the humor interspersed with a few moments of genuine sensitivity that won me over. My one complaint would be that it was a touch long for me; I begin to get frustrated when bad guys refuse to die, ala The Terminator. Even with that, I didn't get antsy or sleepy; it certainly keeps your attention.
Rated PG13, this is pretty mild for the most part. There are some sexual innuendos but nothing explicit, no nudity and the profanity is quite mild. If there is anything objectionable, it would be violence and although there are explosions galore and intense fighting, I didn't need to watch anything through my fingers. There were no graphic scenes, however some parts are quite suspenseful and could be frightening.