The Cinema of Shane Black in a nutshell. (Paraphrasing from memory.)
Extremis Enhanced Female Busey: Is that all you got? A smirk and a clever quip?
Tony Stark: Lady, that’s the title of my autobiography.
Trim, efficient and with just the right amount of snark. Sums up everything I love about “Iron Man 3”.
Making a big budget summer movie is always a tricky proposition. You want to be able to deliver the big bang boom. But you have to remember that you are still telling a story. I.E., A narrative of connected events with characters an audience can identify and sympathize with while delivering three to five big action set pieces that will be front loaded into various trailers designed to rouse a shrinking middle class to leave their homes and spend money into going to a film that they, by all rights, should be waiting to hit streaming Netflix thus reducing their household budget.
Thankfully, Shane Black has spent years writing blockbusters (And occasionally watching directors make hash of them.) and he has gotten very good at threading that particular needle.
How lean is this script? There’s a point in the third act where we see a secondary character do something unexpected.
And his entire backstory is laid out...in one freaking shot!
I almost applauded right then and there. And that was before the crazy ass “Iron Man catches thirteen people in midair” sequence.
Bottom line. Solid script, solid performances. (Blessed be, Robert Downey refuses to phone it it.) Great action and you get to see Gwyneth Paltrow in a sports bra. Joe Bob Jensen says check it out.