Iron Man 3

Movie Review: Iron Man 3

After The Avengers obliterated previous box-office records last May, Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe ceremoniously kicked off with this summer's first official blockbuster, Iron Man 3.  Robert Downey Jr.'s fifth foray as the genius / billionaire / playboy / philanthropist Tony Stark (including his cameo after the credits of 2008's The Incredible Hulk) introduces new struggles for the swaggering superhero, both internal and external, as well as a slew of new gadgets and gizmos manufactured to bring his latest challengers to their knees.  Taking over directing duties for series veteran Jon Favreau is Shane Black, better known as the screenwriter who gave us Lethal Weapon, a move that clearly hasn't stopped this third installment from solidifying the second-biggest opening weekend in history.  But the question remains -- does Iron Man 3 continue the franchise's golden streak or serve solely as a time-waster until The Avengers 2 blasts into theaters in 2015?