Friday, 24 May 2013



One More Shot.

100 Minutes: Starring Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Ken Jeong, Justin Bartha, Melissa McCarthy & John Goodman. Director: Todd Phillips.

You know the feeling. You swore you'd never drink again after that night...and that night after that, but here we are again with another hangover. Here's one that will make you feel better however. Yes that's right ladies and gentelman the wolfpack are back and Phil, Stu and Alan are always guaranteed for some howlers in 'The Hangover Part III'. After the critical and commercial success of the first classic, a sequel was always going to happen. After the hilarious, albeit carbon coby structure of 'Part II' director Todd Phillips offers us something a little different for the final part of the trilogy. It all ends here.

Bangkok made for a brilliant backdrop for the second film, but it was missing some magic that the first film birthed along with the budding careers of Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and the one and hairy Zach Galifianakis. Now where else can you find magic but Sin City? Phillips and his pack have learnt that when unforgettable moments happen in Vegas you should stay in Vegas and just like the 'Oceans' series this investigation comedy heads back home after it's second foreign feeling (in more ways than one) installment of the trio. As Vegas as Brandon Flowers these boys have got away with a killing again. This film may be missing some Tigers and Tyson's, but there's plenty more to chow down on.

Yes that's right Ken Jeong is back and as hald-palming hilarious as ever, with a great re-introduction and a version of 'Hurt' that could even make Johnny Cash cry (plus one of 'I Believe I Can Fly' that could make R. Kelly sue). He is yet again the guy-without the beard-causing these guys all the trouble. Don't count Alan out however. Galifianakis is on top-form as Alan gets even weirder and wondeful with his intervention inspiring insanity. From giraffe's to high-notes he's hitting it all. Ed Helms stamp and signature dentist-chair scream makes for some of the films funniest moments and the charismatic Bradley Cooper is on top charm form. The man who has shown he's a real actor in any field (see 'The Place Beyond The Pines' his after hangover film 'Limitless' and his Oscar nominated 'Silver Linings Play Book') still shows he can run with the gags.

OK, so it's getting ridiculous that one member of the wolfpack is getting less screen time, but that's all part of the joke with Doug's character and Justin Bartha is a good sport playing it up perfectly. If that wasn't enough 'Black Doug' (Mike Epps is welcome back along with the likes of Heather Graham, Jeffrey Tambor (briefly), Jamie Chung (even more briefly) and more. Still, it's the new characters that make the biggest impacts. Hardest working character actor of the moment John Goodman makes for a great villian while having the female hangover 'Bridesmaids' star and funniest woman on the planet Melissa McCarthy rings up some of the best moments in a film that ties the trilogy up perfectly in a bow.

With tip of the hat references to the first two parts that dont bowl over to suiting up the same way this film is a fresh final part to this series. With casino climbing and house heists this film that was always part of a trilogy that was half funny/half journey has it all playing it's cards right. This should definitley be the final hand however as Todd Phillips knows how to fold with a decent pair after the first ace up his sleeve (just like he knows how to use Kanye records). Another 'Hangover' would be a headache. After the best joke after the credits makes up for a lack of a photo finish this trilogy has a lasting laugh. After a memorable three nights that fans will be quick to forget it's time for the detox. This is the morning after and it's time this series stays where it's at but we'll never forget Vegas. Heres' to the final round. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013



Good Sport.

143 Minutes. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton, Jason Clarke & Isla Fisher. Director: Baz Luhrman.

Gatsby! What Gatsby!? Well how about one of the greatest American novels of all time wrote by one of the greatest writers ever? The late, great F. Scott Fitzgerald's 'The Great Gatsby' has been the go to short story for students and adults alike for decades but can you believe in this year one of the most popular books of all-time has sold 10 times as many copies as it has done...EVER!? That's a lot of pages for a book that clocks in at less than 200 turns. You can attribute Baz Lurhman's highly anticipated take on Fitgerald's classic tale of love, prestige, power and loss for that. After Robert Redford's timeless turn in 1979 as Jay Gatsby-and this directors rewrite of Shakespeare's love masterpiece-Lurhman reunites with his Romeo, Leonardo DiCaprio for his unique look at another iconic writers lament to love in F. Scott's soiree into the 'Jazz Age' of the 1920's.

It's amazing what a trailer can do in this digital age. Especially with a sensational soundtrack scoring it. As soon as that infamous Jay-Z and Kanye West 'No Church For The Wild' featuring Frank Ocean (last used to unlock Denzel Washington's 'Safe House' and now pretty much a trailer staple) beat comes into play around the gold borders, you knew this film was going to be special. Sure guys like Jay-Z and Kanye aren't exactly 'Jazz Age' and some more tracks of times back would have been welcome but you can see why Baz gave the great Jay of the rap world the oppurtunity to score this movie. Despite the first half hour sounding a bit shamefully like a Jay-Z and co listening party (but a great one at that), once the soundscape of artists that sound like throwbacks come into play this really offers us up one of the most inspired and incredible soundtracks of modern times. There's too much too mention like the beautiful sound of Lana Del Ray (she would have been perfect here for a cameo), the haunting harmonies of Jack White and amazing tracks from Coco O, Florence & The Machine, Sia, Nero, The xx, plus an inspired jazzy cover of Beyonce's 'Crazy In Love' by Emeli Sande and B's own dark take on Amy Winehouse' 'Back To Black' with Andre 3000.

The whole film kind of plays out like this. It starts off a little bit clumsy, but ends beautifully. Lurhman is a great director and you can tell this film was gloriously made for 3D but some of the techniques could be traded for more substance over style. Sure it's great to see what 'Moulin Rouge' would look like in 3D...but not what it would look like on crack. Baz's bold but beautiful cinematic take on Shakespeare's 'Romeo + Juliet' worked throughout, whereas this works well but is worth much more when the pomp is traded for the circumstance. Then again this could be Lurhman's great trick of showing just how fake and lifeless the outer party life of Gatsby was in relation to his inner turmoil, where the rum of Fitzgerald's story truly lies. At a glance both the book and the film look like the empty life of people that just need to stop partying and cheating on each other, but once you actually read and see more into it, you see what this love over money, love over everything, sacrifice story is really speaking about. This film may look glossy and like it's given a fake tan, but beneath the make up is where the beauty really develops.

Raise your glass to Leonardo DiCaprio because as soon as this old sport appears on screen after hearing him introduce himself you know that nobody else could play Jay today like him. Not Gosling, not Cooper, not nobody. It's almost like Lurhman started their working relationship decades back for this very role. After Leo played Romeo perfectly with Baz in his younger days, switching from Shakespeare to Scott and all grown up, DiCaprio is a great Gatsby. If you thought 2011's 'Inception' and 'Shutter Island' was a great year for DiCaprio then just wait until you see this one. After showing his invaluable and never vulnerable versatility as a vile villain with his let loose Candie character in 'Django Unchained', Leo DiCaprio returns to playing the conflicted man that he does so well with every magnetic mannerism and meaning. The man that has portrayed troubled iconic figures like Howard Hughers (in Scorcese's 'Aviator') 'J.Edgar' (with Clint Eastwood) now plays arguablly the most legendary fictional iconic not named Romeo here perfectly. This is his party, the leading actor of our times still stands above the rest watching from his window in the Hollywood hills.

Still, he isn't the only one here that makes his mark. In telling us the story former Spider-Man Tobey Maguire steps up his acting game as Nick Carraway whilst being tangled up in this web of plot intrigue. While 'Warrior' Joel Edgerton continues his stronghold on Hollywood with a brute performance. There's also great support from another Aussie Isla Fisher who really is making her own mark on Hollywoodland and yet another down under talent in Jason Clarke who continues the inspired introduction he gave us as a brother to Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy in last years best film 'Lawless'. Still, if you need to find the next great actress of modern times who is a throwback to the classic femme fatale's then look no further than the shy but sensational Carey Mulligan. With a sublime performance she helps give this empty and lifeless at first film it's emotional weight and depth. If Leo was born to play Jay, then Carey was raised to play Daisy.

Beyond the extravagance is something that That's the picture that F. Scott Fitzgerald painted and the canvas that Baz Lurhman has helped craft here. This roaring take especially captures a subtle but personal favourite part of the book about communicating through touch alone perfectly. Leo, Carey and Baz portray it with the ultimate understanding. Now if you haven't read this book then you really should, still that doesn't mean you can't enjoy this story on celluoid depsite what some book snobs may scoff. This story is for everyone and in witnessing watching it with someone unfamiliar to the story is truly inspiring to see how the twists and turns still move and mesmerize people. This is a good Gatsby and although nothing beats the true original on paper, like the symbolic green light on the dock this story needs to go on. Baz and Leo are helping keep it alive like they've done before with their own unique rebirth here. Still it's your turn now to see and share the story, whether it be via the libary or cinema. Will you do that for me old sport? TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Saturday, 18 May 2013



GTA: London

130 Minutes. Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges, Sung Kang, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, Gina Carano, Gal Gadot & Luke Evans. Director: Justin Lin.

I bet you would have thought they would have run out of road by now...but as 'Fast Six' takes off it looks like Vin Diesel and co aren't even running out of runway. After 'The Fast & The Furious' launched the new millenium and the fuelled careers of Diesel and Paul Walker who would have though the franchise would still be here 12 years and 6 films later? After R&B singer Tyrese and rapper Ludacris ignited fun into the sequel '2 Fast, 2 Furious', director Justin Lin took the wheel and the series to Japan with star Sung Kang for 'Tokyo Drift'. Then in an age of reboots Lin remodelled the franchise and brought back all the original parts for the DVD ordering confusingly titled 'Fast & Furious' which really brought the series back to its beginnings. Then came the biggest and boldest yet as 'Fast Five' brought everyone back and even a top wrestler along for the ride in an 'Ocean's Eleven' style heist flick that was a modern day 'Italian Job' for the chrome rim, spoiler genereation. You can almost hear Michael Caine scream "you where only supposed to blow the bloody budget" because now the 'Fast' franchise makes a sharp turn to London as this furious force of a series gets into the 'Police Academy' numbers.

Still just when it looked like this series couldn't go any faster it taps the fuel injection one more time for another boost that has everything bar a Caine cameo (some other Brits make their mark however). As 'Furious Six' swaps the sun and shine of Brazil for the grit and grime of London the stakes get raised along with the drama and the shifting gears in a darker, bolder take on this series that is defying all the critics and the odds. You thought they couldn't do it again? You thought the Diesel and The Rock couldn't get along? You thought Rio was their last job. You thought Letty was dead? You thought this film was just going to be a cash cow spilling milk? Think again. With more stunts, jokes, set-pieces, street races, action, drama, torque and speed an argument could be made for this passing 'Fast Five' or the original as this franchises favorite. One thing that can't be debated is in a blockbuster heavey season-that's already seen more Avengers and trek's that have boldly gone where no man has gone before-this film still keeps up as one of the most entertaining, now guiltless pleasure, popcorn movies that are keeping the action flick genre alive and shooting with more gears than guns.

In this 'Expendable' action star ageing time, guys like Arnie and Sly are still doing it, albeit with wrinkles. Still, one man who isn't reaching for the Oil of Olay or 'The Expendables 3' script just yet is Vin Diesel. Even in his forties with Diesel power and actual acting smarts, the thinking man's hard-man is on top of the action hero game. He continues to make his play here with all his pieces primed and loaded. The next action star of our times Dwanye Johnson also shows you don't have to call him 'The Rock' anymore. Can you see what he's cooking up? He's got the stones of an actor, wrestling between both sides of the law as he alings with his former on-screen foe to take down this pictures perfect villain Luke Evans. With UFC fighter Gina Carano going haywire alongside him you better have your thunderwear on. This films a storm. If you like your dessert first there's plenty of action from Rio to Spain, planes and F1 style flipping automobiles and everything inbetween. Now as for the damn veggies there's more twists and turns then the famous street races that make a welcome return here after their teasing cut in 'Fast Five'.

The code of family that Vin's character lives by is still strong just like old times. Paul Walker (who has recentely drawn rave reviews for a future performance...stay tuned) steps his acting game up as his life and relationship with his best friends sister (Jordana Brewster with another class contribution) changes. If you thought that was the only relationship that mattered now, then wait until you see how the drama of the love between surviving series favorite Sung Kang (DON'T GO TO TOKYO!!) and former Miss Universe contender Gal Gadot plays out. Not in this world of fast cars and girls would you think you would see something so sincere. Then again did you forget about the ride or die relationship of Vin and Michelle Rodriguez's characters? That dynamic is reborn here for arguablly what gives this family affaired, fast action flick it's emotional balance. Let's not forget the two guys that gave the second film in this franchise a chance of crossing the line. Musicians Tyrese and Ludacris show they are really actors too making it look all 'Too Easy' as they keep the one-liner laughs rolling along with the action punches (just wait until you see Tyrese deal with a tank...and we aren't talking about the member of his supergroup with Ginuwine, TGT).

In fact when you see the big-three of Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Tyrese Gibson-who kept this series going from the start-battling with a literal artillery of action you see just how far this film has come. There's more gas in the tank for a film that has proved it's here and welcome to you should just after the credits for what looks to be an inspired and intriguing seventh installment. Can you believe it? Seven films? Seven films that live a quarter mile at a time and show that whether they make dollars or millions winnings winning...and that's what exactly what they do. Now the only disappointment would be if we didn't see Eva Mendes in the next ride (she was the post-credit teaser at the end of the last film). Mainstream directing mogul Justin Lin has both hands firmly on this franchise and after steering it in the right direction he's weaving all the plots and themes together in a tale that you thought was just about the nuts and bolts of automobiles. This positive bond themed, action satisfying series has gone in a different direction then just being as basic as a spanner. It's reversed all notions and is still going at a fast forward pace. There's more under the hood than you thought. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Thursday, 16 May 2013


With the adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's legendary classic novel  'The Great Gatsby', (Leo DiCaprio's latest collaboration with director Baz Lurhman) out this Friday, let's take a look at the best actor todays greatest hits.

SHUTTER ISLAND: The already legendary actor, furthered his greatness with two more career defining roles in 2010. Two films released in the space of six months which were among the stars best. Leo collaborated with classic director Martin Scorsese for the fourth time and after ten years of classics ('Gangs Of New York', 'The Aviator', 'The Departed') the director and his new De Niro muse may have made their best with 'Shutter Island'. This film really is one of the greatest films of the last decade. This film is that good. 'Shutter Island'evoked every chilling and demented aspect of it's novel and Scorsese's direction alongside The Band's, Robbie Robertson's soundtrack selections gave this dark psychological horror the chilling backdrop it needed. The film featured excellent support from Ben Kingsley to Michelle Williams but the best came from born-to-be-a-cop Mark Ruffalo and the character of the films set was just scarily perfect as well. From every mist of fog to clouded minds this film scared the hell out of you when there was nothing behind you. It's all in the mind here as DiCaprio takes his trademark conflicted, troubled man acting to the next, timeless, legendary level. A character development we would see more in his summer smash with Christopher Nolan but not like we witnessed in this Scorsese epic that cuts right through to the bone.

INCEPTION: In undoubtedly the movie of 2010 Leonardo DiCaprio assembles a team of dream thieves to 'incept' an idea into Christopher Nolan's favourite scarecrow Cillian Murphys mind. Expect incredible action, thrills and twists and turns while DiCaprio and his team go within dreams. This supporting cast/'The Dark Knight Rises' all step it up a level, especially the charming Tom Hardy and the riddling Gordon-Levitt. Again Nolans cinematography is captivating, his brothers script compelling and Hans Zimmer's score classic by any standard. This film is one part 'The Matrix', one part 'Memento' but overall very much it's own film. With shifts in gravity you'll never see better fighting scenes and Leonardo DiCaprio plays the conflicted man lamenting lost love again so well just like he did in 'Shutter Island'. As a matter of fact DiCaprio may have made two of his best films this year. As for Christoper Nolan's greatest, 'The Dark Knight' still reigns supreme but with'Inception' Nolan hasn't told a better story since 'The Prestige'. Simply one of the best cinematic experiences you could ever dream up.

ROMEO + JULIET: Leo once again displays his youthful looks but mature mind as he bares his soul over the silver screen, still he has some talented company. John Legizamo is one of the business' most talented, underrated all-round actors. He's a great character actor but can lead too and although 'Gatsby' director Baz Luherman's 'Romeo + Juliet' was best known for it's modern take and it's Romeo (Leo DiCaprio) and Juliet (Claire Danes) but arguably as Tibult, Leguizamo along with Harold Perrineau as Mercutio stole the show. Just check the adrenaline fuelled petrol station first act. As soon as he stubs out his cigar with his steel-capped heel and draws his sword, (or his gun), with all his charm and cocksure confidence he owns everybody, the moment and the movies best moment. Truly a theatrical moment, played up the right way. BANG!

THE BASKETBALL DIARIES: In one of Leonardo DiCaprio's youngest and greatest performances he gives us a brutally honest take on the effects of drug abuse in sports and the youth. This is no floppy haired 'Titanic' sweet tale. it's a movie drowned in darkness with the uplifting hope of redemption. Sure basketball is a back-story here but it's not the real issue that needs to be addressed. With great support from Mark Wahlberg and Juliette Lewis this movie slam dunks all over Hollywood shine and censorship. It takes the problems of youth out of bounds and lays it all out on the floor. Brave, bold and beautiful.

BLOOD DIAMOND: Forgive the slightly dodgy South African accent, for this is one of leading actor Leonardo DiCaprio's most defining performances. Epic, horrifically moving and thrillingly though-provoking it's... who really packs the punch however with his powerful passion. More Hollywood pictures should look at this genuinely concerned canvas for future references. As this movie captures the beauty of South Africa but the ugly truth's of it's blood diamonds that are lapped up by the Western world without consideration or care. They haven't, don't and probably won't make films like this again.


CATCH ME IF YOU CAN: Join Tom Hanks on a hot pursuit of one of DiCaprio's finest all-round performances on a true story that you have to see to believe. With an iconic Sinatra assisted airport scene that seems to have inspired new Christina Ricci T.V. show 'Pan Am'and countless airline commercials this movies legacy still lasts.

THE AVIATOR: Exploring the dark recess of the human psyche, this is Leo's best turn as a troubled man in turmoil. The story of aviation pioneer Howard Hughes is directed perfectly by Scorsese and portrayed by DiCaprio with just dignity, respect and excellence. Truly a modern classic.

THE DEPARTED: Scorsese, Boston, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga, Alec Baldwin and of course Leo...need we say anymore? TIM DAVID HARVEY

Thursday, 9 May 2013



Star War.

133 Minutes. Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Benedict Cumberbatch, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Alice Eve, Anton Yelchin & Bruce Greenwood. Director: J. J. Abrams.

Space...this directors first fronteir. When J. J. Abrams boldly started his voyage and rebooted 'Star Trek' back in what seems like yesteryear in 2009 it was already way cooler to be a geek in today's science fiction to fact world. Still with his next generation of 'trekkies' aboard he added more big bang to that theory with his new enterprise that was both fun and fascinating. Setting the faces of conventional fans and just regular movie goers alike to stun he boldly took this franchise to new places in just one movie. With the best reboots of a recycled age he gave us an instant classic that would make Gene Roddenberry proud. George Lucas was watching and it's no wonder he handed the reigns of the force to J.J. It's his world now and he's out of this universe. The new batch of seeked out 'Star Wars' films under Disney comes next, but first is the most anticipated sequel in years and what will arguably be the best blockbuster of this Sci-Fi 365. 'Star Trek-Into Darkness' looks to further narrow the divide between original and new Star Trek fans alike as J.J. looks to bring together the Star 'Wars' and 'Trek' ones in his career.

From the inspired introductions to the terrific thread of the new story the first film was light and loved. Now as brilliant as it was you can't just duplicate your success again. J.J. knew he had to go in a different route and that's why he plunged this film 'Into Darkness' at warp speed. The dark themes fuelled by a villain full of hatred may not be as fun and favourable as the first, but in the dark age of Hollywood ('The Dark Knight Rises' 'Dark Of The Moon', 'Thor: The Dark World'...the defence rests) this serious series still adds relief. There's laughter amongst the languish too what more can you expect from the most charismatic and charming cast since that guy with the hammer fell out of the sky and joined the man of iron and the one of green? Bar a missing apperance by Chris Hemsworth of Thor fame as the ghost of Kirk's (and perhaps some Shatner) dad (which gave the first film it's energetic punch of emotion right out the gate) this sequel has it all, but if we where to reveal then we really would spoil one of the greatest films of this year which has everything you could love about this franchise and more twists and turns then Chinese burns. J.J. has done it again...and we aren't just talking about the overuse of lens flares.

The cast who made these iconic characters their own are back and as brilliant as ever showing just how much they are the people they are playing. Back in the captain's chair Chris Pine is as cocksure, charismatic and charming as ever. So much he could even make Robert Downey Jnr seem shy. The first film made him a star (see 'Unstoppable', 'This Means War' and his next formidable franchise turn as Jack Ryan following in Harrison Ford's footsteps) and now this leading man raises his game along with this films stakes. By his side Zachary Quinto is a hero once again as Spock. With Leonard Nimoy's blessing, this new Spock really is crafting the complexities of this character logically and brilliantly. By his side Zoe Saldana is great as Nyota Uhura. The 'Avatar' star for sure has another string to her Sci-Fi bow. Speaking of which Karl Urban may have starred in the dreadful 'Dredd' reboot, but here he continues to earn his bones as Leonard McCoy. With Simon Pegg's comic relief power as Scotty and John Cho as Sulu and Anton Yelchin Chekov on the con convincingly the crew is complete. Bruce Greenwood's inspired Pike couldn't be more prouder in handing over the chair.

Alice Eve makes a nice addition as Dr. Carol Marcus but the additon to this franchise that really makes it favourite is Benedict Cumberbatch's villian. Being escorted by red-shirts (boy does it look like those guys are going to get it) and standing behind a glass prison with his manipulation of our heroes uncaged it looks like the Brit is doing his best Loki impression. Still Tom Hiddleston's 'War Horse' co-star makes this baddie his own and just like Loki could arguably be last years best bad guy, Benedict raises the bar for this years coronation. The man that's about to breathe fire into 'The Hobbit's dragon slays this performance with a sensational sinister streak that engulfs everything in its path. The 'Prime Directive' here is for a great film whose emotional and dramatic scenes can even bust the blocks of the energetic effects of the special graphics brought to the table. From space to new San Francisco, the landscape of this film is awesome. The portraits of the characters however is what's truly amazing. Some of the magic from the first film may be missing but the trick here is in the dialogue and plot trade. As thrilling as it is action packed and exciting this is one energised sequel. J.J. has done it again mixing homage with his own Science-Fiction fantasy age. Now just wait until the real war of the stars happens. This is far from the final fronteir. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013



Stark Trek.

130 Mins. Starring: Robert Downey Jnr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Jon Favreau, Paul Bettany & Sir Ben Kinglsey. Director: Shane Black.

The Summer blockbuster season has officially begun folks. After Tom Cruise's delve into 'Oblivion' and in a year where science-fiction (cue more boldy gone places, some Smith father and son time alone on Earth, what looks like 'Transformers' versus 'Godzilla' and Brad Pitt versus zombies) looks to dominate cinema as much as comic-books, Marvel's 'Man Of Iron' suits up to go 12 rounds with Superman like he and his 'lighter option' superfriends have been doing with 'The Dark Knight' and the rest of D.C., for years. After his classic origin story-that even stood up to the year Heath Ledger's Joker took over theatres-and a sequel that saw him being whipped into shape by Mickey Rourke, Robert Downey Jnr is back as Tony Stark's Iron Man for the third part of the trilogy. Phase 2 begins with the man and the movie that birthed the assembling of the massive 'The Avengers', but can RDJ and the man in the can keep up without Captain America, Thor and The Incredible Hulk?

The answer is yes! Despite some troubles. Tony Stark is losing sleep and gaining an anxiety disorder after coming to terms with the fallout of New York. He's tinkering away in his basement like Howard Hughes and making more reboots of his model than 'Spider-Man'. Still, this web of intrigue makes for an interesting plot dynamic, even though some times the film feels a little all over the place. This still matches the tone of character and Downey Jnr's trademark charm and charisma keeps things going at a hilarious laugh a minute pace. It's clear to see in the magnify glass that 'Sherlock 3' should be safe too. In all it's querkiness. There's more stark reliastions for Tony to deal with then his own demons as this film explores the 'Extremis' extremes of Marvel and there's also the legendary villian the Mandarin added to the squeeze. From aerial assualts that could rival the vertigo-inducing fear of Denzel's 'Flight' plan and classic American oil-rig slick finales, the actions never been better for this suit and arc reactor series.

Jon Favreau is no longer Iron Man's bodyguard or director (he still appears for a hilarious part however) as Robert's pal Shane Black steps in to add more 'Kiss, Kiss' and 'Bang, Bang' to the franchise. Apart from that everyone is back and on form next to RDJ. Gwyneth Paltrow adds more spice to her role as Pepper Potts, but an old flame appears to ignite the plot in the form of Rebecca Hall who has been on a hot streak ever since she went to 'Town' with Ben Affleck. After replacing Terrence Howard in the sequel, Don Cheadle shows he is Iron Man's true sidekick (even if his rebranded 'Iron Patriot' look of 'War Machine' comes off like the illegitatmate love child of Iron Man and Captain America (and yes RDJ's Stark let's him have it)). Paul Bettany's voice of JARVIS yet again gives our superhero Bond his Q, while Guy Pearce (who is everywhere at the moment) makes Sam Rockwell's supereb slimy, slick turncoat from the last movie look tame. If you need anymore ham, when it comes to acting up, then how about British legend Sir Ben Kingsley as famous Asian villian The Mandarin? Crazy, huh?!

There are some moments that will leave you baffled here. This Christmas time set film that begins with a New Years flashback opens with everybodies most hated song 'Blue' by Eiffel 65. Where's the AC/DC I hear you cry? Still there are shoot to thrill love and hate moments in this one that will divide comic-book and cinema fans. One particular twist may turn the stomachs of said square-panel junkies, yet if not taken too seriously could be one of the funniest, if not silliest things done in the superhero genre for what seems like ever. In this 'Robot Chicken', 'HISHE', internet age too it's about time a film like this didn't take itself too seriously, even if it is comic sacrilege. As Guy Pearce say's "once the big guy with the hammer fell out of the sky, subetly kind of fell out the window" and after all this is a film where a billionaire, playboy, philantrophist flies around in a big suit like a big man. To say more would be to ruin the surprise...even if you don't like it. Judge for yourself in a film that sometimes looks like a joke too far and in others looks like one taking satirical punches at terroism. Lesson learned?

"There's no politics here", Tony Stark tells the press in a film for a comic-book franchsie that has always kept what's going on in world at the forefront of their comics (see Obama on the cover of an 'Amazing Spider-Man' comic or James McAvoy, describing Professor X and  Magneto of 'X-Men' being like a non-violence/pro-violence methaphor of Martin Luther King and Malcom X), but again see for yourself with your own interpratation. Phase 2 may have started a little clunky, and Iron Man and his new Patriot may have to have a "New Suits" shopping day with those 'Anchorman' boys before they can really take off again but this funny and action-packed part is still very enjoyable. Are the one-liners and set pieces enough? Is this Robert Downey Jnr's last assemble as Stark? Time and more films will tell. It's 'Iron Man' 3 out of 5 for this one. A film that always had the hardest job following 'The Avengers' (albeit maybe a little too soon), but still holds it own amongst all the blockbusters set for release this year (my moneys on 'Star Trek's' dark turn) and all the Marvel and Avenger films that will eventually make the cinema collection huge like the comic-book one. Iron Man may be missing a few parts and sporting some rust, but it still shows a lot of initiative. Now everybodies waiting for the rest of 'The Avengers'...and maybe some Shawarma. TIM DAVID HARVEY.