I found this movie to be one of the better superhero movies. Although I had some minor issues they were not with the story points some would expect and are pretty trivial in relation to the overall direction of the movie. Yes, there are some major story points in the movie that diverge greatly from Marvel cannon, the biggest being the character of the Mandarin, however, I am totally fine with them.
I know of no one that is as devoted to the story of the Marvel Universe and its characters more than me (I am sure those who know me well would agree) and the way the Mandarin is written in the movie is good with me. There is no way you could go with the post Communist Chinese scientist who gleamed super power from a wrecked alien space ship ala’ 10 rings Mandarin that appeared back in the 1960s. That is exactly what I was worried about for this franchise as I could only see it coming across on the screen as a large “shark jump”. This one worked and at the end of the film I was very satisfied and amused.
I am totally good with how they rolled the other characters. I like the other super-villain and Guy Pearce in the roll did a very good job. One of the best portrayals of a superhero bad guy in some time, and easily the best across the three Iron Man movies. There is no long montages of his angst filled backstory (IM2), or generic evil businessman (IM1), approaches to the character. It was well thought out and works.
The supporting characters were well played. The little kid was a pleasant surprise and one of the stronger roles. Jim Rhodes was a bit more rounded than last time and was nice to see as hero outside the suit. Pepper was a unfortunately flat as well and written more classic helpless comic damsel even to the end, yes, even after the big fight.
And Marvel finally got back to using the end of credit bonus material for the character and not as commercial. As much as I like a good preview these had become more forced in recent films. Loved the back and forth with the other Avenger and, again, well written and believable from a canon perspective. I just wanted some more as both of these characters were two of the best parts of the Avengers movie.
Oh, and the suits were one of the best parts, all of them. Really!
Go See it! Strong Recommendation.