Sunday, 30 June 2013

Iron Man 3 VS Man of Steel - Which Is Better?

2013 has been a fantastic year for superhero films so far with the success of both 'Man of Steel' and 'Iron Man 3'. DC have finally proved that they can begin building a viable cinematic universe outside of the Batman canon and Marvel's showed that a threequel can sometimes be pretty awesome. 

But what I want to know is which film was best? Whether you're a die hard comic fan or just a casual cinema-goer, which movie left you wanting more? To help you guys out, I've broken the films down into six different categories and have chosen a winner for each. Read on for help in making this key life decision and then let me know your answer by voting in the poll to your left.

Best Costume

The first thing fans talk about when photos are leaked from an upcoming superhero film is always the costume. Clothes makes the man and this has never been more true for Tony Stark, who wouldn't even be a superhero without his hi-tech suit. 'Iron Man 3' introduced a new mobile form of the armour which was split into various components and would fly across the room to attach itself to Stark. Pretty cool right? Who the hell wouldn't want an Iron Man suit of their own?

But what about Supermans' new look? Controversial pants omission aside, there is nothing more iconic than the giant S and I think the 'Man of Steel' team did a great job in updating the costume for 2013. Also, Henry Cavill fills the suit pretty damn well. 

And the winner is...Iron Man 3

Best Hero

Let's face it, Robert Downey Jr is key to the success of Iron Man. In the comics, I always found Stark a bit dull but Downeys' raw charisma keeps audiences enthralled even when things start to get a bit silly. What's fascinating about Starks' character in 'Iron Man 3' is how he struggles internally with the fallout from 'Avengers Assemble', displaying human flaws behind his cocky bravado. 

Brandt: Is that all you got? A cheap trick and a cheesy one liner?
Stark: Sweetheart, that could be the name of my autobiography.

Superman is a tricky character to get right. Make him too human and it's hard to believe in him as a hero but if you make him too serious, you risk boring audiences. 'Man of Steel' did an excellent job of balancing this out by focusing on Clarks' sense of alienation and it's fascinating to see him divided between the two worlds he came from.

Man of Steel: I grew up in Kansas, General! I'm about as American as it gets!

Close call this one but the winner is... Iron Man 3

Best Fight Scene

As with most superhero films, the key battle of 'Iron Man 3' occurs near the end, where Stark reveals an army of Iron Man drones to help in the fight against Guy Pearce's henchmen. At first, this seems pretty damn cool - who wouldn't want their own personal Iron Man army? - but as the scene drags on, it becomes apparent that no one is in any real danger because a random drone will just pop in and rescue our heroes at a moments notice. There's some great action moments involving Stark desperately trying to piece his armour together but I did feel that this was a bit of a let down overall.

Overlong fight sequences seem to be the in thing now and 'Man of Steel' is no different. However, Zack Snyder knows his stuff when it comes to shooting action sequences and so even though the final battle took up pretty much a third of the film, I never became bored by what was going on. The highlight for me had to be the final showdown between Superman and General Zod, which pitted the two Kryptonians in a city wide brawl that ended up destroying half the city. I don't want to spoil how the fight finally ends but for me, it's one of the most powerful moments I've ever seen in a superhero movie which left me genuinely mouth open shocked. 

And the winner is...Man of Steel

Best Supporting Lady

Pepper Potts had the potential to be a fairly bland role but as the Iron Man series has developed, Gwyneth Paltrows' portrayal of the character has grown from strength to strength. Yes she started out as the typical love interest but by 'Iron Man 3', Potts has become CEO of the company and is clearly the dominant force in her relationship with Stark. Although she does get kidnapped in 'Iron Man 3', Potts more than makes up for this by ultimately rescuing Stark at the end.

Lois Lane is the ultimate superhero love interest, who all others are compared to. The sassy reporter has been played by numerous actresses but her gutsy hard-edged persona is a tricky one to pull off and not every portrayal has succeeded (I'm looking at you Kate Bosworth!). I was quite surprised when I first heard Amy Adams had won the role but she's been fighting for it for years and actually, she does a damn good job of it. I still wouldn't place Adams as the best Lois of all time (hmmm Kidder or Hatcher?) but never before has such an acclaimed actress tackled the role successfully.  

And the winner is...Iron Man 3

Best Villain

The first two Iron Man films had pretty rubbish villains so I was excited to hear that the Mandarin, Starks' archenemy, would be appearing in the third installment. Ben Kingsley was perfect in a role which could have come off as a cheap stereotype but turned out to be genuinely scary... that is until the big twist. While I loved how unexpected the Mandarins' change of character was, I couldn't help but feel disappointed that there was no big showdown between him and Iron Man at the end. And what was up with fire breathing Guy Pearce?    

It's always tough to find a villain worthy of Superman. Once you've ignored the obvious choice, there aren't many characters who can believably stand up to Kal-El without a sudden influx of Kryptonite coincidentally appearing. Snyder was brave to finally go with General Zod for his choice, as Terence Stamp had already made quite an impact with the role in the original films. Fans had nothing to fear though, as the scarily intense Michael Shannon did the impossible and made the role his own in a terrifying portrayal of a megalomaniac on the warpath. What's even more impressive though is the humanity that Shannon brings to the role. Sure he's crazy as hell but you also get a sense of why Zod is the way he is. And in case you're wondering, click here to read more about who Superman could face next in the inevitable sequel.

And the winner is...Man of Steel

Best Film

This was a tough one to call. After the embarrassment that was 'Iron Man 2', Shane Black whipped the franchise back into shape, surprising audiences and critics alike with the best installment yet. Drew Pearces' screenplay somehow managed to hit all the beats of a successful superhero film while still subverting the genre by pulling the rug out from under our feet at every given opportunity. 'Iron Man 3' even featured a clever know-it-all kid who I didn't instantly hate. How many superhero films can say that?

Every comic book movie has expectations to live up to due to their enormous fan bases, but 'Man of Steel' had more than most. When you're dealing with the most recognisable fictional character on the planet, you better get it right. That's something Bryan Singer learnt the hard way but fortunately, David S Goyers' screenplay did an excellent job of paying homage to Superman's history while still making the 75 year old character relevant to todays' audiences. Yes it's darker than previous Superman films but 'Man of Steel' is still true to the essence of the comics and that in itself is a huge accomplishment.

So which film is better; 'Iron Man 3' or 'Man of Steel'

And the overall winner is...Man of Steel

'Iron Man 3' was an incredible start to phase 2 of Marvels output but 'Man of Steel' was the first film outside of the Batman franchise to make the DC universe believable. Sorry Marvel fans but I think 'Man of Steel' is just the better film overall. Agree? Disagree? Let me know by commenting, liking and sharing below. Also don't forget to vote in our poll to show us what you think.


  1. I agree with you. Iron Man 3 should be listed as a comedy. I understand a little humor can be refreshing,but in the end its still supposed to be a super hero movie. Marvel got too far away from that in IM3. It was kinda disappointing honestly.

    1. Yeah you're right. The comedy slant is what made Iron Man popular with mainstream audiences though so Marvel were bound to push that further. It was disappointing but I still thought it was better than Iron Man 2!
      Thanks for commenting.

  2. Iron Man 3 is a great movie. I have joyed the movie very much. This is one of the best movie of 2013.