Robert Downey Jr is back in the armour in Iron Man 3 -- and this time you can get a turn as ol' shell-head too. An interactive game accompanies the release of Marvel's latest film, and I checked out a preview as new challenges and villains test Tony Stark's metal.
The last time we saw the ferrous philanthropist, he was learning to be a team player alongside Earth's -- well, Marvel's -- greatest heroes in. Now he's under threat from fresh villains, played by Guy Pierce and Ben Kingsley, but he also has a new trick up his metallic sleeve: the new Type 42 Iron Man suit, the sections of which he can remotely control to armour up anywhere -- and anyone.
That comes in handy in the preview I saw, in which Stark's world literally crumbles around him. But it's the quieter scene that follows the 'splosions which gives me real hope for Iron Man 3, as Tony licks his wounds with a perfect combination of Downey Jr's note-perfect performance and Shane Black's zippy dialogue.
You too can see what it feels like to be domed with chrome with Become Iron Man, an interactive installation thingy doing the rounds of major UK shopping centres in the week of the movie's release. It's an augmented reality affair like a giant Wii or PlayStation Move game: stand in front of the big screen and cameras register your movements as you zap on the Iron Man armour.
Once ensconced in the Iron Man suit, you fly around Tony Stark's garage using the suit's jets and shoot stuff with the palm-mounted repulsors. It's a fun way to get inside the armour, and at the end you can take away photos of yourself as Iron Man.
Here's where you can become Iron Man:
- 29-30 March: Newcastle Metrocentre
- 6-7 April: Birmingham Bullring
- 13-14 April: Manchester Trafford Centre
- 20-21 April: Sheffield Meadowhall
- 24 April: Dundrum Town Centre
- 27-28 April: London Westfield Shepherds Bush
Iron Man 3 armours up in cinemas on 25 April, in 3D or standard two dimensions. Are you looking forward to the latest adventure for the metal-coated Marvel multimillionaire? Cast your thoughts in the comments or on our heavy-metal Facebook page.