Friday, May 3, 2013

Movie – Iron Man 3 (2013)

I’ll answer the biggest Iron Man 3 question that all of you want to know the answer to: yes, there is a post-credits scene.  What’s that?  That’s not the question you had?  You want to know how this movie stacks up to the first two Iron Man movies, and to The Avengers?  Well, Iron Man 3 is a big improvement over Iron Man 2.  I would still pick the first Iron Man as the best of the three, but the third one is almost as good.  And no, it’s not going to touch The Avengers on how entertaining it is.  However, considering that The Avengers is the best superhero movie yet made, and that Iron Man is one of the best, saying that Iron Man 3 is not as good as them still leaves a lot of room for a really fun movie.

There is a ton of carping on the IMDB boards about Iron Man 3.  Most of it seems to fall into one of two categories: Ben Kingsley’s portrayal of The Mandarin was not what the comics fanboys were expecting, or just the general trashing from Dark Knight fanboys that accompanies every Marvel movie that gets released.  (More than 1,000 Nolanites have already rated Iron Man 3 as a 1 out of 10 on IMDB.)

Iron Man 3 opens with Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) talking about how things have changed “since New York” (meaning The Avengers).  In the movie they give Stark a somewhat random “anxiety disorder” to cope with.  It was an element that just didn’t seem to work, but thankfully it was minor.

Stark and Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) are now living together in his huge Malibu house.  He hasn’t been able to sleep because of his fear since New York.  He has been spending a ton of time in his lab, tinkering.  Among the things he has been working on are small computers injected under his skin that will allow him to mentally control the various pieces of the armor and make them come to him and form the armor around him, or also remotely control the armor.

We see a flashback to Tony at a New Year’s Eve party in Switzerland in 1999.  (Watch for a fun cameo from Shaun Toub – the man in the cave with Tony in the first Iron Man movie who told Tony they had met once before.)  Tony picks up a female scientist (Rebecca Hall) at the party.  She is working on what appears to be a form of nanotechnology and is testing it on plants, trying to get them to re-grow the parts of them that are damaged.

While busy with her, Tony blows off a nerdy guy named Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) who has founded a think tank called Advanced Idea Mechanics, or AIM for short.  The comics readers should immediately recognize this name.  Back in the present, a now very successful Killian comes to Stark Industries to meet with Pepper Potts about maybe doing business.

Reprising his role from the last film is Don Cheadle as Colonel James Rhodes aka War Machine, who has now been renamed The Iron Patriot and given a paint makeover in the colors of Captain America.  He is protecting the President (William Sadler) and Vice-President (Miguel Ferrer), as well as searching the globe for a new terrorist threat – The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley).

Also reprising their roles in this film are Jon Favreau – who is back as the character Happy Hogan even though he did not direct this film – and Paul Bettany as the voice of Jarvis.  If you are wondering if any of the other people from The Avengers or SHIELD show up, the answer is sort of, but not like how you might expect.

The emphasis in Iron Man 3 seems to be on the question “Who is Iron Man if he doesn’t have his armor?”  After threatening The Mandarin to come and get him, and as a result having his home destroyed, Stark finds himself almost on his own and without a working suit of armor.  Consequently, several times during this film we are shown Tony still acting the hero even without having armor to protect him.  I’m not sure I completely buy into Stark being an action hero on his own, but it is fun to see and it didn’t feel too over the top.

I mentioned up above that there is a scene after the credits.  This has happened with at least five of the most recent Marvel films.  I can’t believe that everyone has not caught on yet, but a good 25-30 people walked out of the theater today when the credits started to roll.  The rest of us sat there and enjoyed one more scene.  And it was probably a minute long or so, making it one of the lengthier ones.  In the credits the filmmakers thanked Joss Whedon.  This might have been because he did an uncredited script polish, but I think he might have written the post-credits scene.  The humor in it just feels like his work.

The trailers spoil two of the three great moments in the film.  The best of the three has thankfully not been shown in them.  And I will not be mentioning what the other two are so that I do not spoil them for you if you have somehow not seen the trailers, or have not picked up on a couple things in them. 

I have to say that this was a three star film for me until a huge, action packed ending that had a great payoff during it.  That raised it to four stars.  If you’ve seen the other Iron Man movies, or even just The Avengers, then this is a worthy follow-up to them.  I think you will enjoy yourself.  Unless you are a militant Mandarin fanboy, I highly recommend this film.

Chip’s Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


  1. I'm glad I haven't seen the trailers for this. I cannot wait to see it in the theater.

    1. When you do see it, please let me know what you think of it.

  2. Good review Chip. Not the best of the three, but a nice follow-up to what the Avengers was and how damn fun it truly was.