‘IRON MAN 3’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
The Iron Men Rise with The Iron Patriot
Could this be Tony Stark’s last stand?
‘Iron Man 3’ is the first film to begin Phase Two of the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’ series of movies! The film was released at cinemas in 2013. Surprisingly, I did see this movie at the cinema. Although I don’t recall a lot of what it was about when it came to revisiting it years later in 2018 for this review.
After the success of the first six movies of the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’ series, especially with the latest film ‘Avengers Assemble’ (or ‘The Avengers’ as USA calls it), I was looking forward to seeing how the series would continue. What better way to continue this series by returning with Iron Man.
I never purchased ‘Iron Man 3’ on DVD or Blu-ray when it came out in 2013 after seeing the movie once at the cinema. I eventually purchased the film as a part of the ‘Marvel Studios Cinematic Universe’ – Phase Two’ DVD box set. This was when I did my shopping in Cardiff after Christmas 2017.
‘Iron Man 3’ stars Robert Downey Jr. who returns as Tony Stark/Iron Man. Unlike the first two movies that were directed by Jon Favreau, this movie was directed by Shane Black. Why couldn’t Jon Favreau have directed the third film of this ‘Iron Man’ trilogy? It’d make sense in terms of continuity.
The film also stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce and Sir Ben Kingsley. It’s an interesting pattern for me in how I saw these movies. I saw the first ‘Iron Man’ movie when it was at the cinema; I did not see ‘Iron Man 2’ at the cinema but on DVD and I saw ‘Iron Man 3’ at the cinema.
So how do I rate ‘Iron Man 3’ as a film? It was…okay. It’s better than ‘Iron Man 2’, but it’s not as good as the first ‘Iron Man’ film. I know that sounds a bit obvious but the fact that I saw ‘Iron Man 3’ only once at the cinema and that I don’t recall much of it means it didn’t have the big impact on me.
It’s certainly a film that’s impressive in terms of its action sequences and the story is fairly better compared to the one that was in ‘Iron Man 2’. The story takes its cue from the ‘Extremis’ story arc that was in the ‘Iron Man’ comics, but not having read the comics myself I can’t make a comparison.
There were some intriguing concepts featured in the movie for me to enjoy and Tony Stark’s journey as Iron Man is interesting on some level. However there were a few twists and revelations featured in this movie that did disappoint me a little bit as I’m sure it did for many movie-goers who saw this.
Incidentally, this film’s story is set around Christmas time whereas the film was released in May 2013. Why wasn’t this released as a Christmas film in December 2012? Were there delays in the film’s making? It’d make sense to see this film at Christmas. It was on UK TV one Christmas I recall.
The film has Tony Stark dealing with the after-effects of his experiences in New York from falling out of a wormhole in the sky to fight aliens and save the Earth as seen in ‘Avengers Assemble’. This is a part of the film I enjoyed seeing and this kept with the continuity of the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’.
Tony gets panic attacks from time to time and even he doubts himself in his role as the superhero Iron Man in his regular life. Meanwhile a series of terrorist attacks take place caused by the mysterious Mandarin. Tony as Iron Man investigates these attacks in order to expose the Mandarin.
As he does this, Tony comes into conflict with an old rival of his, Aldrich Killian. This former business rival seeks revenge on Tony as he uses his Extremis virus to destroy him and Iron Man. Can Tony overcome his post-traumatic stress disorder and rescue the ones he loves with his own technology?
It was interesting that this film focused on something that happened in Tony’s past in 1999 when he was a businessman before becoming Iron Man in the present day. Sometimes the motives of the villain are weak in terms of storytelling, but it was so intriguing to see how Tony tackled this menace.
I hoped ‘Iron Man 3’ would re-energise my interest in the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’ movies when it came to entering into its second phase. It didn’t exactly do that since I was distracted by the 50th anniversary of ‘Doctor Who’ at the time and it wouldn’t be until I took the series seriously on my blog.
Robert Downey Jr. returns as Iron Man/Tony Stark. Robert Downey Jr. always manages to steal a show with his performance as Iron Man, despite some of the shortcomings this film had. There were unusual things that Tony’s character did, such as revealing his home address for the Mandarin on TV.
I did think that was silly of him to do since helicopters came round to destroy his home, putting him and Pepper in peril and he should’ve had better defences. But Tony as Iron Man does well in his journey to search information on the Mandarin, especially when he’s out there in snowy Tennessee.
Speaking of which, I liked it when Tony has Iron Man armour that can easily come to him automatically in any place he’s in, rather than being suited up just in his own home. It’s detachable armour and it’s amazing how Tony uses lots of forms of technology to put his Iron Man suit in action.
I did like the action sequences Iron Man had in this movie, especially when he saved people from falling out of the Air Force One plane in the sky before dropping to safety in the sea. Tony Stark remains cocky, arrogant and over-confident at times, but there are likeable aspects to his character.
Gwyneth Paltrow returns as Pepper Potts, who I just realised her real first name is Virginia. Cute! The romance aspects of the film between Tony and Pepper are subtle if not a major part of the film’s plot. There are some nice scenes of character interaction between them, but it is not really enough.
It’s interesting how Pepper clearly loves Tony but gets frustrated when his superhero life as Iron Man sometimes takes over his down-to-earth daily life. It’s tense when Pepper becomes in peril, especially when Tony’s home is attacked and when she’s subjected to Aldrich Killian’s Extremis virus.
But it’s clear that Pepper never gives up on Tony despite the sexual tension and friction that is there between them. I did get anxious for Pepper when it seemed that she could be dead towards the film’s climax. It was so cool when I saw Pepper wear one of Tony Stark’s Iron Man suits in this movie.
Don Cheadle returns as James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes in the movie. In ‘Iron Man 2’, Rhodey became the War Machine. Now he’s become the Iron Patriot, an upgraded redesigned version of the War Machine armour with American flag colours on it. Yeah, I’m not a fan of the suit. I preferred the War Machine.
Rhodey gets to team up with Tony Stark/Iron Man again in this film when the two work together to stop the villain’s plans in the film’s second act. I like how Tony and Rhodey bounce off each other with their bantering. It demonstrates the friendship between them when they are working together.
It was tense when the Iron Patriot suit gets taken from Aldrich Killian for his evil plans to capture the President of America on Air Force One. Fortunately Rhodey and Tony get to use a speed boat to catch the villains and I did like it when Rhodey got to save the President before getting his suit back.
Guy Pearce stars as Aldrich Killian, who is really the villain of the movie, not the Mandarin. I mean I know he says he’s the Mandarin in this film, but I’m not buying it. Aldrich is the creator of the Extremis virus and is founder and owner of the organisation that’s named Advanced Idea Mechanics.
I admit the Extremis virus technology used in the film is intriguing and rather scary and Guy Pearce does deliver a decent performance. But I found Aldrich Killian’s motives for revenge on Tony for something that happened in 1999 when he did not meet him on the rooftop to be weak in character.
These three ‘Iron Man’ movies seem to have Tony Stark up against villains from his past whether they’d be business men in connection to his father’s past at Stark Industries. I do feel this is repetitive in the ‘Iron Man’ movies, although Iron Man is meant to be about business and technology.
Sir Ben Kingsley stars as ‘the Mandarin’ in the film. Now I recall reading about the Mandarin being a villain in the ‘Iron Man‘ comics. Before seeing this film, I was thinking, “Wow! We’re going to get a proper ‘Iron Man’ villain from the comics.” I was so looking forward to seeing what he would be like.
And he turned out to be a let-down. I mean…WOW did he turn out to be a let-down! Ben Kingsley starts playing the Mandarin off in the villainous role he seems to be. But then it turned out the Mandarin was really a British actor, Trevor Slattery, who’s playing the Mandarian for Killian’s villainy.
Again, I’m not denying Sir Ben Kingsley performs well in the film and it was an intriguing twist where you thought he was going to be the villain before he turns out not to be. But the comic relief of that reveal feels disappointing and wrong, especially as many had high expectations of it from the comics.
Rebecca Hall stars as Maya Hansen, a geneticist who worked for Aldrich Killian in creating the Extremis virus. Maya had a one night affair with Tony Stark back in 1999. She comes out to Tony’s place to warn him about Killian. But she was working to trap Tony since she kidnaps Pepper instead.
Stéphanie Szostak stars as Brandt, a war veteran who becomes an assassin when she’s subjected to the Extremis virus by Killian. It was tense, scary and exciting when Brandt attacked Tony Stark in rural Tennessee. I did wonder how Tony Stark was going to outwit Brandt when he was fighting her.
James Badge Dale stars as Savin, who is Aldrich Killian’s powerful henchman with the Extremis virus inside of him. He does more of the action stuff compared to how Brandt does action in the film. It’s intriguing that Ben Kingsley’s character is the mouth piece; Killian’s the brain and Savin’s the muscle.
Despite not directing ‘Iron Man 3’, Jon Favreau does play Happy Hogan in the film. Hogan is now serving Stark Industries as its head of security department instead of being Tony Stark’s bodyguard and chauffeur. He goes on an undercover mission, before going into a coma for the rest of this film.
The film also features Paul Bettany return to voice J.A.R.V.I.S., Stark’s A.I. system. There’s also Ty Simpkins as Harley Kenner, a boy who becomes Tony’s sidekick in Tennessee. There’s William Sadler as President Ellis; Miguel Ferrer as Vice President Rodrigeuz and Adam Pally as the cameraman Gary.
‘Iron Man 3’ was working well for me in its first half and most of its second half. However I do feel that the climax was rather underwhelming in terms of its action scenes. The action is pretty good and the CGI effects are spectacular. But there were things about the climax that I wasn’t able to register.
For one thing, Tony Stark summons an army of Iron Men suits to help him and Rhodey fight against Killian and save Pepper Potts as well as President Ellis. I don’t know how Tony was able to summon those Iron Man suits since there was no build-up to it and it was all so fast-paced for me to take and watch.
But it doesn’t matter. Iron Man manages to win the day; Pepper is saved; the Extremis virus is taken out of her; Tony undergoes surgery to remove the shrapnel in his heart to not be Iron Man anymore and Happy Hogan comes out of his coma. This feels a rushed climax in my opinion, but there you are.
And by the way, despite Tony Stark seeming to give up his role of Iron Man at the end of the film, he still claims he’s Iron Man at the end. Also, Tony Stark returns to be Iron Man in future movies of the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’. At the time, I thought it was the end of Iron Man. Now I feel cheated.
The DVD special features of ‘Iron Man 3’ are as follows. There’s ‘Deconstructing The Scene: Attack on Air Force One’ and an ‘Exclusive Behind-The-Scenes Look –‘Thor: The Dark World‘.
On the Blu-ray for ‘Iron Man 3’, as well as ‘Deconstructing The Scene: Attack on Air Force’ and the ‘Exclusive Behind-The-Scenes Look –’Thor: The Dark World’, there are special features like ‘Iron Man 3 Unmasked’; ‘Marvel One Shot: Agent Carter’; a gag reel; deleted and extended scenes; an audio commentary with director/screenwriter Shane Black and screenwriter Drew Pearce and more.
‘Iron Man 3’ is not as a good as the first ‘Iron Man’ movie but it is slightly better than ‘Iron Man 2’. I did enjoy seeing it at the cinema back in 2013, but my first experience of it is vague. Having seen the film again, I don’t think it’s the best film to start Phase Two of the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’, but it’s okay.
There’s a post-credits sequence at the end of the movie where Tony Stark is telling his story of ‘Iron Man 3’ to Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner from ‘Avenger Assemble’. Apparently he wasn’t paying attention when Tony was telling his story. Thankfully Tony didn’t make Bruce angry with his story. 😀
‘Tony Stark will return!’ Ooh! That’s exciting! When? 😀
‘Iron Man 3’ rating – 7/10
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