Movie Review: Iron Man 3

 In movie review

Movie Review: Iron Man 3 (2013)
Director: Shane Black
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Jon Favreau, Ben Kingsley

After the events in Avengers, Tony Stark is having some trouble sleeping. So instead he goes into his basement and tinkers on the Iron Man technology – having created a new suit, called Mark 42, which can travel to him and attach itself to his body wherever he may be. Meanwhile, a new terrorist called The Mandarin (Kingsley) has been bombing cities around the world, leaving no traces of the explosive devices. War Machine, now Iron Patriot, piloted by Colonel James Rhodes (Cheadle) has been investigating, but cannot figure out how he’s doing it.

When an explosion goes off on American soil injuring Tony’s friend Happy (Favreau), Tony gets personally involved and calls out the Mandarin – causing his home to be attacked and Tony to be considered dead. Now, with little resources at his disposal, Tony must find the connection between these bombings and stop this new threat once and for all.

I’m torn on how I feel about this movie (and here come the spoilers). So let’s break out the positives and negatives:


  • More action than the previous Iron Man movies
  • Robert Downey Jr kicks all kinds of ass
  • More emphasis on the great supporting cast – Pepper (Paltrow) and Rhodes are awesome
  • Finally a kick ass villain on par with Tony both physically as well as intellectually
  • Awesome ending sequence with all of the Iron Man armors battling on Tony’s behalf


  • Tonally very different from the previous Iron Man flicks – much darker and Tony is more desperate (this is like the Die Hard of superhero flicks)
  • Tension points could have been dragged out a bit more to, you know…build tension. The trailer has more tension in it than many scenes in the movie
  • Big twist that completely contradicts the comic book continuity – this has thrown the comic book world into two camps: the lovers and the haters. And honestly, both have a strong leg to stand on
  • No set up for future Marvel movies – movie felt more like a fond farewell to RDJ, since this is his last contracted movie with Marvel

So how did I feel about the movie? Well, overall I liked it. It was pretty funny like past Iron Man movies, and it was great to see what a desperate Tony Stark would do. But the movie was just very dark – the villains very frightening – and the themes very contemporary. And the big twist left me with a bitter taste in my mouth. I was entertained when happened, but I spent the entire movie asking if the twist was necessary. Or if there would be another twist that said, “Just kidding. That twist was a lie!” But it never happened.

I’m sure I will be buying this movie when it comes out, but it didn’t feel like the first installment of Phase 2 of the Marvel movies. It felt like a goodbye to RDJ – and while I understand he was only contracted for 5 movies (come on, Hulk barely counted) I really wanted a better teaser for Avengers 2, Guardians of the Galaxy, or Thor 2 later this year. I wanted a twist that didn’t undo decades of comic book continuity. I wanted something to be excited about after this movie ended and the scene after the credits was over.

But in the end, the movie just left me wanting.

It’s not the same tone as what Marvel did with Phase 1, and that’s disappointing. And unfortunately they didn’t give me anything to be excited about for Phase 2. So the question remains – how do I feel about the movie?

I think I need some more time to process….

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