Movies for Breakfast Iron Man 3 Review
With Avengers done, its time to go back to the solo movies, which was a little bumpy for Marvel at first. Starting with Iron Man 3.
When Tony Stark’s world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin, he starts an odyssey of rebuilding and retribution.
Following the success of The Avengers movie, Marvel went back to the solo movies starting once again with Iron Man in Iron Man 3. This time directed by Shane Black with Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, and Jon Favreau all return to reprise their roles from the previous movies. This time they are joined by Guy Pearce playing Aldrich Killian, Rebecca Hall playing Maya Hansen, and Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin. The movie released a year after The Avengers almost to the day, so there was a lot of hype behind the heroes returning after the pinnacle movie, especially Iron Man. The film managed to break a box office of over $1 billion, and almost reaching the box office of The Avengers film itself.
Following the events of The Avengers, Tony Stark has been unable to sleep after what he saw in the wormhole from New York City during the attack. This has lead him to staying in the basement most nights and building new Iron Man suits, and he is now on Mark 42 which is a suit capable of deconstructing piece by piece and constructing itself around someone via commands Stark gives it using nanochips in his forearms. Outside though War Machine has gotten a new coat of paint making him the Iron Patriot who is trying to stop a new threat to the United States known as the Mandarin. After an attack by the Mandarin leaves Happy, Tony Starks past bodyguard, in the hospital Tony send a public message to the Mandarin to come at him and face him. All the while an old acquaintance that Tony stood up on New Years Eve of 2000 has returned in Aldrich Killian, who is working for the Mandarin. Tony ends up getting attacked by the Mandarin and ends up in Tennessee where he investigates a possible connection of an explosion that occurred there years prior to the Mandarin.
While he movie has some great moments, it has a lot of not so great ones as well. The biggest gripes I had with this movie were the ones most people end up complaining about, and they stick out even rewatching the movie now. One of the gripes being the misuse of the Mandarin. In the beginning of Iron Man 3 the Mandarin is built up as this force that seeks to teach people a lesson. He is not looking for power or money, he is looking to inflict fear. He is a true terrorist, and attacks places and people based on the decisions they have made, and uses mind games and tricks on the American people to inflict this fear. There is a scene in the movie that presents the Mandarin perfectly and his goals, where he puts a live broadcast on every tv in the United States and tells the president he has 30 seconds to call a number that has been put into his phone or he will kill a person live on tv. The president calls, the phone rings, and the Mandarin sits there for a moment, letting the tension rise, before shooting the person anyway. It’s a great way to introduce the villain, and build up just how he is playing mind games with the people in power within the United States to get his lessons through. All of this is thrown out the window though as the film continues and the potential of this villain is wasted for a couple of laughs and some fake outs. The other major gripe with this film is the usage of the kid that accompanies Tony when he is alone in Tennessee. The kid just comes off as annoying and pointless, it is a mix of the writing and the kids acting that brings any scene he is in to a stop. Even Robert Downey Jr seems to phone in some of the scenes with the kid involved. The only saving grace regarding the kid is he is thankfully introduced and dropped out of the plot of the film fairly quickly. The short periods of time he is in the spotlight though are some of the films weakest moments.
The film does do a lot of stuff right despite its problems. For starters the conflict that Tony is going through internally following the events of The Avengers make for a good theme. Tony has gone through a very traumatic event with what he saw in the wormhole, and is suffering PTSD because of it. Since he has never experienced any sort of anxiety before he fails to acknowledge it properly, and has panic attacks throughout the film brought on by having these memories brought up. It brings a little more depth to Tony Starks character aside from his normal cocky attitude about everything. Seeing him go through panic attacks and not be sure how to handle it brings him out of his normal comfort zone of knowing how to deal with problems that come his way, or finding a way out of it himself. When he it comes to his PTSD he is powerless to it. Aldrich Killian is also a good villain for Iron Man to face off against, he isn’t just a carbon copy of Iron Mans armor with a new body inside of it. His character is motivated by Starks past actions toward him, and he comes off as a brilliant character in his own right. The idea of him hiding behind another person as a mask is also a nice concept that brings his character out, as he isn’t looking to be the spotlight, but to run things from the background. He makes for an interesting villain, and a welcome one, except for the fact that he isn’t marketed as the main villain in the movie until near the end.
Iron Man 3 is not the best Iron Man movie, and much like the second movie it has a lot of plot points and scenes that bring it down. While it does have some faults though, it does a lot of things right that make it fun to watch at times, before it slams on the breaks and becomes an annoying or boring movie for scenes, and then back to being a fun paced film again. The movie could be improved with just a couple more months of editing and the removal of some elements that slow the pace of the movie down such as the kid, and some reworking of the Mandarin villain would have been nice. If doing an Avengers rewatch of the past Marvel Cinematic Universe movies this is an easy one to skip, but not a bad one to check out again if deciding to watch the Iron Man trilogy.