Iron Man 3
Directed by Shane Black
The third film in the Iron Man series is set shortly after the events which occurred in Avengers, but Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is not celebrating any victories. Inwardly he is struggling to come to terms with these recent events (simply referred to as New York) and suffers anxiety attacks due to post-traumatic stress. He has withdrawn himself to a certain degree, spending most of his time tinkering in his workshop while Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) is left to run Stark Industries, and Colonel James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) rules the skies in his War Machine suit, now re-branded as the Iron Patriot. As a result of all his spare time, Stark has made some impressive changes to the Iron Man suits, which are at times funny, but also very cool.
While Iron Man has been in semi-retirement, a new evil has risen in the form of The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), who indiscriminately slaughters men, women and children, with the help of his new breed of super soldier, and defies all, claiming that the United States is getting what is coming to it. In a confrontation with the media, Tony Stark impulsively dares the Mandarin to bring the fight to him, which he promptly does, destroying Stark’s entire house with Tony and Pepper barely managing to escape. Stark goes AWOL trying to figure out the mystery of The Mandarin and has to do so without the help of his Iron Man suit. He proves that he is not just a hero because of his armored suit, but he is quite the formidable foe with even the most basic of tools. We get to see Iron Man in his simplest, most basic form. No glamour, no computers, just the genius that is Tony Stark. Then when the going gets rough we also get to see what he can do with his entire workshop. Tony Stark is not perfect and his weaknesses are laid bare in this story but he proves that he is still a hero even when everything has been taken away from him.
The first movie to be released as part of Marvel’s Phase 2, Iron Man 3 had a lot to live up to. Especially being the first Marvel movie to come out since Avengers. How do you create a bigger battle than the one that earth’s mightiest heroes had to face? Well, Iron Man 3 wasn’t out to try and go bigger or more impressive, yet I was more impressed. The story was deeper and the villains seemed more villainous. Iron Man had to face this threat on his own. There was no S.H.I.E.L.D. or Avengers team to back him up this time. One has to assume they were busy dealing with their own problems. As always, Robert Downey Jr. is the perfect fit for Tony Stark. Anyone can put on an Iron Man suit but in my eyes only Downey Jr. could be Stark. Gwyneth Paltrow had more than one moment to shine this time as Pepper got her chance to be the hero. I could feel the emotion shown in her face at the times when she showed her care for Tony. Without giving away too much of the plot I will say that Ben Kingsley was great as The Mandarin but I was disappointed with how his role played out, through no fault of his own. His acting was impeccable. Guy Peirce was also a very cool calculating bad guy as Aldrich Killian. These Marvel movies never fail to keep a sense of humor through it all and Iron Man is always great with his deadpan wit.
Written by Ben Freeman