Review: Iron Man 3 (2013)

Iron Man 3 poster

“Ladies, children, sheep… Some people call me a terrorist. I consider myself a teacher. Lesson number one: Heroes, there is no such thing.”
– The Mandarin

I am back… at work, that is. I really needed the time off. Boy, was it worth it. I got to watch some amazing and some (really) not so amazing films, some series, I read, I studied (truly… hem hem), watched Iron Man 3 and I got showered with tons of awesome gifts. More films for my personal collection, books that I have been eyeing for a long time among other things, as well as a lifetime supply of candy (I lie… it might last until the end of the week). But back to the issues at hand. Iron Man 3

Billionaire playboy and engineering genius Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is still battling with his emotions from what happened with the Avengers in New York. His girlfriend, Virginia “Pepper” Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) is doing her best to run Stark Industries as well as keep Tony satisfied, but there seems to be a shift in their relationship. Restless, anxious and sleep deprived, Tony starts tinkering on a new project – armour that will call to his body from his mind, as well as work and act without his physically needing to be inside of it. The Mark 42 armour seems to be working… shiftily. He is obsessively building more Iron Man suits. Tony has finally realized he is not untouchable, and wants to keep the most important person in his life safe at any and all costs. Pepper meets with an old contact from Tony’s past, Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), who offers Stark Industries to invest in his think tank idea Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM). Pepper politely declines.

Iron Man 3 Pearce and Paltrow

“The whole world’s gonna be watching.” – Aldrich Killian

A new terrorist has taken the reigns and he goes by the name of The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley). He is so undercover and unknown and untraceable, the world is sure that they have met Iron Man’s match, though his best friend, Colonel James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes (Don Cheadle) tells him to stay out of it, being military business and all, Tony is drawn into the fight when another close friend of his, Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) is caught in a bomb blast – a terrorist attack. Happy was very on edge with Aldrich Killian and the company that he kept, and investigated a little bit more by accident. Tony publicly announces to the press that he is on a revenge mission for the Mandarin, and gives his home address.

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Chilling with the prodigal

As much as Tony tries to protect Pepper, his arrogance and anger brings down a world of suffering, and he is forced to run for cover when his home is bombed and demolished and he is presumed dead. Hiding out in Tennessee with a young  boy named Harley Keener (Ty Simkins), Tony starts to fix up his suit as well as prepare to return to Pepper, who has been kidnapped by the Mandarin’s people. Tony discovers that the bomb blasts that have been popping up all over the country due to the Mandarin are caused by soldiers that were a part of the Extremis program, a tissue regenerative program for the human body with strength effects and more, headed up by his old flame Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall). The Mandarin group wants Tony to fix the kinks in the Extremis program, and soon.

Iron Patriot

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When the Iron Patriot armour is stolen from Rhodey, Tony and Rhodey need to get together to recover the armour, and stop the Mandarin group from continued terror attacks, while simultaneously saving both Pepper and the United States president. Will the team be able to do it, and will Tony be able to settle down and be far less anxious in life, continuing smoothly with Pepper? Will they be able to save the president and the love of Tony’s life, while stopping the Mandarin and the crazy attacks that he exacts with calculated brutality, not stopped or challenged at any turn?

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“Things are different now, I have to protect the one thing that I can’t live without. That’s you.” – Tony Stark to Pepper

I reckon Iron Man 3  earns a 6.5/10. I mean I walked in with the knowledge that this would be the closer, and I was very excited to see what would come, and after all the reviews and the anticipation, I was entertained to a degree, but not like I thought I would be.  Iron Man 3 was just vastly different from its predecessors. You can see a distinct change in the direction (missed Jon Favreau). The cinematography was good, the effects were solid, but I felt that the story needed to be tightened up a bit more – especially the whole villain plot. Read around and all and the general consensus seems to be that they jumped into the Extremis plot way too quickly, that is why is seems holey at times. Robert Downey Jr. was great, naturally, and Gwyneth was definitely Pepper, but things were a bit… different with them for this one, which is what the film was going for, I am sure. I really didn’t like how closely this was linked to The Avengers (we all know I am such a fan). Once again, there was some pretty good humour in the film, and Tony and Rhodey together was hilarious, I would expect nothing less from their dynamic, but there was a lot of forced humour and even more that fell flat. There was this distinct feeling of something missing, though, and I am not one hundred percent sure what that was. And the Iron Patriot? Just let him be the War Machine! However, I was glad the patriotic armour was limited to Rhodey, I like the hot rod red and gold for Tony, that is just Iron Man. Also missed the music from the older movies, such as the ACDC, the Black Sabbath, that was really great for me, but removed for this one. Don Cheadle had a much bigger role this time, which was also pretty cool. Guy Pearce was definitely good in his role, he is a very good kooky person, and plays that misunderstood genius very convincingly, though he was criminally underused. Ben Kingsley came as a surprise. Not as an actor, as always he was great, but his character took me slightly aback, I think they completely crippled that story arc. Overall, not a bad watch, just really not in league with its predecessors, and a rather disappointing way to close down the trilogy.

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21 thoughts on “Review: Iron Man 3 (2013)

  1. sanclementejedi says:

    Nice write up Zoe, I enjoyed it but could have done without the kid subplot. Plenty of action but not much heart. Don’t see myself rushing out to re-watch or purchase this when it comes out on Blu-ray.

    Like

    • Zoë says:

      Thank you! I agree with you, it was a bit flaky at times, and didn’t offer the same kick the last two did. I have to buy it to complete my collection, but I will be buying it when prices drop on it, not on new release per se.

      Like

  2. jjames36 says:

    Definitely something missing in this one. I would suggest one of those somethings is an interesting villain. Killian’s motivations are weakly defined and his personality isn’t much better. The best superhero flicks present complicated villains. In my opinion, this one doesn’t.

    Still an entertaining film, of course, but also one that is far from great.

    Like

    • Zoë says:

      I agree with you. Guy Pearce was also underused, in my opinion. He is a good actor they could have made great, but they didn’t. It was entertaining, but for me it is just not on the same level as the first, and even then not on par with the second, either.

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      • Zoë says:

        Haha! Yeah, very few sequels tend to be good. This was definitely not one.

        I suppose, but even this Tony Stark was a bit different. I liked him though.

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      • Zoë says:

        Yeah, I understand needing to tie it back to The Avengers, but I thought they hung up on that far too much (and it irritated me, I am NOT an Avengers fan).

        Like

      • jjames36 says:

        Interesting. I think the Avengers was easily my favorite Marvel production.

        That said, you might be right. Iron Man 3 might have hit that note a few more times than it really needed to.

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      • Zoë says:

        I know I am seriously in the minority with my opinion, it is just the plot was weak and there were some major plot holes.

        I thought so. It was ok to refer back to it, but it based the entire story on it. I love how the Marvel movies refer to one another and all that, but this was IRON MAN 3, not Avengers 2: Tony Stark, you know what I mean?

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      • jjames36 says:

        I will try and remember to check out what you had to say about The Avengers. 🙂

        Anyway, it’s okay to occasionally be in the minority. Means no one can ever accuse you of just following the pack. 🙂

        Me? I’m firmly cemented as one of the 1-3% of viewers who think Before Midnight is utter garbage.

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      • Zoë says:

        🙂 It had the potential, seeing as I pretty much enjoyed all the solo outings, but it seems that they drastically missed the mark when bringing them all together. However, I feel that Mark Ruffalo was probably the best choice ever for Bruce Banner.

        True that, true that!

        I have (to be honest) never seen a single film in that trilogy, and keep wondering about it. I will bear your opinion in mind when I check it out, I have not seen one person challenge the film, but that you did. Hmmmm.

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      • jjames36 says:

        Totally agreed on Ruffalo as Banner. He’s terrific. Haven’t haven’t mad me it to your Avengers review yet, but I still intend to. Hopefully later today. 😉

        And yeah. Before Midnight is the only of three I’ve seen. I have a feeling seeing it out of context was a bad idea.

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      • Zoë says:

        😛 Anytime! I want to watch it again sometime and tighten up the review, that was written shortly after I started blogging, so a little rough around the edges still.

        I saw your review, I see what you mean. Maybe it would mean more if you had the experience of the previous ones? Hmmm, will have to see them sometime soon!

        Like

      • jjames36 says:

        It might have, but I doubt the conversations would have felt natural to me, all the same. Hard to know for certain, though.

        Maybe my experience serves a cautionary tale for you. Do not see Midnight before you’ve seen the other Before films.

        Like

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