The Scoop: 2013 PG-13, directed by Shane Black and starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, and Ben Kingsley
Tagline: Unleash the power behind the armor.
Summary Capsule: Tony has to hunt down terrorist The Mandarin and answer the question, “When is a bomb not a bomb?”
Eunice’s Rating: [Me talking about Iron Man 3 at work] “And then he started dancing, and it’s like ‘Robert Downey Jr., I already love you, you don’t have to do anything. But that dance makes me love you more!'” *fist shake*
Eunice’s Review: Let’s get the plot out of the way:
After The Avengers, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) has gone back to his life with Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow), Happy (Jon Favreau), and Rhodes (Don Cheadle). Only, having faced aliens and gods and mentally being in a place where he would be willing sacrifice himself for the greater good, he’s suffering from PTSD after going through that wormhole. He can’t sleep, he refuses to talk about New York, becoming increasingly fixated on designing more and more Iron Man suits, and now he’s starting to have panic attacks.
Well while Tony and Pepper are trying to deal with his demons, a terrorist called The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) is committing bombings on US soil. After a series of things, Happy gets caught in one of the explosions ending up in the hospital in a coma. So in a fit of anger Tony challenges The Mandarin, giving out his address in the process. Stuff happens, things get blown up, and at the end of it Tony has to find The Mandarin, save the president, and protect those dear to him.
And it all ties in with a think tank called AIM run by Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), and events a younger drunker Tony set in motion New Year’s Eve 1999.
Okay, let me be up front, in case you haven’t read the disclaimer before, I like comics fine, but I’m not a particularly hardcore fan, so I’ll leave any such analysis to the other Mutants if they want to tackle that angle.
All the Reasons Eunice Thinks Iron Man 3 Is Super Groovy:
- Tony and his Robots. Not just because of Paul Bettany’s voice (though I could listen to him read the phone book), but I’ve always liked Tony’s relationship to his ‘bots and AI, I think it conveys how little he’s able to relate to humans. And because robots are people too.
- Downey’s little dance. (I love you!)
- Funny lines for everyone! There is some snappy dialogue in this movie. I think it evens out some of the heavier themes (we’ll discuss that in a minute), plus I love good banter.
- Giant rabbits.
- Tying in The Avengers. I wasn’t sure going in, not liking spoilers and such, if it would distance itself from the group movie and go back to being just an Iron Man film, if you know what I mean. The Avengers isn’t just confined to a short scene after the end credits or little nods and Easter eggs, this is definitely in the same universe. People ask Tony about what happened, what it was like, the government has renamed War Machine as part of a PR spin, and of course its influence on Tony.
- Monkeys in a barrel.
- Tony’s growth as a character. Yes there are ‘splosions and suits and action, but, for me, the Iron Man franchise is all about the growth of Tony Stark and his ability to allow himself to care about people. Because, really, while Downey may make him charming and funny, Tony, as we meet him in the first movie, is really a spoiled A-hole. The Tony in this movie is struggling with the realization that there are people he truly cares about, they truly care about him, and the pressure of how to protect them so he doesn’t lose them.
- Finally interesting villains. It’s hard to discuss the villains in Iron Man 3 without getting into spoiler territory. There’s mixed feelings about the twists and the way powers work, I get that, but they are at least the most interesting in the Iron Man movies, which up to this point have been… well the villains have been downright boring in the franchise. So whether you agree or disagree with where they went in the story, at least there was something going on there worth remembering (honest Whiplash is like a huge blank spot in my memory).
- My favorite scene. When Tony sends his suit to protect Pepper instead of himself and he doesn’t think about it it’s just reflex, the movie had me and would’ve had to completely lost its mind and imploded to lose me. It may be the most romantic thing I’ve seen in film for a long time. Where she comes back and protects him is just icing on the cake.
So those are some of the things I love. There are things that are worth pointing out though.
You don’t have to watch Iron Man or Iron Man 2 before seeing 3, it wouldn’t hurt but I wouldn’t call it required viewing. You do have to see The Avengers first though. If you don’t you’ll be kind of lost on a lot of what’s going on.
I’d say this is the darkest movie of the franchise, in that it’s troubles are based in real world fears and dangers. It stays true to its PG-13 rating, but there are no aliens here, it’s about terrorist attacks and bombings. I know someone who was really really freaked out by it. The fact that there’s military personnel involved, well hmm. If that sounds like something that might bother you, well it has some hot button/triggering topics in it.
While I like Tony and Pepper, I was really disappointed by Pepper’s reaction to Tony confessing his PTSD to her. I dunno it bugged me. I did however like that when she was packing bags, it wasn’t her bags, it was THEIR bags.
While on a visual/action level I like the ending with Pepper. Once you think about, it really doesn’t gel with some of the information given out earlier about how certain things work. (trying not to be too spoilery here)
There’s a kid. Some people hate the kid. I didn’t hate the kid, and I feel his inclusion is completely justified just for the “connection” scene. But, yeah, there’s a kid.
I loved Iron Man 3, I think it’s better than the first or second one. It made me go back and watch The Avengers again, and I’m all excited for the upcoming Marvel movies. I’m looking forward to seeing where they go next.
- First Iron Man not directed by Jon Favreau. Also the first with effects done by Digital Domain and Weta Digital instead of Industrial Light and Magic.
- Also the first time an actor has played Bruce Banner in more than one movie.
- In the Captain America comics AIM is an offshoot of HYDRA
- Present: Eric Savin/Coldblood, Ellen Brandt, and Jack Taggert/Firepower
- Extremis is a six-issue Iron Man story written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by Adi Granov.
- The term “In extremis” is a Latin term meaning “At the point of death.” It’s used to mark the point at which a change or choice (hopefully the right one) must be made in order to avoid a dire event (like a collision), after that point the event is inevitable and unavoidable.
- Stan Lee cameo! He’s a judge at the beauty pageant
- The Mandarin’s neck tattoo
- I used the group poster, but the Gwyneth Paltrow poster of her holding the helmet is actually pretty cool
- Is It Worth Staying Through End Credits? Well, it is a Marvel movie so, yes, there’s an extra bit at the end. I thought it was a pretty cool touch myself. Plus a card that says “Tony Stark will return.” And if you’re sitting there thinking, ‘Dang that’s a lot of names….’ Just remember what Kermit said, “They all have families.”
Tony Stark: I loved you in A Christmas Story, by the way.
James Rhodes: Is everything okay?
Tony Stark: …I broke the crayon.
Tony Stark: That’s the thing about smart guys – we cover our asses!
Tony Stark: You know, it’s times like these when I realize what a superhero I am.
Tony Stark: I just stole a poncho from a wooden Indian.
Brandt: Is that all you’ve got? A cheap trick and a cheesy one-liner?
Tony Stark: Sweetheart, that could be the name of my autobiography!
Guard: Don’t shoot! Seriously, I don’t even like working here. They are so weird!
Tony Stark: It’s Christmas, take ’em to Church.
Aldrich Killian: Let’s face it, you didn’t deserve her. I could’ve made her perfect.
Tony Stark: You’re right, I don’t deserve her. But there’s one thing you’re wrong: She was already perfect.
Tony Stark: You can take away my suits, you can take away my home, but there’s one thing you can never take away from me: I am Iron Man.
Tony Stark: I’m sorry, did I disturb your selective napping?
Bruce Banner: I’m sorry, I’m not that kind of doctor. It’s not my department.
Tony Stark: Your training?
Bruce Banner: My temperament.
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