Iron Man 3 (2013), the seventh installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
By Braden Woods
Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) is experiencing post traumatic stress disorder after seeing the wormhole in The Avengers. Because of this, he builds several new Iron Man suits, causing tension with his girlfriend Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow). Meanwhile, a villain named The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) is blowing up places around the United States. Also, Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) shows Potts the “Extremis Virus”, which allows for regeneration and amazing fire powers. When Stark gives out his address on national television, the Mandarin destroys his house. Stark then flies to Tennessee, where he meets Harley Keener (Ty Simpkins) and a couple of Extremis patients. Stark angrily drives to the Mandarin’s hideout in Miami, and discovers the Mandarin is a role played by failed actor Trevor Slattery (Kingsley). Killian kidnaps Potts (giving her Extremis), Col. James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) and President Matthew Ellis (William Sadler) and takes a repainted War Machine suit to blow up the President. Stark arrives with at least 40 Iron Man suits and murders many people in the world’s most unfair fight. When Stark and Killian battle, the end occurs when Killian is “double-infinity” blown up by a bomb thrown by Potts. Stark has the Extremis removed from Potts and the shrapnel removed from his heart.
This being the only Iron Man film I’ve seen, it’s the best one. The final battle especially is one of the best climaxes I’ve ever seen, comparable to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, or even Ocean’s Eleven. During the Mandarin reveal, I can just imagine Kingsley’s Mandarin voice: “My next victim, this bathroom.” The scenes with Extremis patients are awesome. At one point, there’s an Extremis patient who collapses a water tower by causing one of the legs to melt. The scene in which Hansen arrives is also funny:
Stark: “Please don’t tell me there’s a 12 year-old in the car I don’t know about.”
Hansen: “He’s 13.”
Stark: (Stares blankly.)
I’d have to say how the movie deals with the PTSD subplot isn’t very good. Harley basically tells Stark to man-up and save the day. It’s almost offensive to even suggest one would deal with PTSD in such a manner. I also didn’t care for how the Iron Man suits are so easily destroyed. Yes, they were, but it was always (except for one point at the beginning) for comedic effect. In addition, people complain that Iron Man isn’t in the film enough. Well, Stark is the interesting one, Iron Man is only a suit. Another problem I have with the film is how it adds nothing to the larger universe–even with Stark’s house and all of his suits destroyed, and Stark having the shrapnel removed. Seriously, movie haters… did none of this happen? Were you watching a different Iron Man 3? My final point is Simpkins’ character, Harley Keener. Many people didn’t care for his character, but I kind of liked him because he does have a couple of funny moments in the film.
Eternal quote: “Fortune cookies. They look Chinese, they sound Chinese, but they are actually American. You can tell because they’re hollow, tasteless, and full of lies.”
While I will most definitely give the film points for the awesome action sequences and the humor (the Mandarin reveal) had me rolling, despite the fact it angered so many comic book fans (which I also loved). Unfortunately, I’m going to take those points away because of the PTSD subplot. Taking into account the good and the bad points of the film, Braden gives Iron Man 3 a 71/100.