run time: 130 mins
considered: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
director: Drew Pearce
starring: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Jon Favreau, Ben Kingsley, James Badge Dale, Stephanie Szostak, Paul Bettany, William Sadler, Dale Dickey, Ty Simpkins, Miguel Ferrer, Xueqi Wang
movie summary: The United States is being threaten by an evil Mandarin terrorist (Ben Kingsley) which leaves the U.S Government begging for Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) to catch him. There’s only one problem, Tony hasn’t been the same since New York (Avengers movie) suffering from panic attacks whenever he gets stressed. The government turns to Iron Patriot/James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) to step up into his role, except the Mandarin has a huge army of people called Extremis. These people who have the ability to reproduce missing body limbs and heal themselves which is something the world has never seen before.
Tony stays awake every night working downstairs in his laboratory building several different Iron Man suits outfitted with different capabilities. His relationship with Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) is on the rocks because she’s busy running Stark Industries and Tony is so preoccupied with his work that he never has time for her. An old flame of Pepper’s, Aldrich Killian (Guy Pierce) stops by the headquarters to explain his new technological achievement about the capability of reading the human brain. Pepper is flattered by his attention which ticks Tony off because he remembers Aldrich from a party years ago. Life is about to take a turn for the worse when a Mandarin solider turns himself into a bomb downtown that lands Happy (Jon Favreau) in the hospital. Tony loses his mind over this attack and goes on National TV to call out the Mandarin by telling him to come fight him at his house then gives the world his address.
When Tony and Pepper return home she packs to get them out of house when it comes under attack. Mandarin soldiers in armed helicopters fire bullets and missiles at Tony’s house blowing his beautiful cliff side house into the ocean. Tony manages to rescue Pepper with the Iron Man suit before going down with his house into the bedrock of the ocean. He gets pinned under some beams when the rest of the house collapses down on top of him. Thanks to the power of the suit he manages to blast out of the rumble and flies across the country where the suit loses power in Tennessee. Tony drags his empty Iron Man suit across the fields into a some town where he meets Harley (Ty Simpkins). Tony uses the kid’s garage to recharge, repair, and reboot his suit. While they hang out in the town, Mandarin Extremis soldiers attack Tony and Harley. After finding a creative way to kill one of them, the other escapes leaving Tony to figure out where he has gone. Tony steals a car and a phone to call Rhodes who is in Afghanistan trying to find the Mandarin, Tony explains the new details he has discovered and the two can’t make any sense of any of it. He pulls over to log into the US Government secured network to research Aldrich and his projects. What Tony discovers gives him a panic attack but he calls Rhodes back to tell him that the Mandarin is in Miami and they have to meet there as soon as possible.
Tony reaches Miami first and catches the Mandarin who doesn’t appear to be pulling all the strings of the operation. Aldrich then kidnaps Tony and holds him hostage, then Aldrich shows Tony that Pepper has also been kidnapped and currently under going the Extremis process to convert her body. Iron Patriot shows up only to get kidnapped himself as Aldrich attempts to melt the suit to get Rhodes out. Back in Tennessee the Iron Man suit is almost fully charged when Tony calls for his suit while handcuffed to a wall in Miami. When the suit arrives Tony kills all the bad guys, rescues Rhodes, and then interrogates the Mandarin about where Pepper and Aldrich are. The three of them hit the waters with the Mandarin’s boat only to learn that Iron Patriot has caused an explosion on Air Force One and has the President as a hostage. Iron Man springs into action to save people from the airplane while Rhodes figures out that Aldrich is hiding in a naval ship yard.
After losing the Iron Man suit to a collision, Tony and Rhodes head to the ship without any body armour. The two have a couple of hand guns but they are outnumbered by the army of Extremis soldiers. Tony finds Pepper and Aldrich but is completely outmatched without his suit. He calls Jarvis to activate a program that will send all his Iron Man prototypes to Miami. Rhodes goes to rescue the President while Tony battles the Extremis until his suits arrive, when the army of Iron Man show up they take the battle to the Extremis but are just prototypes so break down really easy. The good guys remain out numbered, their equipment is breaking down, and they haven’t even begun to fight the most powerful Extremis person yet, Aldrich Killian.
my thoughts: Most of you out there will feel the same I do about Iron Man 3. After the events, story, and action in the Avengers, Iron Man 3 was a complete let down. The writers must have run out of ideas because Tony spends most of his days trying to breathe through panic attacks while building an army of Iron Man suits. Thankfully these suits become a big part of the story line even though they didn’t really need to be there. The Avengers characters we have seen through out the other films magically disappear in this movie leaving Tony and Rhodes to take on terrorists all alone. The infusion of a new creepy enemy with Aldrich was creative but wasn’t there someone else Iron Man could have fought? Tony explains to us that creating enemies is not good and even though years go by, those enemies can find a way to get back to you. It was kinda absurd to think Aldrich went from a suicidal nobody to the mastermind of an international terrorist who can catch on fire when he gets pissed off enough.
I feel bad for Happy in this movie because his character is written right out of the story by getting injured in an attack only to lay in a hospital the whole movie. This is the same actor who had minor but important roles in the previous films while being the director! I’ve never read the comic books so I don’t know his character that well but Jon Favreau deserved better. Marvel must have been upset at how poorly Iron Man 2 was perceived and this was his punishment. Pepper is always involved in the major storyline in some way or another but this time is kidnapped and turned into an Extremis. Why? Was that character transformation really necessary? Did it happen in the comic books too? I will just chalk that up to a bad idea for a franchise looking for new ideas to extend it.
Tony struggles throughout the movie with his identity and purpose in life. Surprisingly he is at his absolute best in the whole series for cracking jokes, being sarcastic, and not caring about the little people. He shows his ability to be really friendly and down to earth but if this was your best friend you’d want to kick his ass for teasing you all the time. By the end of the movie he realizes that there are more important things in the world then Iron Man which makes me wonder what kind of role Tony Stark/Iron Man will have in the next few Avengers movie on top of any other Iron Man movie projects. Should Robert Downey Jr. ever leave the series, it will be tough to replace him because no one else could ever play the role like him. Think of Heath Ledger and the Joker from the Dark Knight but as a good guy instead.
After watching Iron Man 3 you will wonder why this scrambled story and plot was 2:20 long. There are some pretty cool actions scenes but the infusion of so many subplot characters really drags out the story. This movie will entertain you but fall short in what you should expect from a superhero movie.
my star rating: 5 out 10
imdb.com: 7.4 out 10
rottentomatoes.com: 78% out 100%