The Ninjabot

IRON MAN 3 review

Posted on May 1, 2013 at 6:51 pm by David "Snackbar" Edmundson

iron man 3

Iron Man 3 is tasked with kicking off Marvel’s “Phase Two,” and it has to do it without original director and champion of Robert Downey Jr.—Jon Favreau. New director, Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), attempts to accomplish this by answering the age old question, “Does the suit make the man?”

Rather then trying to match the action and epic scope of The Avengers, Iron Man 3 is at its core a huge, high-tech detective story that has Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) investigating a series of attacks that link to his past, eventually culminating in a battle with The Mandarin (Sir Ben Kingsley), the leader of a terrorist group known as The Ten Rings.

The film opens in 1999, Happy (Jon Favreau) has a mullet and Tony hasn’t been born again as a superhero. We meet Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), an awkward scientist who wants to save the world. Tony blows him off for his female accomplice to celebrate New Year’s with a bang. Fast forward to present day, Tony spends all of his time working on the suits and is up to Mark-42. We really get to see how the events of New York weigh on Stark. He can’t sleep and is suffering from debilitating panic attacks. He’s a man desperate to hang onto the people he loves, and fearful that when the time comes, he won’t be able to help them. This is especially true in regards to his live-in girlfriend, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), who views his obsession with his suits as a distraction and a reason for him to hide from his demons.

iron man 3

Shane Black does an amazing job of showing us that Iron Man is as good as he is because Tony Stark is inside. His goal was to “return Tony to the cave” referencing a return to the original movie, as opposed to the bloated globe trotting of part 2. It’s great to see Stark slinking around a small town trying to figure out who The Mandarin is and what he wants, while also trying to repair his damaged suit. Don’t let this frighten you: he is still Tony Stark and it’s never more apparent than when he interacts with a kid (Ty Simpkins) whose home Stark is hiding out in.

Stark’s interactions with Rhodey (Don Cheadle) are also memorable as Black excels at the buddy dynamic, having written Lethal Weapon and The Last Boy Scout. In the end, the two must do battle without their suits against superior forces. The dialogue is the best of the series, and the action sequences are amazing. I would say its better than part 2, but not as good as the original. Of course, the original is one of the best comic movies ever made, so that’s not a slight. The story is engaging and there are plenty of surprises around each corner.

Smart dialogue, snappy action, and a great cast… The summer movie season has officially begun. If you are a fan of the originals, this is a no brainier. The series feels like it has really grown up, and Marvel’s “phase two” is off to a great start. My only gripes revolve around the ending and are spoiler-heavy so I’ll detail them below.

Snackbar’s grade: B+

iron man 3

Let us know what you think when you see it. Let me know if I’m right or an idiot… or both! See below for spoilers.

Follow all of Snackbar’s mutterings on Twitter @Snackie_Cakes



iron man 3 the mandarin

The final battle at the dock is epic and features the Iron Man suits vs. Killian’s super soldiers. Wait a second, Killian? Not The Mandarin? Yup, The Mandarin is an actor named Trevor Slattery who is acting the terrorist while Killian runs everything from behind the scenes. Kingsley is tremendous as Trevor, an oblivious actor with no clue that people are actually dying.

One of my main gripes is that Killian has been making soldiers who can go toe to toe with the suit, and then he augments Pepper as well. She survives a fatal fall and uses her super powers to save Tony at the end. It’s not a huge part of the film, but the shift in Pepper’s character seemed unnecessary. My other gripe is Tony’s activation of “The clean slate protocol,” which entails Jarvis destroying all the suits. In the end, Pepper has super powers and Stark has no suits. I’m sure he’ll whip one up before Avengers 2, but with Robert Downey Jr. talking about retiring from Iron Man, who knows what the future holds.

Also disappointing is the post credit scene. Speculation was that it was going to introduce us to the Guardians of the Galaxy, or set up Thor in space. Neither happens, though, and we get a cute scene where Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) attempts to help Tony with his psychological problems. I’m sure the late casting of The Guardians hindered Marvel’s ability to use them, but I can dream can’t I?

iron man 3

    • randommonkey78

      Just saw it. The movie was fucking awesome. Probably my favorite of the 3 films. I disagree about the Pepper's character shift. Pepper was always a strong character and I liked the fact that she can really help and save Tony for a change.

      • Eh, I just feel like they crammed her down our throats this time around. The end pushed it over the top for me. I think the film is leaps better than part 2, but not as good as the original. Glad you liked it.

      • She doesn't get to keep her powers, though; Stark mentions in the end sequences that he fixed her, around the same time that he gets the shrapnel removed from his chest.

        I kind of felt that the wrap-up was rushed. Ok, he realizes he doesn't need the suits…but how does he come to this conclusion, exactly? After all, he just saved everyone with a couple dozen of the suits.

    • Scott

      The bonus scene at the end was funny, although not in line with most of the Marvel franchise, as you pointed out. I liked that Tony was portrayed as a human that can experience loss as well as mental disabilities from previous story lines. I agree on it being better than 2 but not quite as good as the first. B+ is a bit harsh, I’d say anything but an A or A- would be an injustice.


    • I concur… a step above Iron Man 2 but not as good as the first.

      I wanted to be upset with the Mandarin bait-n-switch but Ben Kingsley sold it so well I couldn’t be.

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