Marvel Cinematic Universe had a lot riding on their first Phase Two movie — Iron Man 3. They had to maintain the narrative flow after the first Avengers cross-over that came right before this one and still deliver a strong solo movie. And needless to say, Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man 3 delivered. Not only was the first time Marvel director Shane Black able to retain the snarky humour of the original but he was also able to add a much-needed new dimension to the now two-film old Iron Man.
In fact, Iron Man 3 starts off with Tony Stark declaring to the world, “I am a changed man now.” In the course of the film, we find out that even though Iron Man is back to the ease of life in Malibu, he is now having a tough time dealing with a series of panic attacks and threats from a maniac called the Mandarin. He leans over the edge a little too much and what follows post that is a well-thought out and satisfying re-creation of a superhero.
Five great things about Iron Man 3:
Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark
Can any actor pull off playing Iron Man better than Robert Downey Jr? Despite this third iteration trying to bring a whole new sentimental side to his personality, Downey never loses his quintessential cocky appeal. He is vulnerable yet sassy, consider scenes like the interaction between him and the cable van operator. The actor just continues to amaze us with every appearance he makes as Iron Man, whether it is a cross-over or a solo movie.
Retains the original jocosity
Despite Iron Man 3 bringing a new vulnerable side to Iron Man, Shane Black has been able to retain the original jocosity of the series in his film. Sequences featuring Iron Man and War Machine together are especially enjoyable. So are Ben Kingsley’s as Trevor.
Iron Man’s vulnerable side
As I said earlier, with Iron Man 3, director Black brings a completely new emotional side to Iron Man. He is more human than ever in this superhero movie. He is troubled by his anxiety attacks, relies too much on his suits, is ready to go to any lengths to protect his lady love Pepper Potts and is generally just too driven by his emotions now. While the scenes featuring Tony Stark and Ty Simpkins are truly heart-touching, for the most part of his journey, Tony is without his suit and Jarvis. But still, he fights off enemies like never before.
Spotlight on War Machine
Another good thing about Iron Man 3 is that it throws ample spotlight on Colonel Rhodes’ War Machine. He is finally the kind of strong sidekick that Iron Man needs and arrives at the battle scene at exactly the right time. Unlike the previous Iron Man films, Don Cheadle has a lot to do with his character now and he is every bit as good.
Iron Man 3 also boasted of some eye-popping action sequences. Not only are the set pieces bigger in this action treat but the sequences featuring the crumbling buildings and mid-air explosions are also done more efficiently. Also, the burning lamps like Extremis provide a refreshing step away from the suit-on-suit fights in the past offerings.
Two not-so-great things about Iron Man 3:
When will Marvel learn to do justice to its bad guys? While there is some hope in the beginning of Iron Man 3 as the makers pull in the Extremis narrative from the comic books, ultimately the villains just don’t live up to the standard. Guy Pearce did a fine job at portraying Adrien Gillich but his motivations are hugely unjustified. Rebecca Hall as Maya Hansen also brought in a fresh narrative but is cut off from the plot far too quickly. Similar is the case with Ben Kingsley as Trevor Slattery.
Over-dosage of Pepper Potts
Somewhere along the line, in adding a personal touch to Tony Stark in Iron Man 3, the narrative starts to focus a little too much on his girlfriend Pepper Potts. Their mushy romance is given an unnecessary amount of time and Potts even delivers the final blow to Gillich.