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Iron Man 3 Review

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It could be said that this is the best Iron Man movie but is it the best Marvel Studios movie?

Tony's Thoughts

The third Iron Man movie is here. With last year's The Avengers, most of the viewers should know who Tony Stark and his supporting characters are. These days movies tend to focus on being a trilogy but with The Avengers, this is, in a way, Iron Man's fourth film. Now that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has opened up and we've seen more cohesion between the different characters, going back to a solo movie is an interesting experience.

With the attack by the Chitauri, the meeting with Thor and Loki and even the wormhole to another galaxy, Tony Stark's world has opened up more than ever. We get elements of him moving forward but also simply trying to deal with the experience he just went through. This allows us to see many sides of Tony Stark, and that's great considering Robert Downey Jr. is more than capable of handling it all.

With a flashback at the beginning, we're reminded of who Tony Stark was years before the events from the first movie. This gives us the connection to Aldrich Killian and the idea of Extremis. When we catch up to the present, there's the threat of the Mandarin, a terrorist with America in his sights.

From here, you'll feel this is a different sort of Iron Man movie. That's a good thing. We don't want or necessarily need more of the same. For Iron Man to get involved with this sort of enemy, we're not seeing Iron Man vs. some villain in armor. This is also a movie about deconstructing Iron Man and Tony Stark. He isn't just a guy in a suit of armor. We need to, once again, really see what makes him tick. It's a great idea in showing us more than just the snazzy special fx of the suit flying around shooting the bad guys.

Where the movie shines but also flounders a bit is the humor. Robert Downey Jr. is great as Tony Stark. He is able to deliver the wittiest lines and give the movie a strong sense of being fun. There are times it gets to be a little too much. There were also moments I was trying to figure out what kind of movie this was and who it's being marketed towards. With the success of The Avengers, which was pretty much suitable for most ages, Iron Man 3 and director Shane Black had to decide what direction they want to take. There is a big reference to Tony's days of one night stands. It's innocent but the implication is plain to see. Some of the scenes of violence in Mandarin's war of terror might be a little too intense as well. But with all the jokes and the inclusion of child actor Ty Simpkins, you would think Disney is trying to make the movie appeal to younger viewers. Speaking of that kid, some of the scenes with the kid were funny but I could have done without his presence.

The other tough part is can you have a Marvel movie without other Marvel characters after The Avengers? Obviously, yes you can. But when the life of the President of the United States of America is at risk and when Tony Stark's home is destroyed, it's hard to accept that all his friends in the Avengers are busy elsewhere. Even the lack of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s presence was a little bothersome. Wouldn't this have been a great place to try to highlight the upcoming show? We don't even see a S.H.I.E.L.D. emblem anywhere. It's a minor gripe but isn't that what comic book readers are supposed to do? Other characters and events are referenced but just barely.

As far as the action goes, we are treated to some great scenes. I mentioned the different angle for Tony. He has to rely more on himself versus the tech of his suit. It makes for some really fun scenes but of course there will be an epic battle at the end. The threat of the Mandarin and Extremis combined with the twists and turns will keep you on the edge of your seat.

You will enjoy this movie. There shouldn't be any doubt with that. We get a great final scene. The movie serves as an epilogue to The Avengers and also sets up a new beginning. We were just spoiled a little with The Avengers.

Gregg's Thoughts

I was late to my screening in Manhattan (thanks for the traffic, Lincoln tunnel) and barely made it in time. Because of this, I ended up in the third row of a massive theater. With my head uncomfortably titled back and wearing 3D glasses that barely let me see the entire screen, I was certain this was going to really take away from it. But you know what? It didn't. The slight pain in my neck was nothing compared to the huge amount of fun I was having. There's a scene in the film (fret not, this is totally spoiler-free) where a kid has a dumbfounded look on his face as he sees Iron Man. That look? It's the same stupid expression and sensation I had for most of the movie.

I'll admit, I was skeptical going in, too. I was afraid it would suffer too much of a "been there, done that" feeling. Robert Downey Jr. absolutely owns his role as Iron Man, but I was concerned we'd have a sense of overfamiliarity with him by now. Man, I was wrong. The laughs are every bit as good as the first and they're just as frequent. I can't recall the number of times I burst into laughter from one of Tony's remarks or even banter from another character (there's a great scene with two goons). Considering where I was seated, I was worried it would massively take away from the action as well. While close up shots were a little difficult to follow, they were still enthralling. There's a lot of action this time around and quite a few cheer-inducing moments. I know we've all seen the fleet of armors in the trailer, but in context it's still goosebump worthy.

Stark isn't in the suit all that much, and while that's sure to be upsetting for some, I thought it made the film feel refreshing. Instead, the plot has more of a detective vibe going for it and Tony needs to rely on his wit and what he can craft with limited supplies. Seeing him utilize all-new gear was simply awesome. Additionally, a decent chunk of the movie revolves around Tony teaming-up with a kid. On paper, that's facepalm-worthy stuff. But on the big screen, it actually works well. Watching Stark bounce his personality off someone new was definitely engaging, even if the team-up did generate a fairly cliche moment.

While I do love this movie, I of course recognize Iron Man 3 is sure to divide fans. Rebecca Hall's character feels uninspired and if you're a comic purist, there's something that'll definitely piss you off. If you're searching for a deep story with minimal plot holes, then you'll likely leave the theater disappointed. But if you're looking for hugely entertaining action, an overdose of laughs and a whole lot of fun, then you're going to have a blast. I can say with full confidence Iron Man 3 is second place for me when it comes to Marvel Studios' films -- first place being The Avengers, of course.

206 Comments
Posted by TheManInTheShoe

It's the best Iron Man movie but not the best Marvel movie, The Avengers is!

Posted by Trevel8182

Posted by AkaBoAli

I just saw the movie and I loved it. Yes it's no Avengers, but rather a whole other thing of itself. I liked the idea of this is just right after the events in New York, the idea of having a wider universe is always a welcomed idea.

The only thing that bothered me is the the way they handled The Mandarin.

But all in all, a great movie!

Posted by ssejllenrad

I, for one, preferred this over the Avengers. Yes, the Avengers was more grand and epic in scale. No one can take it away from that film. But I do believe this had better action sequences than the Avengers. And yes, the twist was crap as hell. Yes, it is sh*t whether or not you're an Iron Man (Or Mandarin) fan. Batman Begins ripoff if you ask me. But I still can't get over how weak that invasion was supposed to be by the Chitauri. Mandarin and Killian posed an even bigger threat than the Chitauri! So yeah, I'm picking this over The Avengers.

Edited by noj

This movie was just amazing! 5 stars all the way! So much better than Iron Man 2 and honestly I like it just a bit better than the first Iron Man. Its at the VERY least on par with the Avengers, better in some places while not as good in others. For example Iron Man 3 had a much better first act than the Avengers but the action was better in the Avengers. Cant wait to see it again!

Edited by longbowhunter

This review is the second I've read stating that the humor is a tad much. I'm curious as to how I'll feel about it. People really seem divided on this movie. Either it's the new benchmark or its a swing and a miss or they dont like the way the Mandarin was handled. Either way I'll find out on Saturday.

Posted by TheHeat

Loved this movie. It wasn't great as IM or Avengers, but it was still a very fun movie. If RDJ doesn't return as Tony Stark, then I just want to say, "Thank You, RDJ". I give this movie 4 out of 5 Yuenglings.

Edited by KomicKev

Well, I really enjoyed the movie . . . most of it. I really, REALLY didn't like what they did with the Mandarin and I'll leave it at that so I don't spoil it for others.

I liked his interaction with the kid. It seemed like they got familiar with each other very quickly in the way they conversed but I think that's more of a necessity due to time limitations so I accepted that. I liked the big ending and I sorta-kinda liked what they did with Pepper at that time as well. Better than a damsel-in-distress scenario.

Unfortunately, I saw this here in China and all of the Chinese parts were not subtitled in English (although all the English parts were subtitled in Chinese!), so I missed some of what was going on. Although I do know some of the language, when it's being spoken that fast, it loses me.

I'll definitely watch it again on DVD (so I can get what I missed) and am sure to enjoy it the second time around as well. Question - - they cut it off here but was there a special end-of-credits scene this time around?

Posted by Mister_Sensational

Great reviews guys, you both have renewed my confidence and I once again look forward to seeing this! BTW, way to keep them spoiler free I know that's got to be tough.

Posted by utkanflash

Blade I-II these are best Marvel Movies..Then Iron-Man Series, The Avengers, Thor, X-Men I-II-III, Cap.America:The First Avenger

Posted by vandinejd_1991

@G-Man and k4tzm4n: what did you think of the twist with Mandarin?

Posted by Tony_Shark

My favorite Marvel movie. Even over the Avengers, simply because the Avengers takes a while to set-up in the beginning. This movie gives us a character we're already familiar with... so it allows us to jump right into everything. It was great. Also, Shane Black did an amazing job. A great director for this film.

Posted by Red_Robin212

I hated the movie, And that's without the Twist.

I found batman & robin more enjoyable, At least I can laugh at that

Edited by Cyborg6971

Sorry g man and Greg, I don't know how you could give this hot mess anything over a 3. It's worse than 2. What they did to the, you know the twist, I'm fine with but the film was all over the place. And where the hell was iron man? Utterly disappointed with this.

I can't believe Kevin F. Signed off on this. I'm not blinded by the marvel magic and the cracks are showing.

I hope MOS doesn't do the same, leaving me with this feeling of wtf.

Posted by redhood21

the twist wasnt a movie ruining shyamalan style twist unless you're a super fan of the character which i didnt even know he had fans....

Posted by E1000

Seriously Guys, I don't know how you can say this was a good movie.

Spoiler alert ! don't read the following before seeing the movie :

The extremis story was totally botched, it made no sense, the vilain (as was the case in Iron Man 2) had no clear motivation or it was not sufficiently emphasized, Tony's panic attacks were not clearly explained at any point. Everywhere in the movie, I felt like all of those pretty good ideas were not given time for the viewer to appreciate them. Everything feels rushed. The total opposite of what the watchmen movie, a good, rather contemplative, end where you know what's going on and you feel something for the characters. Take time directors ! You make dozens of armor show up, take some time to show them to the viewer, make him feel amazed (by showing the reaction of bad guys for example), show the bigger picture and then, only then, dig into the battles that now can feel amazing.

And, you can see every joke coming from a mile away, that's bad. The humour in the first one was much more subtle.

A better paced Extremis story, with some more subtle fun and banter, would have been enough for me. Everything until they get to the mandarin mansion was good, the rest is incoherent, botched and uninteresting. Too bad, i really wanted to like this movie.

Edited by badaboop

Just got back from the midnight premiere and I was disappointed with this movie, actually. The trailers marketed it as a darker film when it was really just a fun, entertaining flick with numerous plot holes. I still enjoyed it somewhat, don't get me wrong, but I thought I was going in to see a different type of movie.

The main issue with me is that I feel Iron Man 3's so heavily saturated with comic relief. I get it... Tony Stark, Robert Downey Jr, it's an Iron Man movie... it's supposed to be comedic in tone, but it's simply too much at times.

Don't want to spoil anything since the movie just came out, I hope I'm not crazy and the only one that feels this way. So far most people I've spoken to seem to have really liked it.

Posted by Fuchsia_Nightingale

I haven't seen it, but I have, just going off reading the spoils, It sounds like 2 with a few tweaks. Lots and lots of Zingers like any other Marvel film. I'm just guessing Kingsley got to say and do more then Rourke, who mumbled around a lab for 90 mins ? and the Extremis got more play then the Suit case suit..I'll give it a shot ^-^

Edited by GodDamnIronMan

Enjoyed the movie, especially the action scenes. BUT I DON'T LIKE THE MANDARIN....

I am a bit disappointed on how they handle the Mandarin, and the whole Tony Stark Assassin Creed thingy. I thought I would see more Stark at the Lab repairing scene, but no... he just leaves the whole armor to the kid...

Aside from that, I would say this is the 2nd best Iron Man series movie...(after Iron Man 2)

Posted by VioletPhoenix

Russell Brand as The Mandarin Muppet. Sick action though. Post-credits was disappointing though was expecting Guardians related

Posted by andy_117

I actually thought the action was too big, and too slick, post-Avengers. The final battle in particular, I felt was a better villain confrontation with more personally identifiable stakes than "oh no New York!" and I feel it is a better finale than the New York fight in Avengers was. And that's a negative, I feel, to the film. The scope widens up a little too far, it's a little too "epic" - I would have liked more psychodrama, more techno-thriller aspects.

But it was still a hugely enjoyable film and definitely the best of the Iron Man ones. Shane Black just kind of knows his way around an action film.

Posted by dondave

This film was amazing, I actually enjoyed the twist with the Mandarin. 5 Stars

Online
Posted by hammers_of_justice

CGI does not make the movie.

Posted by Ijan092

@e1000: I just said the same thing on my page when I wrote a short review but I was called "fanboy" The movie wasn't good, but it also wasn't bad.

Posted by Ninjablade09

I hated the movie, And that's without the Twist.

I found batman & robin more enjoyable, At least I can laugh at that

Really? That seems a bit harsh.

Edited by BlueLantern1995

I'm looking forward to seeing this movie on monday...man it look great.

Posted by Shadowmyst

I didnt like what they did to Mandarin. I'm just so disappointed because I expected much from him.

but the movie is still good in my opinion

Posted by viin

What if you didnt like the avengers but loved Iron Man 2?

Edited by Red_Robin212

@ninjablade09 said:

@red_robin212 said:

I hated the movie, And that's without the Twist.

I found batman & robin more enjoyable, At least I can laugh at that

Really? That seems a bit harsh.

Yes really

Batman & Robin i enjoy in a "So bad it's good" way. Iron Man 3 was just bad (Although it had some good bits).

And yet IM3 isn't the worst movie this year so far

Posted by Outside_85

Honestly I think this was the weakest of the Iron Man films, the other two seemed to have their own course, this one was Iron Man trying to be Dark Knight Rises.

Structure is the same as DKR, hero is a vet now in the business of being a superhero and is now dealing with all the trauma that comes with it. Up pops a new threat the hero believes he can handle like he's handled all the others... and get's roundly beaten. Away goes the hero to rebuild and to come back and ultimately save the day.

It even pulls the exact same twist as DKR; the face of evil for most of the movie turns out to not be the actual mastermind, it just doesn't pull it off nearly as well. And that's because the IM3 foes weren't as believable as Bane and Talia were, fanatics are good adversaries, scorned geeks are not. (Remember that hacker from Golden Eye? Killian is essentially that guy.)

Posted by theTimeStreamer

@red_robin212: you are surely talking out of your posterior. begone spreader of lies.

Posted by Protoflash

I really liked this movie. Yes the Mandarin thing thoroughly pissed me off more than anything in any other comic book movie i've ever seen. Even more than Galactus just being a cloud in Fantastic Four:Rise of the Silver Surfer.

To the haters I say that the villains motivations WERE explained. However cliché and not complex as they were. But still explained. In addition I had this strange feeling that the movie WAS everywhere, but it was a sort of controlled chaos. I liked it. And as a film-maker myself I gotta say the directing in this movie was spot on. However my biggest complaint was the end credits scene. Just another joke... as if this movie need more of those. I really wanted to see more about Gaurdians of the Galaxy. But given that movie is still being casted, I suppose it couldnt be helped.

But what I appreciated most in this movie: The villain wasn't just a classic iron man villain in armor.

Also Did anyone pick up on the whole Fing Feng Fuum thing with Guy pearce's character? He had dragon tattoos all over his body and breathed fire. Thats probably the closest thing we're gonna get to Fing Feng Fuum in a movie as just his name is ridicuous enough to never be put in any self-respecting Iron Man movie.

Posted by Ludo

4 out of 5? Too much. As much as I liked Guy Pearce and Downey Jr, the whole movie wasn't that much.

Edited by Red_Robin212

@thetimestreamer: I'm not spreading anything, I just stated my opinion.

If you liked IM3, good on ya

Posted by HempKnight757

Felt very rushed & made some similar mistakes the DKR made. They knew this movie would sell post Avengers no matter what. Still didn't get my fill of War Machine & I feel that is a problem.

Edited by theTimeStreamer

@red_robin212: you're just saying it's worse than the worst movie ever. nothing spread here. except your BS. it wasnt perfect but way better than iron man 2.

Posted by Mandrewgora

Four out of five seems about right, there were a lot of parts I did like, but some specific parts kept it from being a five for me, also The Avengers was the best Iron Man movie.

Edited by Red_Robin212
@thetimestreamer said:

@red_robin212: you're just saying it's worse than the worst movie ever.

To Me (99% of you out there will disagree and I know that)

I hated IM3 that much, That being said IM3 was still better than stuff like Steel and Transformers 1-3.

As bad as I found IM3 their were some good bits.

If people love IM3 I don't care

(And I didn't mind IM2, It's ending was rushed but I enjoyed it)

Posted by TheCheeseStabber

It's the best Iron Man movie but not the best Marvel movie, The Avengers is!

Totally Agree Saw Iron Man 3 Last Night at a 9 o clock showing

Edited by GreenFuse

I was floored by this movie. Absolutely loved it and it's definitely my favorite in the franchise, which says a lot because I LOVED the first film (the second film was...disappointing). I don't get the knocks at the humor, though. It only added to the film imo. I also thought the kid and his dynamic with Stark were great. And Pepper! She was awesome.

My only small complaint was that the twist was a bit jarring. Still, I'd give this 5/5 stars. I think I enjoyed it more than Thor and that was my favorite Marvel film to date. I definitely enjoyed it more than The Avengers which hasn't held up to repeat viewings for me.

Edited by FearTheLiving

I really enjoyed the movie, and even the twist isn't an open shut case it really never goes into it. Only thing that was really said about the twist was that their think tank created the Mandarin actor there could very well be another Mandarin they based him off of. Even if that's not the case it's not the end of the world still a lot of villains to go through the movie verse. As for best IM movie? I still think the first outshines it probably for nostalgia reasons, but better than two which I still enjoyed a lot.

Online
Edited by panchecozarrapastro

Watch out it has SPOILERS

As a comic fan I found it disappearing. SPOILERS NEXT: Making the Mandarin a joke killed me, totally ruined the movie!. Making one of the top Ironman's enemies a joke killed the movie for me. Also, Tony's armor was not working half of the time...that was disappointing. And lastly, the most trilling part of the movie, Iron Armory vs. Extremis goons, the fighting scenes were overlooked. There should have been more detail to each fight and a little more explanation on the armors. As a comic book fan I would give it a 6

As a non-comic fan, If I wouldn't have known about the mandarin I would have grade it a 7.5. Definitely not better than either of the firsts Iron Man movies or the Avengers.

Just a piece of my mind, best of lucks!

Edited by The Stegman

1. WAY too much forced comedy, it's like every other word out of RDJ's mouth was some sarcastic remark or quip, I like RDJ because of his humor but it made this feel like more of a comedy than a superhero movie.

2. Tony's ridiculous flipping around like Spider-Man in the room to catch his break away armor which leads to the next point...

3. TOO MUCH USE OF THAT STUPID SUIT!!! I know it's the focus point of the movie, he has a brand new shiny suit, but come on! We get it, it flies at him fast and he hast to jump and react to it, but seeing that four times in one movie gets old, same thing with the "Oh, Tony's not in the suit, he's controlling it from a far." gag they used three times.

4. The TRUE villain's plan was pretty vague, why exactly did he want to kill the president? And him as a villain entirely was pretty boring.

5. Pepper was just as useless as always except for the end when she becomes ''Super Pepper" because we all know she didn't /really/ fall to her death, that would be too unpredictable.

Overall, it was very disappointing

Online
Posted by sora_thekey

Instead, the plot has more of a detective vibe going for it and Tony needs to rely on his wit and what he can craft with limited supplies.

My roommate said this coming out of the theather: "So this was Sherlock Holmes 3."

I found it funny.

Moderator
Edited by Red_Robin212

1. WAY too much forced comedy, it's like every other word out of RDJ's mouth was some sarcastic remark or quip, I like RDJ because of his humor but it made this feel like more of a comedy than a superhero movie.

2. Tony's ridiculous flipping around like Spider-Man in the room to catch his break away armor which leads to the next point...

3. TOO MUCH USE OF THAT STUPID SUIT!!! I know it's the focus point of the movie, he has a brand new shiny suit, but come on! We get it, it flies at him fast and he hast to jump and react to it, but seeing that four times in one movie gets old, same thing with the "Oh, Tony's not in the suit, he's controlling it from a far." gag they used three times.

4. The TRUE villain's plan was pretty vague, why exactly did he want to kill the president? And him as a villain entirely was pretty boring.

5. Pepper was just as useless as always except for the end when she becomes ''Super Pepper" because we all know she didn't /really/ fall to her death, that would be too unpredictable.

Overall, it was very disappointing

I had the same issues and THEN add the twist on top of that

I'd add

  • Tony Hardly in the suit
  • Tony not having ANY defence system on his house, After he just threatened a "terrorist leader" on TV
  • The suits being weak as toilet paper when in other movies they've been known to take heavy damage
  • Killian breathing fire only once, I thought a cool power like that would be used more
Edited by SimonM7

I like a lot of things about it, some things about it I even love - but even though I'm nowhere close to "upset" by what it turned out to be, I was certainly taken off guard. I'm gonna need some time to digest it, and I fully expect to love it when I grab the Blu Ray release.

I think for me the single most interesting thing is how authored Marvel allow their movies to be. It's even more noticeable with someone with such a specific tone and voice as Shane Black - who always bounces between the lightness of charming comedy and some pretty sudden, grim stuff - and that's super exciting. I dunno that I look forward to Thor tasting like a Game of Thrones episode, but I can immensely appreciate the fact that it's allowed to.

I read somewhere, someone put this the same way I did when I came out of the theatre. This is a Shane Black movie that happens to be about Iron Man. It's impacted by its writer/director the same way the comics are, and the same way comics can take a turn for something that suddenly makes you fall in love with a character, or away to make you not care, Marvel Studios has shown that their movies have been given the same ability. That's exciting, even if you disagree with the direction of a certain entry. It's exciting because it makes these franchises so much more dynamic, exciting, and perhaps most of all; viable in the long term.

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Going to see it myself later today but this was helpful for me without being too spoiler-ridden. And then again even if it did have spoilers I'd probably long forgotten them by the time I go into the theatre later on! ^_^

Edited by k4tzm4n

@the_stegman said:

1. WAY too much forced comedy, it's like every other word out of RDJ's mouth was some sarcastic remark or quip, I like RDJ because of his humor but it made this feel like more of a comedy than a superhero movie.

2. Tony's ridiculous flipping around like Spider-Man in the room to catch his break away armor which leads to the next point...

3. TOO MUCH USE OF THAT STUPID SUIT!!! I know it's the focus point of the movie, he has a brand new shiny suit, but come on! We get it, it flies at him fast and he hast to jump and react to it, but seeing that four times in one movie gets old, same thing with the "Oh, Tony's not in the suit, he's controlling it from a far." gag they used three times.

4. The TRUE villain's plan was pretty vague, why exactly did he want to kill the president? And him as a villain entirely was pretty boring.

5. Pepper was just as useless as always except for the end when she becomes ''Super Pepper" because we all know she didn't /really/ fall to her death, that would be too unpredictable.

Overall, it was very disappointing

I agree the villain's motivation for his agenda was rather vague, but it's clear he wanted to kill the President so the Vice President could take over -- a man who clearly supports his research.

Staff
Edited by jwalser3

I wish it would have taken itself more seriously. I mean some jokes were funny but they felt forced. And I hated the villien, boohoo you stood me up Tony!

Also Pepper should have died, I feel like it could have been like TDK with Rachel dying and being dark.

Don't stay for the end credits....

Edited by Danial79

Just wondering what everyone made of Ellen Brandt's cameo? Do you think it was simply a nod to fans, or the tease of a future Man-Thing film?