Iron Man 3 (2013)

“A famous man once said, "We create our own demons." Who said that? What does that even mean? Doesn't matter. I said it 'cause he said it. So now, he was famous and that basically getting said by two well-known guys.”“A famous man once said, "We create our own demons." Who said that? What does that even mean? Doesn't matter. I said it 'cause he said it. So now, he was famous and that basically getting said by two well-known guys.”

“A famous man once said, “We create our own demons.” Who said that? What does that even mean? Doesn’t matter. I said it ’cause he said it. So now, he was famous and that basically getting said by two well-known guys.”

Drumroll please…. Here we are, the first film of Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We did it guys we successfully reviewed all of phase 1 and now to continue with the next one up. We started phase 1 with this character and now we begin phase 2 with the same character. Phase 2 (excluding Avengers) is when I started going to midnight viewings as the hype for the MCU reaches new heights. Now that Marvel has teased us with what’s to come with that mad titan cameo (if you haven’t seen the entire Infinity Saga, I’m shaking my head at you right now) how does Marvel elevate the characters and stories.

Iron Man 3 is what Iron Man 2 should have been. I believe Marvel shouldn’t have done an Iron Man sequel in phase one. That leads me to think Marvel wasn’t too confident to have a different hero’s origin besides Captain America, Thor, or Hulk. What Marvel does best is building upon the continuous overlapping story while still focusing on the current one right in front of us. If you are new to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so far, as a recap we have only been introduced to two Infinity stones, the tesseract (space) and Loki’s Scepter (mind), Iron Man 3 has no mention of any others that remain.

Tony, fresh off the events of the battle of New York, recounts a time in his past where he created his own demons. Back in 1999 at a New Year’s Eve party in Switzerland, Tony and Happy, well mostly Tony are partying with Maya Hansen when Aldrich Killian introduces himself and gives an elevator pitch for his think tank Advanced Idea Mechanics (A.I.M.). Tony promises to meet Aldrich on the roof but never shows instead he and Maya are continuing their party in Tony’s hotel suite.

The events of New York have left Tony a broken man, he hasn’t slept for 72 hours and all he can do to keep his mind from drifting is to tinker and build suits. On the news, word of a new Mandarin attack breaks across all news outlets. The government is puzzled by these attacks since there is no trace of a bomb. At Stark industries, Happy Hogan is now forehead of security gets a bad vibe from one of Pepper’s guests Aldrich Killian. Happy decides to follow his associate Eric Savin to the Chinese Theater where another bomb explodes, severely injuring Happy.

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) while leaving the hospital where Happy is staying, publicly calls out the Mandarin and gives him his home address. Maya (Rebecca Hall) shows up to Tony and Pepper’s (Gwyneth Paltrow) home to get them to leave with her but, Eric Savin (James Badge Dale) destroys Tony’s home sinking it to the bottom of the pacific ocean. With Jarvis’s (Paul Bettany, voice) Tony in the Iron Man Mark 42 suit is able to escape and finds himself in Tennessee in the freezing cold with a powerless suit and a poncho.

Tony breaks into the home of Harley (Ty Simpkins) to fix his suit. Harley decides to help Tony and the two go investigate the bombing that took place in Rose Hill. At the bar Tony visits to talk to the soldiers mother, Extremis agents Savin and Brandt (Stéphanie Szostak) attack Tony but Tony is able to kill Brandt and injure Savin. In California, Aldrich (Guy Pearce) takes Pepper as a hostage to lure Tony to him. War Machine, now Iron Patriot (Don Cheadle) falls into a trap set by the Mandarin to steal his armor.

Tony with Harley’s assistance is able to get a charge back into the Iron Man suit and is able to locate the Mandarin’s hideout in Miami. Tony break into the hideout using homemade weapons and discovers the Mandarin is a fraud, he is actually an English actor named Trevor Slattery (Sir Ben Kingsley) hired by Killian to be the image of the Mandarin while Killian does all the dirty work behind the scenes. Stark find out that Killian is the one who adopted Maya’s Extremis program to cure himself of his disability thus revealing himself as the real Mandarin. Killian captures Tony and kills Maya after she gives him an ultimatum.

Tony is able to escape and reunites with Rhodey while discovering thanks to Trevor that Killian is attacking the president with Savin in the Iron Patriot armor aboard Air Force One. The plan is to kill the president on live television at an abandoned oil tanker. Tony finally kills Savin on Air Force One while rescuing the people who are free falling to their death. Rhodey and Stark go after Killian attempting to rescue Pepper and save the president. Tony calls on J.A.R.V.I.S. to send his remaining Iron Man suits. Rhodey saves the president, Tony realizes Pepper is still alive only to miss saving her as she falls from the collapsing rig. Tony uses his Mark 42 armor to blow Killian up but, he survives the blast showing his true self as The Mandarin. Not realizing she survived, Pepper saves Tony and finally puts an end to Aldrich. Tony finally undergoes surgery to remove the shrapnel that is trapped in his chest.

This sequel is what Iron Man 2 should have been. Re-watching the Marvel Cinematic Universe in release order and seeing Iron Man 2 come so fast on the heels of Iron Man feels rushed to me. Maybe it doesn’t feel that way if watched in chronological order and maybe that was the right way to do these but that’s a conversation for a different time. I totally get it the second film Tony is still grappling with the fact that he revealed himself as Iron Man and has to deal with the consequences, but he does that in this film as well.

Picking up right after the battle of New York it’s only right that have anxiety after experiencing something that can’t really be explained. The only hero’s who could potentially feel that post traumatic stress would be Tony, Natasha, or Clint. Unfortunately, only the former has his own franchise so its hard to tell if the latter experiences that amount of trauma. My guess is no, since they are apart of S.H.I.E.L.D. and are soldiers, technically. The PTSD gives Tony a new dimension to his character as he struggles to deal with the outcome of going through that wormhole. He’s easily triggered by words the same way regular people are. It makes Tony more relatable and he carries that stress and trauma with him as added baggage.

Tony and Pepper’s relationship seems to get more complicated as this universe starts to bloom and take shape. Not sure how many people are buying a 10 foot bunny rabbit as a Christmas gift but the loyalty they show one another is truly special. They take each challenge head on while always having each other’s backs. It amazes me how much the writers genuinely understand Tony and how he thinks as he has the best dialogue out of all the Avengers. The good news is that Don Cheadle didn’t get replaced – he has taken ownership of Rhodey and has made the character his own.

I will say this I absolutely dislike the fake Mandarin twist. It just doesn’t feel authentic to me and I feel Marvel did it for the laughs. The first 2 acts, Kingsley absolutely crushes it as a believable terrorist but once that switch happens it takes you out of the movie and feels silly. It feels like we were robbed of the character. Knowing what we know now with what is coming in phase 4 I hope we see the real Mandarin as he is one of Iron Man’s greatest foes. I trust Feige has a plan for the true Mandarin and like everyone else waiting patiently for it. We get our 7th Stan Lee Cameo as he pops up at the beauty pageant in Tennessee as a judge. I loved that Gary and Tony bit it was hilarious. Last but certainly not least, Iron Man 3 offers 1 post credit scene and it isn’t much to move the Infinity Saga forward. Its Tony reliving the events of the movie to Bruce Banner, but Bruce is sleeping the whole time as he isn’t that kind of Doctor. Kind of wish we got something more but what could they have done really – plant the seeds of the next Avengers movie would be my guess. If I were to rate Iron Man 3, I’d rate it a 3.95 out of 5.

So, tell me guys, have you seen Iron Man 3 and if so, what do you think about it? Do you agree or disagree with me? Comment below or send me an email and let me know what you think.

Iron Man 3 is written and directed by Shane Black is Rated PG-13 and has an 79% on Rotten Tomatoes. Iron Man 3 was released on May 3rd, 2013 and has a runtime of 2 hours and 10 minutes. Iron Man 3 can be streamed on Disney Plus.

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Tony Stark / Iron Man will return

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