Iron Man 3 (2013) - Iron Man and Co. Return for New Adventure

Friday, October 4, 2013

The more movies there are in a franchise, the more room there can be for error in that succession of blockbusters. Watching the third – and rumored final movie in Marvel’s Iron Man series, leaves me wondering if it would suffer sequel fatigue. Or perhaps it simply wears out its welcome, and omits attention to detail... and being good. Here are my thoughts on how it all turned out.  

Saving the world alongside his comrades has left Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) with memories. Too many memories, the sort that leave him unwell – he’s found that he cannot process his selfless near-death experience and it’s destroying him. It’s now not just affecting him, it’s also beginning to come between him and the woman he loves, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow). Just when things look bleak, Tony’s past rears up to haunt him. 

Thirteen years ago he met a man who wanted to sell a theory to the brilliant Tony Stark and also a woman developing extraordinary regenerating powers that manifests itself as fire. That man, Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) has now pitched his idea to Stark Industries new CEO, Pepper, only to be turned down again. 

Coinciding with Aldrich's return is the rise of a terrorist whom everyone knows as The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley). This puts Tony’s friend Col. James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) on the path of finding and bringing to justice the man who has taken credit for multiple of the overseas terrorist attacks. But that’s only one part of the fight – Tony has just been personally attacked at his home and somehow, he ends up in tiny town rural America in Tennessee where a pint-sized version (Ty Simpkins) of himself helps put the pieces back together and reminds Tony of the reason he is who he is.

FILM REVIEW | Iron Man 2 (2010) - Tony Stark Returns with New Technology and Faces

Iron Man 3

Writing this review has left me with two observations. One being it’s Friday which means there didn’t seem to be any other review or post that I’m working on more appropriate than this to publish and also, yes, this is going to be the second blockbuster I opted not to see on the big-screen and now that I have, naturally there's ranting and raving involved. Because of this, I will ask your indulgence while I use this blog as a place to share those sentiments. Of all the superheroes Tony Stark is likely the most egotistical there is. If you didn’t make it through the first movie for this reason or haven’t returned to the series since, you may want to give the guy another shot – like any good hero should, Tony has risen to each occasion and in fact has become the kind of guy you don’t mind seeing get the girl. Does this mean he’s no longer an occasional jerk? No, but he doesn’t just think about himself and that speaks volumes. Scripter’s have “grown him up” and believe it or not, there are moral lessons to be gleaned from this film.  

Though my memory of the first two films is fuzzy as it’s been a while since last seeing them, I have to say this script is comparatively smart. The sign of a “good movie” is when writers can make the action genre work well with humor and as usual there is no shortage of either in this plot, two elements that mingle together well. Instead of campy, a lot of the laughs are inspired by witty antidotes, and of course, no one delivers the lines better than Robert Downy Jr. The references to The Avengers are fabulous as is the flirty banter between the leading couple – their conversations and moments of “cute” romantics never cease to lighten the mood, and remind us why the beloved Pepper and Tony are a couple worth rooting for.  

Iron Man 3

Unlike the previous outings, this film takes a unique approach by having Tony fight the baddies as a “mere mortal” instead of always being Iron Man. Here the plot takes Tony out of his safety net (of a sort) and strips him of the superhero mantle. This reminds us he’s only a man albeit a brilliant one, not some supernatural being. The climax is quite good and it's also interesting to see what writer’s do to Pepper. If this really is the end of the franchise, I think fans will be satisfied with the ending. It’s complete while also teasing “more” should a fourth movie ever be bought, plus there’s a funny little scene at the end credits that explains Tony’s narration. 

In my opinion, this is the best Iron Man yet. It’s snazzy and classy in equal parts and in closing, should a writer ever want to know a way to endear their story to me. Just add in some Downton Abbey references and you’re golden.

(This post does contain affiliate links, which means – at no extra cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through a link. See the disclosure page for details.) You can purchase Iron Man 3 on DVD or rent/own digitally on Amazon Video.

CONTENT: minor flirting between Tony and Pepper, who also happen to live together [we see one shot of them in bed together, clothed]; the film opens with Tony having a one-night stand [implied]. Women wear inappropriate, low-cut ensembles, including Pepper being in a shorts bra once and there are some crude sexual references. Multiple scenes are “violent”; bombs explode at various points in the movie and several people are injured and/or die. There is a lot of fighting between Tony and Aldrich's "army," as well as a terrorist boasting about killing Americans. There is some profanity [a**, da*n, h*ll]. The film is rated PG13.


  1. Yay! I'm glad you liked this one too -- I sure enjoyed it. And it was my first 2013 movie to see in the theater. The (only) other so far is "Man of Steel." And I definitely plan to see "Thor 2" and "Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug."

    ANYWAY. I'm getting off topic. All this to say...I liked this movie too. And Tony Stark is really horribly self-centered, but he really grows on you through the movies -- at least, he did for me. Still not my favorite super-hero, but...well, I like him better than I used to. :) And besides, the CG and all in this movie? Pretty awesome. :)

    1. Thanks, Charity; I'm glad too after all the anticipation to see this one. :) Be sure to share about the second Thor - it looks way better than the first movie!

      Tony *is* egotistical however as you say, over these 3 (or four if you count 'Avengers') movies, he's "grown up." A lot. In 'Avengers,' he made a selfless sacrifice and in this movie, I really "felt" his love for Pepper and willingness to give up everything just to keep her safe - he finally realizes that his tinkering means nothing without the people he loves. Plus that side plot with the little boy was cute. I think the Cap is my favorite Marvel hero but I sure like Tony. ;)

      Glad you liked this one also! :)

  2. Glad you liked this one! I love Tony Stark, his snark is fun for me. I did love the Downton Abbey references as well. The one who played Sybil actually tried out for a part in the movie, but it was passed on to someone else.

    I love how the Marvel comics are coming to life. Can't wait for Thor 2! And, at the end of the credits of IM3 it says Iron Man will return. :-)

    1. Me, too, Kate! I think Tony has become a much "better" man since this first began and that's what great heroes should do.

      Those 'Downton' references were fantastic. Made me giggle; especially considering they involved Happy. :) I think I may have read that about Jessica (Sybil) also; I know she was rumored for the new heroine in CA2 only the role went to Emily VanCamp.

      As do I - Thor 2 looks way better than movie number one and I know Iron Man is set to return in the second Avengers, I just wasn't sure about a 3rd sequel. If the franchise is continued, I'm all for it. If not, I'm satisfied with this ending. :)

  3. this was my favorite out of all of them! I really, really enjoyed it. =) Robert Downey jr. Is quite amazing!

    1. Though I don't clearly remember the first two movies, my instinct is the same, Evelyn! This movie was the best out of the three - and that's just how it should be!

      RDJ is fabulous in this role, have you seen him as Sherlock in the recent big-screen adaptations? He's quite funny in those also. :)

    2. The first one was really good also, but I didn't care for the second one that much. Even though it is a huge part of the story line... =) it just makes his turn around all the better, after acting like such a big jerk in the 2nd one. I love character devolpmemt. =D

      Oh yes! I saw him in the second one, since the first one was considered too dark for me. =) I absolutely loved him in it, though!!!! He really is an amazing Sherlock, it makes me want to read the books. :) I'm not sure which role I like him better in, but I love the different type of funny and smart Sherlock has compared to tony stark. They both have their own humor and everything. =D

    3. Now... I'll *have* to re-watch these again, Evelyn. Honestly of the first two, I just don't know which I preferred... maybe both equally. If there is one thing this franchise has done right, it's maturing Tony and that's fantastic. I really like that, too. He's so much better now without losing his sense of "fun" humor. :)

      Oh, that's great. He and Jude Law are pretty hilarious in those movies and of course, I love the crazy inventive personality of RDJ's Sherlock. Glad you got to see the sequel. I've not read the novels however a friend has said the "original" Sherlock is VERY different than RDJ.

      Either way, I love both of these characters. :)

  4. I really liked this one, too--I'm warming up to the superhero genre. ;) Oh, now I want to watch it again, though, because I think I missed the Downtown references!! How could I?? :)

    1. That's awesome, Rachelle! Welcome to the fangirling club. Do you have a favorite superhero of the ones you've seen?

      Yes, indeed, how could you girl!? ;) The references to 'Downton' are particularly funny since they revolve around Happy.

  5. I really enjoyed IM3 as well! It's a nice wrap-up on Tony's character journey--I've been meaning to re-watch the first movie (it's still my favourite of the 3) but it's nice to see Tony come full circle here, which is why I didn't mind that more time was spent on him out of the suit than in it (despite of all the complaints from the fandom about that, lol). I know there's been talk about how much longer RDJ will be portraying Tony Stark but I hope he continues the role (even if it means less Iron Man/action time) just because I can't imagine anyone else as Iron Man xD

    Btw, lol that we both watched IM3 and STID around the same time ;)

  6. Yay! Great minds and all that, you know. ;)

    If this is to be Tony's last movie, I loved it. It was a nice ending while still teasing there "could" be more. I know RDJ is signed on for Avengers 2, so if nothing else we'll get to catch up with him there. As for him not being Iron Man all the time in this 3rd film, I loved it! It reminded viewers that Tony is just human and not some supernatural being. He was heroic without always hiding behind a "mask" and that helped further evidence his maturing.

    I love Robert as Tony, so seeing him played by someone else!? That'd be weird!

    Me, too! Makes me happy to know I'm not the "only" person not to have seen these on the big-screen; glad we got to talk about both, Lianne! :)

  7. I totally agree, this is the best Iron Man!! I, along with others do think it is intended to be the last, but I'm okay with that. Robert is reprising his role in Avengers: Age of Ultron and I do so hope he'll continue to pop up in other possible Avengers movies. If you don't remember much of the first two, that's okay. I'd recommend you only mess with re-watching the second, I'm not too big a fan of the first. lol Glad you enjoyed it!

    1. Yes! Love that this movie seems to generally be the "best" on this comment thread; that's always fun. :)

      I am sure I've read that (this being the last) also, Rosie; Iron Man will be a part of Avengers 2, however RDJ doesn't want to come back for more Iron Man movies. Like you, I think that's fine. This third movie was really quite good and answered nearly all our questions without completely closing the door to "more."

      Funny you should recommend just the second movie. ;) I own the second and third but not the first though at some point I suspect I'll complete the trilogy. Just because.

  8. Glad you liked this, Rissi! I saw it Saturday night and absolutely adored it! Definitely my favorite of the series so far. Tony was! ;) And I loved his interactions with Harley.


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