Iron Man 3 Review


Tony Stark is back and better than ever! Well no, not really, not in Shane Black’s Iron Man 3 anyways. Tony Stark goes through the ringer in the third installment of the mega Iron Man franchise, and takes you along for the ride.

While it isn’t better than the first Iron Man (or The Avengers, if we’re counting that) it does fix what was wrong with the second Iron Man. This third Iron Man focuses solely on the armored avenger, while not overly bombarding us with references to the other Marvel franchises. Iron Man 3 has ultimately avoided the 3rd film curse that ordinarily plagues most franchise trilogies.

Iron Man 3 is primarily inspired by the Extremis story arc, written by the great Warren Ellis, and while it’s inspired by it in no way does it follow the same storyline as in the comics. The plot that’s created by Shane Black and Drew Pearce is very much its own story.

The film follows Tony Stark as he tries to mentally recover from the events from The Avengers. As a way to cope with his post-traumatic stress disorder, he has dedicated himself to building various suits – all of them with different purposes. After an attack on his friends and his home, Tony must regroup mentally and physically to defeat those that threaten his life and those he holds most dear.

While I could go more into detail about the story, but truth is that I can’t. The story has so many layers to it that talking about it would end up with me spoiling something for you. The story in some ways is very simple, but deep down its very complex as there are twists and turns around every corner. Basically, the film plays out as a thriller disguised as a comic book movie. This is very much a Shane Black written film, and if you’ve seen Black’s Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang then you will get a sense of what you’re in for in Iron Man 3.


It’s probably not a shocker to you, but Robert Downey, Jr has once again stolen the show here. With the film primarily focused on Tony Stark (and a role that he has played four times now), Downey’s performance could’ve come off as stale and tired (ala Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow). Thankfully, Robert Downey, Jr. takes Tony Stark to another level and adds even more layers to him. The man completely owns this role, and I pity the person that tries to replace Robert Downey, Jr. after he inevitably hangs up the armor.

Surprisingly, Gwyneth Paltrow has also stepped up her game as Pepper Potts. She goes from having a supporting role in the other films, to being a character just as important as Tony Stark. Both Downey Jr. and Paltrow give emotional performances, and their chemistry on screen has evolved with each movie they star in with each other.


The other big surprise performance has to go to Guy Pearce’s Aldrich Killian. While in the comics Killian appears for just two pages, in Iron Man 3 he has a MUCH larger role than one expects. At the beginning of the film, you feel a bit of sympathy for Aldrich but as the movie progresses you get to hate him more and more. That right there is the key to a great villain performance. To me, it’s similar to the role that Tom Hiddleston played in Thor and the The Avengers. Speaking of villains, one cannot forget the great Sir Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin, Iron Man’s arch-nemesis. I can’t express how much I respect Kingsley as an actor, and his acting range shows here as he shows the dangerous Joker-esque side to him while becoming something completely different later in the film. His range is just amazing.

With the film packed with this many characters there are a few characters that feel left out. Unfortunately, it’s Rhodey that gets the shaft here. Which is a shame as there could’ve been some great interaction between Stark and Rhodes, especially with Shane Black’s background in buddy cop films. When Stark and Rhodes team up though, it’s really fun to watch. The interaction between the two is just great to watch – primarily because of Shane Black’s writing.


The one gripe I have with the film is that the editing of the film becomes so awkward at times, especially at the beginning of the film. It feels so all over the place that it can become distracting at times. Once the editing settles down, and we’re finally into the main story the pacing feels just right.

When it comes to the 3D aspect of the film, I suggest you go 2D on this one. While some scenes actually look great in 3D, most of the time it felt like 2D. Either that or the 3D is very subtle, which still isn’t worth it anyways.

Also, Iron Man 3 feels like an overall goodbye to the franchise. If this really is the last solo outing for Robert Downey Jr then let me take the time to express my gratitude to the man who put my all-time favorite character on the map. Without you people would still think of Black Sabbath whenever I utter the words Iron Man.

Overall, Iron Man 3 wasn’t as good as the first Iron Man, but its still an entertaining movie. The film’s different than any of the other previous Marvel outings before it, and while I feel many comic book purists will be put off by a certain aspect in the movie, if you can look past that (and realize that it makes sense), then you’re in for a roller coaster ride. Phase 2 is off to good start.

Grade: B

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1562 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.