I’ve never been a fan of the Iron Man comics. I was always a Spiderman kid when I was growing up but the Iron Man movies starring Robert Downey Jr. really caught my attention. The first movie was fantastic and the second movie was a let-down, and while The Avengers subsided my hunger for more Iron Downey action, I was very excited for Iron Man 3 as it featured the Mandarin who could best be described as Iron Man’s Arch Enemy.
Time has passed and the third Iron Man has been in the cinemas for a long enough time that twitter has moved onto talking about Man of Steel so I figured I’d throw my two cents into the Internet pool on Iron Man 3.
In short; I liked it. The large focus on Tony Stark coming to grips with the responsibility of the Iron Man suits, and him actually showing human weakness after the Avengers really helped him develop as a character, and for the audience to actually relate to the billionaire playboy philanthropist. In the previous movies Tony Stark seemed very distant and invincible. He walked with a swagger, un-phased with the stresses of the human world and showed weakness when he was pushed physically against the big bads of each film. But throughout Iron Man 3 we see him suffering. Stress keeps him up at night and slowly pushes Pepper away from him just as work can push our loved ones away from us. On top of that, the stresses of being a superhero take it’s toll on Tony whilst he tries to keep playing it cool in the public eye as shown when he provokes an attack on his home. Iron Man 3 focussed on Tony’s character arc compared with the previous films which were more on Tony trying to develop a better suit to protect the ones he loves (and AMERICA!). This is why I wouldn’t call it a typical Iron Man movie as it is Tony trying to re-build himself rather than another improve the Iron Man suit.
In terms of negatives, I didn’t like the villain. The Iron Man films have always had weak villains especially Whip Lash since his sole motivation was to get revenge on Stark because he stole his father’s invention. But I had high expectations of the Mandarin. He was the anti-Iron Man as his powers stemmed from magic as a contrast to Tony’s technology. I imagined it to be the ultimate clash between magic and technology. But this was not the case.
Also I really didn’t like the kid that Tony worked with during the middle portion of the film. Sure it may have shown Tony at an all time low having to get help from a kid, but I found the child an annoying hindrance to the progression of the story. I did enjoy Tony still keeping to his asshole character nature by ordering him around and denying him rides home.
Iron Man 3 is not the best in the trilogy but certainly not the worst. Twitter described it as
“great if you switch your brain off for 2 and a half hours”
to which I agree. With Downey’s 4 movie Marvel contract completed, it will be hard to imagine our favourite industrialist Tony Stark being portrayed by another actor. If this is his last outing, the Iron Man Downey trilogy will not have finished with a bang but an emotional close fitting end to his character arc.