Iron Man 3

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Tony Stark recalls a New Years Eve party in 1999 with scientist Maya Hansen, inventor of Extremis – an experimental regenerative treatment intended to allow recovery from crippling injuries. Disabled scientist Aldrich Killian offers them a place in his company Advanced Idea Mechanics, but is turned down.

Years later, Stark’s experiences during the alien invasion of New York are giving him panic attacks. Restless, he has built several Iron Man suits, creating friction with his girlfriend Pepper Potts. A string of bombings by terrorist the Mandarin has left intelligence agencies bewildered by lack of forensic evidence. When Stark Industries security chief Happy Hogan is badly injured in one such attack, Stark overcomes his stupor and issues a televised threat to the Mandarin, who responds by destroying Stark’s home with helicopter gunships. Potts and Hansen, who had come to warn them, survive the attack. Stark then finds himself in rural Tennessee after his artificial intelligence JARVIS followed a flight plan from Stark’s investigation into the Mandarin. Stark’s experimental armor lacks sufficient power to return to California, and the world believes him dead.

Teaming with Harley, a precocious 10-year-old boy, Stark investigates the remains of a local explosion bearing the hallmarks of a Mandarin attack. He discovers the “bombings” were triggered by soldiers subjected to Extremis, which at this stage of development can cause certain subjects to explosively reject it. After veterans started exploding, their deaths were used to cover up Extremis’ flaws by manufacturing a terrorist plot. Stark witnesses Extremis firsthand when Mandarin agents Ellen Brandt and Eric Savin attack him.

With Harley’s help, Stark traces the Mandarin to Miami and infiltrates his headquarters using improvised weapons. Inside he discovers the Mandarin is actually a British actor, Trevor Slattery, who says that he is oblivious to the actions carried out in his name. The Mandarin is a creation of Killian, who appropriated Hansen’s Extremis research as a cure for his own disability and expanded the program to include injured war veterans. After capturing Stark, Killian reveals he is the true Mandarin; he has kidnapped Potts and subjected her to Extremis, intending to infuse her with superhuman abilities and turn her against Stark as leverage to gain Stark’s aid in fixing Extremis’ flaws. Killian kills Maya when she has a change of heart about the plan.

Killian has also manipulated American intelligence agencies regarding the Mandarin’s location, luring James Rhodes — the former War Machine, now re-branded as the Iron Patriot — into a trap to steal the armor. Stark escapes and reunites with Rhodes, discovering that Killian intends to attack President Ellis aboard Air Force One. Remotely controlling his Iron Man armor, Stark saves some surviving passengers and crew but cannot stop Killian from abducting Ellis. They trace Killian to an impounded oil-drilling platform where Killian intends to kill Ellis on live television. The vice president will become a puppet leader, following Killian’s orders in exchange for Extremis to cure a little girl’s disability.

On the platform, Stark goes to save Potts, and Rhodes saves the president. Stark summons each of his Iron Man suits, controlled remotely by JARVIS, to provide air support. Rhodes secures the president and leads him to safety, while Stark discovers Potts has survived the Extremis procedure. However, before he can save her, a rig collapses around them and she falls to her apparent death. Stark confronts Killian and traps him in an Iron Man suit that self-destructs, but fails to kill him. Potts, whose Extremis powers allowed her to survive her fall, intervenes and kills Killian.

After the battle, Stark orders JARVIS to destroy each Iron Man suit as a sign of his intention to devote more time to Potts. The vice president and Slattery are arrested. With Stark’s help, Potts’ Extremis effects are stablized, and Stark undergoes surgery to remove the shrapnel embedded near his heart. He pitches his obsolete chest arc reactor into the sea, musing he will always be Iron Man, even without his armor.

In a present day post-credits scene, Stark wakes up Dr. Bruce Banner, who fell asleep listening at the beginning of Stark’s story.

REVIEW:

Last summer, The Avengers was the film everyone was looking forward to and talking about. This year, we are starting what Marvel Studios is calling Phase II leading up the second Avengers film with Iron Man 3. As you can imagine, there is a tremendous amount of pressure on this film, not only to not drop the ball, but also because this is the first big blockbuster of the year.

What is this about?

Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?

What did I like?

Tony, Tony, Tony. The last film was so focused on the Iron Man suit that we forgot there was a man inside, Tony Stark. Here we get back to basics with him, as he is without his suits and JARVIS for a good portion of the film. Yes, that is not necessarily a good thing for a summer blockbuster, but it just makes the final payoff that much better. Not to mention, Stark is a genius! Seeing his brilliant mind come up with innovative ways to escape and do things is something we haven’t seen since the first Iron Man. Say what you will, but Iron Man is ultimately nothing without the man behind him.

Stand alone. We all loved The Avengers and that is great, but what I really appreciated is how this stayed an Iron Man film. Yes, there were references to the events that happened in New York, and Stark has a bit of trauma from it, but that isn’t a major plot point. Admittedly, I was sort of afraid it would. Looking at the trailer for the new Thor movie, it doesn’t seem to be a problem in that one either. So, Marvel is doing things right. I don’t think we would have minded seeing Thor, Captain America, Black Widow, and the others, I just felt that Stark needed some time to himself.

Comedy. Contrary to what some out there may want him to be, Iron Man has never been the dark, brooding type like Batman. The only dark thing about Stark is his alcoholism, which will never be covered on-screen as long as Downey is portraying him…for issues that would hit too close to home. So, getting moments of levity thrown in here and there are an absolute delight for me. It is what I know Iron Man to be and the cast seems to be having fun with these jokes, so how can you complain?

Kid. I’m not a fan of this kid they brought in, but for the purpose he serves, I suppose he works. It seems like they just wanted him to be a foil for Tony Stark and to remind the audience that while Stark is all about saving the world, he is still a total selfish douchebag, lest we forget.

What didn’t I like?

Final battle. In Transformers, one of the complaints was that you couldn’t tell who was who with all those gears and stuff clashing. In a way, that is how I felt watching this final scene. You’ve seen the trailer where all the Iron Man suits show up, right? Well, they all join in the fight, but it is very hard to tell who is who and what is going on. Part of that may be related to watching this in 3D and wearing those rented sunglasses, but it would have been nice to have a better sense of what was happening.

Yes, you have abs. Normally, I’m the last one to complain about seeing a woman in her sports bra, but when Gwyneth Paltrow is kidnapped, they strip her down to a sports bra. To me, it seemed like this was done for no other reason than for her to show her abs, especially since not long before that, we see another woman, but she was in her miliary gear.

Color scheme. This is a personal complaint, but who the hell told these people Iron Man is yellow and red instead of red and yellow?!? That just doesn’t look right! For me, it was distracting, I couldn’t wait for him to get out of that crappy paint job he calls a suit!

Imma call him War Machine. I would say this was done just for the movie, but there actually is an Iron Patriot. The armor is best associated with Norman Osborn, you know Green Goblin from Spider-Man. As far as I can tell, they changed it here for marketing reasons. Parents are so squeamish these days. Last thing they would want to do is buy a kid a toy called War Machine, but Iron Patriot? Not a problem. Isn’t that just sickening?

Botanist. This is a very small thing…hardly worth mentioning. You may remember Batman & Robin where a botanist was responsible for much of the evil that was happening. Well, this botanist doesn’t turn into a mad supervillain, but the idea did put me in mind of that film. I couldn’t help but think back to it, but that might just me overanalyzing things.

Mandarin. Let me tell you about the first Iron Man comic I read…It was the end of some storyline,  Stark came hom, poured a drink, took his armor off and got shot in the back. This would leave him paralyzed for quite some time. I keep hope that they’ll actually use this storyline in a future film. While he didn’t commit that heinous act, the Mandarin was the villain Iron Man had defeated before heading home. A sinister being of unspeakable power, thanks to his 10 rings. At first, the Mandarin here seems to be just as menacing a figure, then the proverbial curtain is pulled back. I’m not going to spoil anything about how they handled this interpretation, but I will say it pissed me off to no end to know that this is what they did to a great villain such as the Mandarin. Making matters even worse, they got Sir Ben Kingsley, who I felt would have been great as a true Mandarin, to do this. WTF?!? For a franchise that even through the changes it has made to the source material has had a pretty good track record of pleasing the fans, this was like a big F— you! All I can do is hope that he gets a true Mandarin-izing (yes, I just coined that phrase) before the next film. Prison has ways of changing a man, after all, and dammit does it need to do it quickly!

Iron Man 3 is sure to make a ton of $$$, but did you honestly think it wouldn’t? The new elements added to the already familiar story are hit and miss, but they work well enough when all is said and done. This new director, Shane Black, gave the film a darker tone which I am not sure I liked, but to each their own. I question what his obsession with Christmas time is, though. Ultimately, though, I had a good time with this film. It has some issues here and there, but still a really solid flick that you need to rush out and see ASAP. Yes, people, the summer movie season has officially arrived!

4 1/4 out of 5 stars

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6 Responses to “Iron Man 3”

  1. Mystery Man Says:

    Reblogged this on Mr Movie Fiend's Movie Blog.

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  3. […] Similar to Iron Man 3, this is not the true version of the Mandarin, but another interpretation. Normally, Mandarin is a […]

  4. […] when he’s creepy. In the last film, the oldest kid, Dalton (you may recognize him from Iron Man 3) was super creepy because of his possession. This go ’round he seems to be fairly normal. […]

  5. […] it feels more like an Avengers sequel than Avengers: Age of Ultron did, and that one felt more like Iron Man 3 than the real one did. If they wanted to make this an Avengers movie, they should have just done so […]

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