‘Iron Man 3′ Review

Published 2 years ago by , Updated November 15th, 2014 at 12:43 am,

Iron Man 3 Mark 42 Armor Iron Man 3 Review

Iron Man 3 should provide enough fun and excitement for both Iron Man die-hards and newly acquired Avengers fans.

Iron Man 3 continues the story of Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) who, after the Battle of New York in Avengers, is struggling with his place in the steadily expanding superhero community. Unable to sleep, Stark has prioritized tinkering with new suits over his personal relationships – even neglecting the one person he “cannot live without,” Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow).

However, when mysterious terrorist The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) kills American citizens and targets Iron Man (as well as his friends), Stark is stripped of his trademark armor, and forced to investigate the threat as an ordinary man. He embarks on a dangerous mission to bring the Mandarin to justice – as well as prove that Tony Stark is more than just his Iron Man suit.

Following on the heels of The Avengers, Marvel Studios had a tough task ahead of them: deliver a batch of standalone character stories set in the Avengers shared universe, without undercutting the excitement and momentum generated by the epic 2012 superhero team-up. The first post-Avengers solo entry, Iron Man 3 is led by first-time Marvel helmer Shane Black – known for blending slick action (and humor) with memorable character stories as both a writer (Lethal Weapon) and director (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang). Does Black’s “buddy cop” movie pedigree make him the right man to usher in Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, via a smart Tony Stark story with some exciting Iron Man combat?

Iron Man 3 Robert Downey Jr Tony Stark Iron Man 3 Review

Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark in ‘Iron Man 3′

Interestingly, while Black succeeds in presenting the most personal and intimate Tony Stark story in the series thus far, it sometimes comes at the expense of iconic Iron Man action that die-hard fans will be expecting. This isn’t to say that there aren’t plenty of exciting moments featuring the Iron Man armor(s), but Robert Downey Jr. spends a significant amount of time outside of the suit this round (even during several key battles).

That said, the Extremis super-soldier villains are a welcome change of pace from the suit-on-suit brawls of Iron Man and Iron Man 2, and the Mark 42 Armor (which Stark can remotely control) adds plenty of slick new set-pieces that are sure to be memorable for comic lovers and newcomers alike.Still, even though Iron Man 3 includes some of the best moments in the franchise, certain moviegoers will be underwhelmed by the final ratio between Tony Stark and Iron Man armor-centric action.

Like prior entries, the central story examines Stark’s relationship to the Iron Man persona – this time making it a point to show the genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist is pretty adept without his armor. As a result, moviegoers spend a lot of time watching Robert Downey Jr. fire off one-liners (with some genuine vulnerability this round) – especially when paired with kid-helper Harley Keener (Ty Simpkins). In general, Downey once again delivers with the charming and self-absorbed Stark – even in scenes where the filmmakers settled for less-subtle comedy gags (an interaction with a cable news technician, for example) or heavy-handed soap box moments (such as a second act conversation about scientific ethics).

Robert Downey Jr Don Cheadle Iron Man 3 Iron Man 3 Review

Robert Downey Jr. and Don Cheadle in ‘Iron Man 3′

Nevertheless, while the film leans heavily on shared universe events from The Avengers as an emotional crutch for the Tony Stark storyline, Iron Man 3 entirely side-steps explaining why none of superhero team (or even S.H.I.E.L.D. members) attempt to provide backup  – resulting in an awkward middle-ground where some viewers might have trouble suspending disbelief.

Returning Iron Man series staples Pepper (Paltro), Colonel James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) – as well as former Iron Man series director Jon Favreau (Happy Hogan) – all offer solid turns as their respective characters, and each one is allowed a bit more to do in Iron Man 3. Cheadle especially helps solidify his place in the Marvel movie universe – as the War Machine character is less of a sidekick this round, earning his own superhero spotlight.

Franchise newcomers are a mixed bag, with Ben Kingsley presenting a captivating terrorist persona for the Mandarin. The Mandarin is unsettling, but considering the character’s importance in comic book lore (not to mention the totally unexplored ties to the original Iron Man film), longtime comic fans might be underwhelmed by Iron Man 3‘s use of the fan-favorite villain. Guy Pearce’s Aldrich Killian isn’t an especially unique (or memorable) addition to the Iron Man series roster, but scene to scene, the character is a satisfying aspect of the primary Iron Man 3 conflict. Unfortunately, Rebecca Hall’s Maya Hansen is almost entirely wasted – with an underdeveloped arc that lacks any impactful payoff.

Iron Man 3 Ben Kingsley Mandarin Iron Man 3 Review

Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin in ‘Iron Man 3′

The superfluous Hansen character serves as an example of Iron Man 3‘s biggest drawback: in an effort to deliver a movie that could follow The Avengers, the film is packed with too many characters and overcomplicated tangents that take away from a relatively straightforward character story. A lot of ideas (and comic book references) are haphazardly thrown into the mix, but few of them develop into worthwhile contributions to the onscreen storyline – and, worse yet, outright distract from the emotionally-charged Stark character journey.

Similarly, action set-pieces are bigger than prior Iron Man entries, with epic eye-popping effects, but several sequences suffer from CGI-overload, where the Iron Man armor takes a backseat to crumbling buildings and mid-air explosions. The set-pieces are enormous, but instead of highlighting Tony Stark and the various capabilities of his iconic suit, the scope sometimes undercuts would-be blockbuster moments with a muddled blur of armor and explosions.

Iron Man 3 is playing in both 3D as well as an IMAX Experience – and both versions are on-par with premium presentations of The Avengers. The 3D, specifically, relies on subtle (not pop-out) effects, courtesy of a crisp post-conversion from frequent Marvel Studios collaborator, StereoD (Jurassic Park 3D). Neither IMAX or the 3D is essential to enjoying the film, but moviegoers who are willing to spring for the added ticket cost should get their money’s worth.

Iron Man 3 Gwyneth Paltrow Pepper Potts Iron Man 3 Review

Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts in ‘Iron Man 3′

In attempting to maintain the bar set by The Avengers’ superhero action, Iron Man 3 at times handcuffs its hero (and story) – throwing too much style and attempted substance at the screen without being mindful of the carefully-paced discovery and wonder that made the first film (and even the flawed second entry) so memorable. Nevertheless, Iron Man 3 is a crowd-pleasing blockbuster that includes a number of unique action beats and antagonists that break up the suit vs. suit monotony that dominated the first two entries.

It isn’t the best of the Marvel Studios shared universe offerings, but Iron Man 3 should provide enough fun and excitement for both Iron Man die-hards and newly acquired Avengers fans. If you’re still on the fence, check out the Iron Man 3 trailer below:

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Iron Man 3 runs 130 minutes and is Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief suggestive content. Now playing in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D theaters.

Let us know what you thought of the film in the comment section below. If you’ve seen the movie and want to discuss details about the film without worrying about spoiling it for those who haven’t seen it, please head over to our Iron Man 3 Spoilers Discussion.

For an in-depth discussion of the film by the Screen Rant editors check out our Iron Man 3 episode of the SR Underground podcast.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for future reviews, as well as movie, TV, and gaming news.

Our Rating:

3.5 out of 5
(Very Good)

Follow Ben Kendrick on Twitter @benkendrick
TAGS: Iron man 3
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  1. You guys don’t get it. It is ok to be disapointed. But not because the Mandarin didn’t turn out the way you had hoped. All movies made after the avengers movie that include those heroes are being intertwined. It looks like they are little chapters that will lead up to more avengers movies. You cannot have a world beating villain in an individual movie without having a reason for the rest of the Avengers not to be there to help.

    PS. I am still not sold that the Mandarin is done. His character is based on deception, right? You will never see him coming!

    PSII. If you are reading blogs about a movie before you see it, especially a super hero movie you deserve to be spoiled.

    • Spoilers! If you haven’t stopped by the time you get to my comment I’m guessing you don’t care.

      I agree, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of The Mandarin. I just have a feeling that he’s got a bigger plan and the studio has bigger plans for him too. If anyone could pull of that kind of character it would be Ben Kingsley. It’s really hard to find a truly complex and intriguing villain. I loved the movie, but I did see it as a “to be continued” scenario, so I wasn’t terribly disappointed by the rather uninteresting Killian. I really liked Tony being the focus of this movie, vs Iron Man. Jarvis is kind of a character in itself, the suits definitely gave the impression of some kind of autonomy. So why not also define the Stark facet of the persona? I give the movie a solid 4/5. It was entertaining and interesting to see Iron Man disassembled like that.

    • Oh, I get it…I just don’t AGREE with it. The movie was BAD. As for the Mandarin, if he’s not dead (as established by this very film), the Marvel universe will take a SERIOUS hit to its credibility.

      • Arch…. that was another issue for me…. why try to pull off the whole idea that by becoming an idea “you become a legend Mr. Wayne” by killing off the baddest of all badasses…. before the movie starts? Talk about pissed off

    • Here’s hoping you’re right about the Mandarin.

  2. With Iron Man 3, the Marvel brand has tried something new and shown that they have some tricks up their sleeves after all. Up until now, every Marvel film has been an origin of sorts – Iron Man, Thor and Captain America all fleshed out the roots of individuals who were soon-to-be involved in a superhero collective and even Iron Man 2 served as more as an introduction to The Avengers than a story functioning aptly on its own. Iron Man 3, however, tells a most self-contained story that’s got more pithy humor, high gloss action, unexpected twists and its fair share of jarring narrative jumpiness.

    The beginning of this tale finds Tony Stark offering up a confessional of sorts. He’s reconciling with his demons in the aftermath of the New York incident where he nearly died on the other side of a wormhole in a galaxy far, far away. This healing process is proving harder than he may have first assumed. Killing terrorists and blasting baddies may be one thing but a panic attack is something else entirely and seems more alien to Stark than…aliens. Flirting with death is heavy stuff, no doubt, but it’s hard to wallow too much in the mire when there’s yet another madman at large with a penchant for blowing people up, especially when they set their sights on you.

    The Iron Man franchise feels as topical now as it did in 2008 as the continuing themes of terrorism are lasting landmarks in our global society. Although the bombings that take place in this film seem to be serendipitously ill-timed in the wake of the recent Boston attacks, the coincidence is no more than just that. The resulting cultural impact is questionable though as the Marvel Universe is a very sterilized world lacking blood or bodies, the real consequence of war and terrorism. I can’t really gripe about the watering down of any political or cultural significance because, well, this is a wide-netted PG-13 Marvel flick. While I would love to see a hard-R version that really disembowels the messy themes of terrorism and vigilante justice, I guess we will all have to settle with the popcorn action that we get.

    Continuing to play a role that he seems born to play, Robert Downey Jr. is as suitable as ever playing the motormouth Tony Stark and his quips come fast and loose. Even more than before, Iron Man 3 aims for comedy and delivers well-tempered laugh-out-loud moments as well as the smirking, sardonic wit we have come to expect from Mr. Stark. The Marvel universe has seemed to carve out its own niche little brand of humor that, however broad in appeal, feels quite genuine to the world that they have created. There’s a little moment when an unnamed henchman surrenders to Stark and makes a little comment about how he doesn’t even like his employers. It got quite a rise out of me and it’s snappy and odd humor like this that defines the levity of the franchise.

    Even while upping the laughter ante, the film feels more grounded and psychologically taxing. While its predecessor, Iron Man 2, attempted to show Tony Stark battling with the weight of his new found persona, it’s in this installment that anything has any clout. No holds bar, this third installment is head and shoulders superior to Iron Man 2. Whereas that film attempted to skate by on Downey’s easy charisma and extensive suggestibility towards the larger Marvel universe, this film is happy to strip things down to barebones and start fresh.

    Similarly to Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Iron Man 3 takes jabs at our utter dependence on faltering technology. Instead of all the high-tech, mecha-as-God gloss, we see the more unvarnished side of the equation where suits malfunction and break down, GPS fails and people are bonking their heads left and right. It’s a craft little side arc that serves as a parallel to Stark’s perception that he and his suit are inseparable entities as well as some social commentary on our ever-increasing dependence on anything battery-powered. Like Stark, the more reliant we are on tech, the more we lose our ability to stand on our own two feet.

    Fleshing out the ensemble are all the series regulars performing more than sufficiently. Gwyneth Paltrow returns as Pepper Potts and has really been given a great opportunity to round out her character throughout the series. From her meek roots in the first installment to her almost super-hero personality at the end of the franchise, Potts is an interesting female character who has run the gamut on female character tropes. She’s been the mild assistant, the secret crush, the self-empowered businesswoman, the concerned lover, the savvy partner and finally the commanding power-top. Of all the characters in the series, she has evolved the most and finds the most interesting beats in this installment.

    Don Cheadle fills out the suit of the Iron Patriot, the military-officer-formerly-known as War Machine. After a little re-branding, Colonel James Rhodes has doubled down his efforts as a US piece of military might/war deterrent and his once rocky relationship with Tony Stark is now fixed up back to buddy-buddy status. One of the biggest bonuses for this film was seeing the actors actually getting to do some of the action sans the suits. Seeing Cheadle rock it bare bones and fire off his pistol Lethal Weapon-style left me with the impression that the powers that we may just have a natural successor on our hands for Downey once he abandons his post as Iron Man.

    Now, I’m still kind of making up my mind about the whole villain part of the equation. First off, Guy Pearce is unfortunately underplayed in the marketing. His character was slimy, power-hungry and just a force to be reckoned with. Pearce easily has one of the most impressive resumes of the actors here and yet seems to go largely ignored. The guy seems to be a good luck charm for Oscar films having worked on The Hurt Locker and The King’s Speech, two films that won Best Picture in a three year span, so it’s always odd to me when someone like this slips under the radar.

    It’s like all the cool kids had a pool party and he didn’t quite make the cut even though he’s clearly the under-championed coolest of them all. Personally, I had no idea how significant his role would be and I’m all the more grateful that a talent as strong as Pearce could head up the villainy department. It’s nothing of the Heath Ledger Joker caliber but it’s far better than the immeasurable cannon of superhero baddies.

    As far as Ben Kingsley goes, Marvel and Co obviously played his role in the series rather close to the chest so I’d rather not discuss him at length other to say that his performance came as quite a jarring surprise. However unexpected, it’s little bits like this that show that Kevin Feige et al really understand the media stratosphere that they are functioning within and are able to manipulate it to their advantage and the advantage of their audiences. And finally, a quick note on Rebecca Hall: throwaway character.

    Where the other Iron Man movies have depended on climaxes that pit metal-on-metal, the action here is far superior. Instead of the tired and inconsequential pounding of iron suits, the fiery Extremis enemies offer some variety both from a visual and blocking standpoint. Director Shane Black handles the action sequences in a cool and casual way, fishing for the feeling of 90’s action buddy comedies and has caught it hook, line, and sinker even with all the iron suits and a legion of CGI wizards standing behind him. Although the spectacle doesn’t quite match the awing wow of The Avengers, it is just as much fun and even more impressive considering it’s more limited budget.

    Now that all is said and done, the question that remains is will we see Iron Man again? Surely. And while it’s easy to stick holes in the lack of the rest of the Marvel characters here, this is a more intimate and personal story. If anything, this is more of Tony Stark’s tale of Iron Man’s. Big set events included, Stark is out of the suit for the majority of the action sequences and this gives the action more of a sense of consequence than it had before. Even though the participation of the Avengers would surely have eased the situation a bit, there was not necessarily a need for the whole crew of supers.

    There is a necessary amount of forgiveness involved in the Marvel Movie Universe but if you’re willing to engage and let this world full of superheroes and supervillians continue to grow and spread it’s roots, then this is a worthwhile stepping stone along the long and winding road. However inconsequentially the end result is, Iron Man 3 is buttery blockbuster fare hitting the right notes.


    • B…. somehow you made it sound like a good movie…. you pulled off something the film-makers could not….. as far as any “surprises” like those you mention when talking about Ben’s “Mandarin”….. there was no surprises here for me…. it was just as bad as I expected. And as far as any “notes” that this movie hit? Well… they pretty much came together in a symphony of horrible music for me….. note after horrid note

      • I’m still trying to understand why people hate this movie and the great plot twists.

        Besides, it reminds me of a hilarious RDJ line.

        “He’s a dude dressed as a dude disguised as another dude”.

        • Dazz…. you want to know why I didn’t like it? Well… on top of the reasons mentioned in the link to my article I mentioned in my original post (shameless self plug!…. *I love freedom of speech*)…… the reason my friend is simple.

          In fact, you even mention it…. the supposed plot twists, many of which I saw coming a mile away…. if you see them coming they are hardly twists, at least to you. As for the ones I did not see coming? Many of THOSE they ripped from the hands of other films, those of which actually were able to pull off the same twists twice as well.

          If your going to rip off even an idea from another movie, please, make sure you can do it just as well if not better……. these? Done half as well…………… at best.

        • Dazz…

          The reasons I hated this film are in my response on the spoiler discussion thread. In short, however (and w/o giving away any details), I found the story lacking, the plotting of that story subpar, the villains weak, the “twist(s)” either cliche’ or simply done better already in other films, the visuals (particularly regarding the multiple armors) poor, and the whole film only vaguely connected to the rest of the trilogy.

          Out of 5, I GENEROUSLY rate this movie a 2.

          • Agreed.

          • I thought the story worked well enough, and resolved the other two in the “trilogy” because there wasn’t that much to resolve. Tony Stark is Iron Man. He has this shrapnel in his chest which he hasn’t removed yet (despite a ridiculous illness in the second installment). He kept that, presumably because he was so wrapped up in being this character. He was distracted, and it wasn’t necessary. In the end, he blows his armory and finally gets the shrapnel removed.

            I’m fine with what was done to the Mandarin, partly because I don’t really care about that character, and also because it played on a suspicion a lot of us have had: That the world can just make up a villain. That a lot of this, somewhere, is just a joke, perpetrated by someone out there you’ll never see. No, I don’t demand all the comic book details.

            I was as happy seeing War Machine become Iron Patriot as I was seeing Sony keep Spiderman. That was a bad move.

            The rest of the villains were just… perfunctory. Extremis makes people really hot without killing them until it does, and then they explode. Mmk.

            Well it’s obvious that AIM wants to make super soldiers, which is apparently the trend in the MMU. AIM might not be over, though this movie’s ending would make it seem so. Maybe MODOK takes over after Killian?

            And the ending makes it seem as though Tony Stark is done with the armor. That allows his character to change greatly (and that’s why I’m happy with it) but it isn’t without problems. That’s kind of a waste if it isn’t supplemented somehow. I mean, Stark had all kinds of specialized armor, like the Hulk Buster, and he blew all of it(?) just to end a batch of soldiers? Marvel will have to supplement the loss of Iron Man in Phase Two if this is true.

            And wait, what happened to Pepper? Cured, or just stabilized (and thus not cured)? That bugged me a little bit.

  3. Darn, if they had convinced Jon Favreau to come back and given him the creative freedom that they had given Shane Black, this could have actually been a fully satisfying movie. I mean that’s why he left right? Marvel wanted to put so much into IM2 to set up for the Avengers that it made him, rightfully, a bit peeved.

    But, then look at how independent IM3 was as a film from the rest of the MCU (which the independence was fine, but not handled well enough IMO). It would have suited Favreau’s liking more. He might have even come back if they could have convinced him enough in advanced just how much control/freedom he would have had this time around.

  4. I loved it. It resolved Iron Man quite well for me, though after this and Skyfall, I really don’t want to see anymore female supporting characters just shot dead like that. The first two films, especially the first one, just felt pointless if not for setting up for the Avengers.

    This story did something else. To me, it was a parable about being distracted with technology. It worked on that very simple basis, so I liked it. It wasn’t just a mindless romp to shoehorn in new characters or references somewhere. Good going, Marvel.

    • Seriously???


    • Most of the film’s ok. Rewatchable. But I still don’t like Killian’s weak motive for being so hateful towards Tony. That and what they did to the Mandarin. One-liners – they are fine. But Mandarin was made out into a joke that loomed large over the movie itself. That one move almost overpowered the story.

  5. I’m not salty over this review. It has great points. *Goes to listens to the Iron Man 3 podcast*

  6. I liked it. Liked the twist. Really liked how it mostly focused on Tony and forced him to do without the suit. Then when he did get the suit it still managed to focus on Tony.

    The different Mandarin being a problme didn’t even occur to me. Enjoyed the twist. I’m finding the complaints rather amusing.

  7. I was very disappointed with the story and the characters origins. Iron Patriot is Norman Osborn, I don’t care what Marvel NOW says. Mandarin as a Middle Eastern terrorist that ends up being just an actor decoy. Aldrich Killian ends up being the Mandarin. No way… And so many other flaws. I was excited when Shane Black came aboard as director. Too many liberties taken on the characters and plots for real fans to swallow. Movie is well made, good effects though.

  8. Had all of the bells and whistles, but no heart. What a shame.

    • Kevin, spot on. IM #1 was a beautiful film — esp. the first half. The scene in which Stark’s partner in the cave (sorry, forget his name) passes away has never left me. “Tony … don’t waste your life.” Powerful. IM #2 was solid and entertaining. #3 was a bloated, jumbled mess. Words fail. My 18 yr old started muttering about half way through and by the third act I think he might have gotten up and left if he’d had a way home besides driving with me. Heartbreaking defilement of a heretofore worthy franchise.

  9. Though I thought the acting in the film was quite good I found the storyline disturbingly weak. The “Mandarin” seemed to come out of nowhere and with a villain as bad as this one, one would think that there would be some in-depth background on him. Instead, he seemed to pop-up for the simple reason that a top-scientist was rebuffed by Tony Stark in Switzerland. Good villains always have a history that becomes part of the story, which this one unfortunately, didn’t.

    Next on the “hit list”, was the destruction of Tony Stark’s home. Come on people! A guy with the genius of a Tony Stark who is already known to the public as to who he does not create an invulnerable defensive perimeter around not only his home but his hi-tech laboratories and then baits The Manadarin to come after him by giving out his address. That was just ridiculous and another indication that the storyline was going to be weak.

    In addition to Iron Man, we have the “Iron Patriot” with Don Cheadle. What is this; a super partner who does little to nothing in the film but land up in the wrong places? Yes, I know he took one of Tony’s suits in the previous film but still did we need a competitor to Iron Man. And in Red, White, and Blue to boot.

    And then we have the all those extra Iron Man suits that tony built all in varying degrees of completion. That was a little over the top especially at the end when the movie devolved into just another pyro-technic extravaganza.

    Given the nature and sophistication of The Mandarin, this should have been a film with a very sophisticated, complex storyline. Instead, we get a film with a lot of one-liners (though, good ones) that doesn’t seem to connect to the utter terror that such a sophisticated criminal could wreak on society. And going after a president who in the end is found to be just another friend to big business could have been done is such a phenomenal way that places Tony at odds with the US government instead of being just another one-dimensional character who plays against a propaganda script…

    • Yes. This.^

    • 100 percent with you. My feelings exactly.

  10. This movie was AMAZING! The. Best. EVER!! I’m considering seeing it again, no matter what haters say!

    • Really? Best ever? Well……. More power to ya I guess. Marvel wouldn’t make money if it wasnt for fans like you who are willing to take the best they give us rather than the best they can do. I know they can and should do so much better…… Which is why I wrote the review at the link I posted yesterday.

    • Really? Best ever? Well……. More power to ya I guess. Marvel wouldn’t make money if it wasn’t for fans like you who are willing to take the best they give us rather than the best they can do. I know they can and should do so much better…… Which is why I wrote the review at the link I posted yesterday.

    • Really? Best ever? Well……. More power to ya I guess. Marvel wouldn’t make money if it wasn’t for fans who are willing to take the best they give us rather than the best they can do. I know they can and should do so much better. Which is why I wrote the review at the link I posted yesterday.

    • Really? Best ever? Well……. i guess Marvel wouldn’t make money if it wasn’t for those willing to take the best they give us rather than the best they can do. I know they can and should do so much better. Which is why I wrote the review at the link I posted yesterday.

    • Not the best but you are right about it being rewatchable.

    • Agree with you 100%

  11. movie itself was pretty good i was just extremely disappointed with mandarin..

    • Me too. Plus Killian’s seemingly weak motive for mayhem and the super-rushed ending.

  12. It wasn’t perfect, but it was good — for a Marvel movie. I confess being someone who thought Iron Man 1 was pretty good (but not great at all) and Iron Man 2 was just bad, so the fact that Iron Man 3 worked so differently did improve it for me.

    And as far the Mandarin’s situation goes, it’s easy to see why people hate it, but I liked the general principle of it. (This is said as someone who grew up with the original comics, at least through the first red-and-gold armor and a little beyond, it’s nice to see even clumsy efforts to make supervillains — specifically supervillains — who aren’t just all literal special effects and are more figuratively special effects.) Honestly, it was a little underdone, but deceptive villains are in general the best villains.

    Four out of five stars is what I voted, and I could be convinced to drop a half-star for the kid and some other elements that grated a little but didn’t actually get in the way of the story.

    Lastly… amusing hearing all of this armchair engineering, trying to inflate the list of “plot holes” by adding in instances of movie physics. (The remaining plot holes are dealt with using the more traditional ambiguity, actual logic, and suspension of disbelief.)

    • Agreed. IM1 = 4.7/5.0, IM2 = 3.0/5.0, IM3 = 3.8/5.0

      • For me: IM–4.5/5
        IM3==2/5 (and that’s being generous)

  13. sorry for the millions of duplicates of my last message……. I kept getting a failure to post message on my cell….. last time I ever try to respond on a website through my phone……..that’s all I gotta say…..

  14. I wanted to see Iron Man 3 not Iron Meh 3. This movie was so average it hurt. RDJ is what kept it together. Totally wasted Ben and Guy not to mention the Mandarin. The adaptation of the Extremis arc was weak. Shane Black did good at key character moments, but everything else….? I don’t know who to blame for the mediocrity so I’ll just say it was an alright standalone film. I agree with the reviewer score. 3.5/5

    • Good one. Iron Meh. Ha Ha Ha.

  15. Once again Marvel has shown that they are willing to bend over and take it from Hollywood as long as they can cash the checks. The movie was a mess, badly written and the plots appeared to be like two TV writers sitting in a room trying to outdo themselves. Shane Black is a lack luster director and an even worse screen writer if this is what he delivers. Like every other bad super hero movie he did what Hollywood always does, they took long standing characters, plot lines and story arcs and threw them all out the window then proceeded to REWRITE the source material. NO ONE I have spoken to that was a long time fan of the comic series liked this movie. Take out the costly special effects and this was a cheesy TV show.

  16. I saw the movie last night. It was the first movie I saw in a theater in a year and a half. Overall, I didn’t like the movie that much. I wonder if I would have if I didn’t have such high expectations going into the movie. While I did like it better than Iron Man II, it’s my third least favorite MCU movie (My second least favorite is the Hulk and my least favorite is Iron Man II).

    I didn’t like that Tony was out of his suit for most if the movie. It seemed like he was more of a James Bond than a superhero. I didn’t like how Iron Patriot was supposed to have such a bigger role, bit he didn’t. I really didn’t like the Mandarin twist. I also didn’t like the end credits scene. It would have been nice if Ant Man of Wasp had been introduced. Oh well, it’s just a movie. I’m still really looking forward to seeing Thor II. Thor is my favorite MCU movie, so far.

    • Finally, someone else who likes “Thor” as much as I did. Great acting for the genre and a good story-line… “Thor II” looks like it will be a lot of fun…

      • I too thought Thor was superior to Iron Man 2. I agree about Iron Man 3 (except I loved the end credits scene) but I was not going in blind so I was not surprised. I know Shane Black’s work and this movie was a tedious checklist of Shane Blackisms. Way too many to list here it coiuld fill a page. so, I wasn’t surprised by the Bourn-esque approach they used (RDJ and MArvel have been selling it that way for over a year) and they made it very clear a year ago that this movie would only reference past movies (Avengers, Iron Man…) and not contain any lead-ups to Phase 2 films (including the end-credits scene, which, given Black’s near-obsessive need to use narration in his films actually worked).

        • Oh, things I hated about the film: Too many suits! Too much Paltrow! If the remote controlled suits just fall to pieces when you hit them, it suggests Tony’s body is the only thing preventing this. If so, why hasn’t he bit split to pieces when suffering similar impacts. Too much Paltrow! Oh, I said that already. Seeing her face in an Iron Man suit was absolutely horrendous. I nearly gagged into my popcorn. It seemed she was in a suit as much as RDJ. Giving her powers at the end (again, predictable Shane Black) was an awful decision. I literally smiled when she fell to her death into the fire; not because I dislike Pepper Potts, it would just mean no more Paltrow. But, alas they save her. Ehh. I turned to my friend as we left the theater and said, “He should’ve kept the shrapnel and gotten rid of her.”

  17. While it was an enjoyable, entertaining movie, it wasn’t good. It felt like they were throwing comic book references at us without any knowledge of what they meant. Killian was a joke as a villain. What was his motivation? What did he want? Why did they do what they did with The Mandarin, just so that we didn’t see it coming? I’ve really come to expect more from Marvel, this felt like Fox or Sony produced it.

  18. Well, I felt like Kingsley was wasted much like Watanabe was wasted in Batman Begins. Fully pulling Mandarin from the shadows as a prop piece was a mistake because the attempt at exposing Tony’s hubris failed largely because Killian failed. RDJ is masterful and is this generation’s best (even with average material). I fear only a villain like Doctor Doom and an actor that can trade onscreen blows with RDJ is the only real chance Marvel has to realize the type of masterpiece they are shooting for.

    One last thing: Extremis is way too powerful and generic (boring). When you combine the powers of Wolverine, the Hulk, Captain America, and the Human Torch, it becomes a crutch that unbalances everything.

  19. I’m saying this again, I call B.S. on Shane Black for even equating the Mandarin with Fu Manchu, as the character moved away from that image a long time ago. Sure the way they handled the Mandarin was a surprise, but giving us a complex, and self-motivated ethnic villain would have been a big surprise as well. There are woefully few roles for ethnic actors in genre films as it is, and it’s a shame to take what could have been a great role for an Asian actor and make a joke of the character. No offense to Ben Kingsley, he was only playing the role he was given and he did a great job, but Shane Black has shown that he is not a comic book fan.

    • /Bravo James totally agree.

    • It was a deliberate F U to fans by Shane Black to do what he did with the Mandarin. What I say is evident when you count how many times they reference Thor, Asgard, aliens, and alien technology in the film. Given that, the Mandarin’s rings being alien tech would be plausible. But, no, Black said F U to fans. I am surprised that more people aren’t picking up on Shane’s political agenda with this film: “The terrorists are fake…. we create them… Iron Patriot is fake… America is it’s own enemy… we bad.”
      Those were glaring to me. It was like watching a movie directed by a conspiracy-laden Truther.

  20. Everyone is so caught up on race, why couldnt they judt stick to the comics and the actual alien technology that the 10 rings were based off of? It happened in the Far East or the Orient or China or whatever you want to call it so, the person should be of asian appearance. Is that wrong or hard to do. There are some phenomanal asian actors that could have played the mandarin and China or the chinese people not feel some negative way about it.
    Its amazing that today, people, mainly white americans are still caught up on race and what someone looks like?

    • I doubt the movie would have done as well in China had they gone that route. And there you have it…

  21. Bad movie. The Mandarin twist made me so upset. Jon Favreau (sp?) was the best character. I thought they slapped us in the face with Ben not being any villain. That was just horrible. :(

    • Yes, Shane Black deliberately (as Shane Black does) said a big F U to the fans with the Mandarin. It was deliberate and quite bitchy. He could have had the Mandarin still be a villain, but an unwitting pawn who thought he was calling the shots. Instead we are treated to Ben Kingsley in his underwear being ridiculous delivering a scene from a script that seemed more like Lethal Weapon sequel.

  22. Things I liked: Some scenes with RDJ and the kid; most of the score.

    Oh, things I hated about the film: Too many suits! Too much Paltrow! If the remote controlled suits just fall to pieces when you hit them, it suggests Tony’s body is the only thing preventing this. If so, why hasn’t he been split to pieces when suffering similar impacts. Too much Paltrow! Oh, I said that already. Seeing her face in an Iron Man suit was absolutely horrendous. I nearly gagged into my popcorn. It seemed she was in a suit as much as RDJ. Giving her powers at the end (again, predictable Shane Black) was an awful decision. I literally smiled when she fell to her death into the fire; not because I dislike Pepper Potts, it would just mean no more Paltrow. But, alas they save her. Ehh. I turned to my friend as we left the theater and said, “He should’ve kept the shrapnel and gotten rid of her.”

  23. Everyone listen. After Iron Man 2, this movie seems awesome!!! Enjoy it and await the next one.

    • I’d actually rather rewatch Iron Man 2 at this point.

  24. IM 2 was better than this.

    • Probably right. Sad to say.

  25. Ok um this is by far the best Iron Man yet, including the Avengers. It deserves at least a 4.5, if not a perfect 5

    • I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry…are you serious?

  26. 2.5 stars from me at the most.

  27. I must say the movie didn’t reach up to my expectations in terms of Storyline /Plot .. New Characthers eg. Uhmm Sally.Weak Villian Plot, What the Hell went on Mandarin. I didn’t get it, That moment when he reached Tennesse . felt like I missed 10 -15 minutes, Felt like the movie ended too soon 130 mins. a little bit of too much stuff blowing up (Over the top) .…. Seeing the emotional side of Tony was good… and the action was pretty amazing . Every scene with Jarvis and the Suits were Awesome.. Oh Yeahh.. Happy (Jon Farveau) was great in Movie …. Tony out of the suit fighting was cool,I liked Rhody role in the movie but he was still underused . Overall as a Big Fanboy of RDjr and IM franchise . It was a pretty cool Blockbuster (In the Moment experience) my fave scene was with all the suits fighting Extremis soliders.. Even thoo the suits were massive CGI easy to destroy ..
    ps.. I don’t Blame Marvel .that much ..Shane Black didn’t do this movie justice.He was horrible. wonder if Jon Fraveau directed with a little bit of the script what would’ve been the outcome “

  28. Can anyone explain why Jet Li wasn’t the mandarin?

  29. Horrible movie. Completely wasted a chance for a monumental arch rival battle. Shane Black should be quartered. Hopefully there won’t be another Iron Man movie and we can either move on to other heroes or finally get a hulk sequel