By: Irisa Lee
If Tony Stark were here, he would probably tell you that this may be the best Iron Man movie yet. For starters, Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) is in it and he oozes a witty, cocky charisma that gives this movie the fun that so many other superhero films lack. Stark’s charm and a surprisingly cohesive storyline make for a fantastic end to the Iron Man movie trilogy.
Although it is the third movie of a trilogy, the story instead starts off after The Avengers rather than after Iron Man 2. Stark is back at home but he feels haunted by his experiences in New York City. Unable to fully cope with his insomnia and anxiety attacks, Stark throws himself into his current hobby – Iron Man suits – round the clock. This only makes things worse as his health and his relationship with Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) are increasingly taxed. However, the arrival of a new mysterious terrorist named the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) that threatens America and old acquaintances from thirteen years ago that come back to bite him bring him out of his prototype suit obsession. Following an explosion that hurts Stark’s former security guard Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau), Stark rashly challenges the Mandarin head on. The Mandarin promptly arrives to destroy his house and Stark soon finds himself far removed from home with only a badly damagedIron Man suit. Luckily his friend and War Machine (newly dubbed Iron Patriot) James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) and a boy named Harley (Ty Simpkins) that Stark befriends help him out, but Stark is unsure he can still face his problems without his technology or a fully functioning suit.
The broken Iron Man suit isn’t devastating though. Iron Man 2 heavily emphasized technology but in Iron Man 3, the separation from the suits make the movie much more focused towards people and their human aspects. For example, the movie is centered more on Tony Stark than Iron Man, and Stark’s growth without his Iron Man suit is a refreshing new angle in character development. Downey Jr. is able to skillfully portray the older and more cynical Stark that has come a long way from the whimsical, ignorant millionaire we knew before. In addition, Pepper Potts has a bigger role in this movie than the previous films. We get to look more into her thoughts and motivations and we finally get to see her in more action (including the fighting sort of action). This development did not apply to all characters however. Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), an enemy that Stark faces, does not get the same characterinsight. While we can make assumptions based on the brief backstory, Killian’s motives are unclear and his actions are seemingly hollow.
Even with these character developments, the movie still contains all the quintessential parts of an action movie. Granted, there aren’t as many fight scenes as other action movies, but action sequences were well placed in the plotline and they did not overshadow the story at all. The big explosive climax involved incredible CGI effects and for a long action scene, it won’t try your patience with repetitive combat at all.
But what stood out most of all in this movie was that it successfully married a fun superhero action movie with a storyline that makes sense. Action movies have a tendency to rush stories as quickly as possibly through a huge storyline to leave room for long action sequences and dazzling special effects at the cost of numerous plot holes. Iron Man 3 on the other hand, had none of that annoyance and the story ran relatively seamlessly (the plot holes were minor quips at most.). And so this film wasn’t as grand and as dramatic as many other recent superhero movies, but you’ll be hard pressed to find one that leaves you as satisfied and fulfilled with the story as Iron Man 3 does when you leave the theater.