Iron Man 3 Blu-ray/DVD/Digital l DVD/Digital l Digital
DIRECTOR: Shane Black
WRITER: Shane Black, Drew Pearce
STARRING: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Don Cheadle, Jon Favreau, Paul Bettany
RELEASE DATE: September 24, 2013
Now that The Avengers has come and gone, effectively ending Phase One of the Marve Cinematic Universe, it’s time to kick off Phase Two, which will include sequels to Thor, Captain America, The Avengers, and newcomer Guardians of the Galaxy. But what better way to start off the second phase than with the franchise that began the first: Iron Man.
Iron Man 3 sees Robert Downey Jr. reprising his role as the eccentric billionaire with a heart of gold-ish (at least plated) and high tech armor for everything else, Tony Stark. Not returning this time around, however, is director Jon Favreau, who helmed the first two installments. Favreau appears in the movie as Stark’s former bodyguard and new head of security Happy Hogan and remains an executive producer, but it’s Shane Black taking a seat in the director’s chair this time around, which made perfect sense given that he’d previously worked with Downey Jr. on the excellent Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
The movie kicks off with a flashback to 1999 where a young and ultra cocky Tony Stark bumps into a man named Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) at a New Year’s Eve party. Killian is ecstatic to meet Stark and wants to work with him, but Stark gets rid of him by pretending to be interested and telling Killian to meet him on the roof, where he remains alone.
When we move to present day, Stark is clearly not himself. Not all the time, anyway. After the events of The Avengers, a deep scar resides within him, and issues with extreme anxiety striking without warning have overtaken his body. He’s not exactly sure what to do with himself, building multiple Iron Man suits in his spare time, and it’s also causing problems between Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and himself.
But after an attack by terrorists led by a man who calls himself the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) severely injures his longtime friend Happy, Stark regains his focus and sets off to find and put a stop to the terrorist mastermind, who, as it turns out, is also connected to an old friend.
I have the always exciting position of being someone completely unfamiliar with the comic books when it comes to all of these superhero movies. The only comics I’ve ever really been into are the graphic novel kind, so I get to go into most of these summer blockbusters with little to no expectations, looking only to be entertained. Marvel is very good at delivering the entertainment I seek, whether the movie does well critically or not, and that remains true with Iron Man 3.
The story is rocky at times, but the cast led by Downey Jr. easily keeps things moving and entertaining, and there’s plenty of witty humor mixed in to keep things light and fun after the darker times. Then there’s the big time special effects and action sequences, including a particularly intense scene where the Mandarin first responds to a bold Tony Stark statement. As has become customary for Marvel movies, you should also be sure to check out a humorous post-credits scene that ties to The Avengers.
While I may be easy to entertain, the movie is not perfect by any stretch. Very ballsy decisions were made to greatly alter well-known comic book characters that did not go over well with purists (as strictly a movie fan I had little issue with these changes, though I absolutely get why fans were so enraged and I do wish we could have seen things the way everyone expected them to be), and I personally kept waiting for this guy to be revealed as the main villain before throwing down his little song and dance at some point in the movie.
There are other ways the story could have gone that sound pretty darn awesome as well, but alas, I was still thoroughly entertained from start to finish. Like all Marvel movies, it’s a fun popcorn flick with fun characters and action, and of course, Downey Jr. always helps a great deal. In the end this is a great example of why I often like having no expectations for movies such as this, and I assume many of you in similar situations will find entertainment here as well.
Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter — Picking up at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger, this 15-minute short focuses on Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) and what she did next. It was recently announced that a TV series was being developed based on the one-shot.
Iron Man 3 Unmasked — A behind the scenes look at the making of the movie.
Deconstructing The Scene: Attack on Air Force One — Another behind the scenes look at an attack on Air Force One, and more specifically the 13 people who are sucked out of the plane to their inevitable deaths unless Iron Man can figure out a way to save them. Doing this sequence digitally was explored, but it was ultimately decided to use actual people jumping out of a plane and free-falling for a bit before deploying their hidden parachutes.