Feb 12, 2018
It’s Marvel Monday and we’re continuing the Road to Infinity War. This week’s installment is “Iron Man 3”, the last solo film for Tony Stark, reprised by Robert Downey, Jr. The film picks up with Tony suffering anxiety attacks in the wake of “Marvel’s The Avengers”, struggling to understand his relationship to the suit and to Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), while some bad decisions come back to haunt him.
Shane Black brought the film to life with a $200 million dollar budget, which paid off with $1.2 billion at the worldwide box office. The script was written with Drew Pearce, and does a great job melding the famous Warren Ellis story “Extremis” with a clever take on The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) that avoids any of the latent racism in the original character. Aldritch Killian (Guy Pearce) and Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall) are redrawn to resonate with modern politics.
The cast is solid. Robert Downey, Jr. has the role of Tony Stark perfected without becoming too much of a cliché. Gwyneth Paltrow turns in her best performance yet, even becoming a superhero of her own before it’s taken away. Don Cheadle returns as... *giggle*... Iron Patriot. Guy Pearce and Rebecca Hall make a great, if somewhat awkward pair of villains. I extremely enjoyed Ben Kingsley’s performance of The Mandarin, especially given the third act reveal.
On top of a great story and cast, this film contains some incredible action scenes, particularly the assault on Stark Manor and the activation of the House Party Protocol. I can’t even imagine how many hours went into making each scene look so real. And while this film has the same denseness of “Iron Man 2”, it somehow doesn’t feel as overwhelming or cluttered. Oh yeah, don’t skip the somewhat non-sequitur post-credits scene.
This film marks a sort of end to the Iron Man movies, although Tony’s story, and part of Rhodey’s and Pepper’s, would continue in “Avengers: Age of Ultron”, “Captain America: Civil War”, and “Spider Man: Homecoming”. And of course, he’ll be back in “Avengers: Infinity War” and the still untitled fourth Avengers film set for 2019. I’m already curious how far ahead Feige is thinking, and whether we might see Riri Williams make her debut for a whole new generation of Iron Man films.
Rotten Tomatoes: 80% (CERTIFIED)
One Movie Punch: 8.4/10
“Iron Man 3” is rated PG-13 and is available wherever you enjoy movies.