Quick survey: did you love the first Iron Man movie and then sort of dislike the second one? Great news: Iron Man 3 is the perfect movie for you. It’s the best one out of of all three films!
Tony Stark is back after his stint in New York helping the Avengers do their thing, and now he’s having bad dreams, cold sweats, insomnia and panic attacks about his brief trip through an inter-dimensional wormhole riding an atomic bomb. No big deal, really.
The film is narrated by Stark, but not in an off-putting way. He’s there to set up the plot and place us in time, but it never gets in the way.
Tony’s stress means that he has built a whole mess of Iron Man suits between The Avengers and the latest film for him to cavort in, and that means he’s straining his relationship with Pepper, his now live-in girlfriend, and his friends: James Rhodes and Happy Hogan.
When an Osama Bin Laden-style bad guy known as The Mandarin promises to continue terrorising America and the President, Iron Man and the United States’ new Stark suit, Iron Patriot, take centre-stage to solve the bombings and explore the strange body augmentations happening as a result of the Extremis program.
Robert Downey Jr reprises his Tony Stark role perfectly, while Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle both step it up in their roles as Pepper Potts and James Rhodes.
Stark’s artificial intelligence unit, Jarvis, also takes it to the next level in Iron Man 3 and steals several scenes with great jokes and cool gadgets. Paul Bettany nails that persona yet again.
Speaking of the gadgets: they’re everywhere. Every screen is transparent and glowing, virtual reality software is rolled out around Stark’s workshop and the Iron Man HUD has never looked cooler.
There are also a slew of Iron Man suits in this movie, including the arrival of a whole bunch in the end sequence to help Tony and Rhodes fight off the bad guys. What’s interesting is that the Iron Man comics take the time to explain what these suits are actually for, but the movie doesn’t.
A lot of the armour Stark develops during his insomnia is directly related to his experiences in New York with The Avengers. There’s the self-explanatory Hulkbuster armour, the armour Stark reverse-engineered from the Asgardian Destroyer, underwater armour and even space armour, all ready to duke it out in the final battle, but none of it is ever explained. It’s just more suits in different shiny colours for Tony to jump into.
The mind-controlled Mark 42 armour takes centre stage in Iron Man 3, and that’s not a bad thing at all. Watch out for all the people that get a turn in the Iron Man armour this time around.
Make sure you stay until after the credits have rolled, too. There’s a post-credits scene that explains who Stark was telling the story to. It doesn’t do anything to set up events in Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier or the as-yet unnamed sequel to The Avengers, but it’s good fun nevertheless.
Suiting up has never been as good as it is in Iron Man 3. It’s littered with perfectly-timed jokes, amazing action sequences, a top twist and more Iron Man armour than you can poke a stick at. Go see this movie.