Iron Man 3: Gizmodo Australia Review

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.

Images: Marvel


    I thought it was the best iron man visually but the mandarin was sort of a bad joke and ruined the movie for me and that was not the point of AIM at all in the comics so all in all I was left disappointed.

      I think it's always important to remember that the films aren't the comics, but simply stand alone story's that draw inspiration from the comics.
      I actually thought the way that they changed the Mandarin to be a simple ruse was quite clever and the over-all plot was very well conceived and executed. it didn't take itself too seriously, and made sure that Tony's plight was engaging and interesting.

        True. I can see why people did like it, I just had trouble liking it.

    I loved it

    Not really spoilers but I know how people here bitch and cry about the smallest hint of a spoiler:
    The end credits were very 70s/80s action show feel with the fast paced music and spliced together panels showing action scenes and such

    Ben Kingsley was awesome

    Saw it last night, was very good.

    I wish they had gone into a bit more depth about why the extra suits. Even a quick scene showing Tony studying the enemies from The Avengers and customising a suit to er... suit.

    Even a display showing the enemy and the equivalent suit side by side would be an idea.

    Last edited 25/04/13 11:09 am

      They did for the 'showstopper' suits really. The Hulkbuster armour (though they call it something else) gets its own bit where it lifts a giant cargo container, the other suits get their own few seconds where they do something individual, though nothing spectacular. Hulkbuster was about it really, but I do get what you mean.

    Thought they wasted a lot of great scenes & idea's. Epic buildups and dark emotional undertones were barely given depth. I kept getting the feeling some ground breaking moment was coming, but it never happened.

      Totally agree. The first act setting up the rest of the movie was great, but the rest was just lazy and slapdash, often making little sense. Such a shame

    I didn't really like it. Maybe because I read up about characters and the storyline it was based on before.

    That twist with the Mandarin made the whole movie seem like a joke.

    Last edited 25/04/13 11:55 am

      @bignig I kind of agree. The storyline was completely different to that of that of the comic books. It was probably due to the movie having a different director. I don't think that the twist made the movie seem like a joke, it just added a funny element.

      Just because Trevor wasn't the real mandarin doesn't mean that there wasn't a mandarin. I actually thought it made the made the movie more serious because the enemy was obviously smart, giving the public eye someone to watch while he was behind the scenes out of mind and out of sight. It was ironic how he was one of the many people Tony had met before but couldn't remember because of his giant ego! :)

        They didn't even go into the 10 rings though with the Mandarin... that was a huge let down.

    I saw it last night too! :) I liked it better than the second but I'm not sure if I liked it better than the first, still, I thought it was amazing! The story was more about Tony Stark than it was about his suit. Captain America can't say that he is nothing without his suit anymore! The SFX were great and I loved the bit at the end of the credits.

    At the beginning of the movie I was wondering if Tony Stark was telling his story to the audience or someone else. Bruce Banner was a great choice (they obviously have the whole bromance thing going for them) At the end of the credits, I noticed that they said Tony Stark will return (this gave me hope) instead of saying Iron Man will return like they did in the two previous movies. I can't believe he removed his Arc Reactor! Also, for the entire movie I was waiting for an ACDC song or something but it never came :(

    I too wished that they went into a bit more depth but I agree, Ben Kingsley was awesome! I started laughing so hard and couldn't stop! But I found everything funny, probably cause I was tired :) Anyway, the kid was really cute!

      Dude, seriously, learn to use the spoiler tags...

    Not a fan of how overpowered the Extremis people are, I mean really, shoot fire out of mouth?

      Really? You complain about that but not the arc reactor fused to Tony Stark's chest powering a suit of armour capable of space travel? Its a superhero movie, gonna be strange in some places.

      I kept wondering why their clothes didn't burn. I mean they can melt metal but not cotton?

    Just saw it. Enjoyed it thoroughly. Anyone who enjoys Marvel or Iron Man should see it. My wife is not a super hero movie fan but does like Iron Man and she enjoyed this one quite a bit. Definitely better than 2.

    How the hell do you use the spoiler alert?! Everytime I have tried to use it,
    it never works! Sorry to all the people who haven't seen the movie yet :(
    Just try to close your eyes and don't read what is beneath the spoiler alert!

      <.s>type your spoiler content inside here but remove the . inside the brackets, then it will set it up as spoilers<./s>

    How do you follow up the Avengers? A movie that celebrates its geekdom with hints, references and even extra characters from the expanded Marvel universe all in spectacular fashion. There are some plot holes and a few things that are a little hokey but all in all a good movie as true to its comic book roots as it is able to find fun original ideas.

    The answer, throw all that out the window and make Iron Man 3. A film that drowns in its own smugness. The biggest issue is that it doesn't know what it wants to be, the tone of the narrative is all over the place, the weakest justification to important events is given and in the end it just plays like a bad James bond film. It is fair to say that I disagree with some of the main re working of comic book stories such as the extremis story line and the character of the mandarin but that aside the changes could have really worked and carried some real meaning, if the stakes seemed like they actually mattered but they just don't.

    As always if you haven't seen it, watch it and make up your own mind,

    It was good, but it wasn't really an IRON MAN movie 100%. I felt like it was a comedy mixed in, sometimes adding but sometimes taking away (mostly the fact it was overdone). The length was good, but the pacing and sudden changing of scenes wasn't well done (Tennessee and then the mansion specifically)

    i feel that it didn't really explain what AIM's goal was thoroughly enough, in the end was it just money.

    The suit was never really completed and that let me down, like it left you wanting.

    I thought it wasn't that the extremis was overpowered, more-so under-powered, just that there was too many people with it. The comic book way of introducing extremis to the body was more realistic and more well done.

    and the way the villain died in the end was stupid, how come he didn't die from the suit exploding but he did from the missile explosion?

    Just these little things. I liked the movie, but it was a different IRON MAN if you know what i mean.

    Last edited 25/04/13 9:14 pm

      For me the comics have always been better, Ive forced myself not to compare the two. I just look at the movies as taking the concept created in the comics into a movie for the general population.

    The film is a parody of itself, i saw someone describe it as the most expensive comedy ever made
    the trailers are all one big misdirection much like the propaganda used in the movie, and ironically the metaphor they use about the fortune cookie is a good way to sum up the film... It looks like iron man, but really, its empty, full of lies and leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

      That's a bit harsh. I thought it was a tonne of fun and I really liked that the film was the complete opposite to what the trailer made it out to be. Too many films are completely spoiled by their trailers, so this was quite refreshing.

    I watched it yesterday and it was, well a little bit of a let down. Their wasn't any depth to it, it was all over the place, I hated the first half of the movie. The sound track was off as well. It felt like the movie wanted to be far to family friendly, but at the same time dark.

    Also, was it just my cinema or was the movie quiet and the voices soft spoken?

    Saw this last night and my overall impression was this: Enjoyable but not particularly memorable.

    The things I'll remember most are the silly things and plot holes. Here are just a few:
    Why does Tony's house not have a missile defence system? Seems like a rather massive oversight

    Bad guy dies from explosion.... but only the 10th one. I would have had the suit take him into space or the depths of the ocean. That would have been cool and made more sense than the "fight fire with fire" mentality.

    It was never really made clear what the bad guy's purpose was. Was it money, was it revenge, was it pleasure at killing people?

    Even though the "hot" guys could burn through the suits, somehow the iron patriot suit sustains no visible damage after Rhodes gets forced out of it

    Why is the iron patriot suit so easy to reprogram? first the bad guy takes it, then they somehow put the president in it without him being able to control anything. And then Rhodes uses the suit to break the president free, which implies the weapons still work but the president couldn't use them. And then Rhodes jumps back into it like nothing happened. Also the president is a douche.

    The whole regeneration/ glowing red hot thing was an ok idea, but i don't think they fleshed it out very well. I guess there were changes since the 1996 work, but being able to breath fire is a bit of a stretch. In fact, the way most of those bad guys died was a bit crappy. Some get blown up others die to injuries they previously healed from.

    Oh and one more
    how does heating up a gauntlet disable the whole suit? Happens to the iron patriot and almost happens to Mk 42 onboard Air Force One

    I think that's it for now. They are pretty glaring holes for me and took away from overall experience.
    I enjoyed the comedic parts but in the end it felt a bit rushed and jumbled.

      It is not a science fiction, it is dumb comics. Made for not particularly bright children, with attention span shorter then any book. Live with it :)

        Have you read the comics? they are way different and frankly more believable than the movies. They are actually very well written material, it's just that the studios and directors mess with the story provided.
        I don't think you should go spouting things like that without any knowledge of the matter.

        Last edited 28/04/13 1:19 am

    Saw it last night, thought it was awesome (definitely better than IM2).

    My only problem with it - super advanced aliens just attacked Earth. Why are we worrying about local terrorism when we're facing interstellar terrorism. And not just any aliens - super advanced, powerful and MAGIC aliens. I think you have bigger concerns than a fire breathing Peter Weyland.

      haha im surprised you liked it brentus.. i wasnt much of a fan, but thats probably the comic book nerd in me coming out and taking over

    I think was the best of the Iron Man films to date, but as a comic film it falls a fair way short of The Dark Knight and is nowhere in the league of films like Watchmen. It is very entertaining and has some of the best special effects to date, but it suffers from having a piss-poor plot and a lot of bad acting.

    A few conversations that must have occurred... SPOILERS!

    JARVIS: "Sir I have located the Mandarin's hideout. You know, that world famous terrorist who has super human soldiers working for him. You just fought two of them and barely escaped with your life. Should I inform Nick Fury that the worlds most wanted man also has super human soldiers? It does seem like the kind of thing SHIELD might be interested in. And since you're completely lacking any Iron Man suits, it does seem like they might be better equipped to deal with him."
    STARK: "No Jarvis. I'm just going to go to Home Depot, Bill and Ted up some gadgets- because who can just buy a weapon in Texas- then drive 800 miles and storm the super powered mega terrorist compound myself. Without a suit."
    JARVIS: "Sir that is nearly as stupid as your decision to have 30 battle ready AI controlled Iron Man suits and not have a single one on guard duty after threatening the Mandarin. And giving him your address. And staying there."
    STARK: "I did have a suit! The Mk 42!"
    JARVIS: "Sir, you mean the unfinished prototype that malfunctioned twice in the last 48 hours and hasn't been properly armed?"

    AIR FORCE OPERATOR: "Sir, you know the Iron Patriot we inexplicably lost contact with while raiding a suspected terrorist stronghold in Pakistan?"
    COMMANDER: "Yes, of course. The president has made a HUGE deal about him, how important he is. What of him?"
    AFO: "Well it seems he's turned up in Florida."
    COMMANDER: "Florida? I didn't order him to Florida? Why in Seven Hells is he in Florida? How far is that?"
    AFO: "It's about 9,000 miles away sir, a 16 hour flight commercially."
    COMMANDER: "Are you telling me we lost contact with our most valuable military asset, in enemy territory, for at least 16 hours?! What's Rhodes excuse!?"
    AFO: "Longer than that sir. And Rhodes hasn't made contact yet. In fact he's not responding to any communications."
    COMMANDER: "Lost in Mandarin territory for a day, then inexplicably back in the United States? Oh did you see the GLOBAL transmission? The Mandarin is going to kill our president!"
    AFO: "I did sir. Very worrying. Anyway, what should I do about the non responsive Iron Patriot?"
    COMMANDER: "Let's just assume without any communication or verification that he had a good reason, has no need of repairs and is absolutely NOT compromised. Clearly we should relay him the president's location and task him with personally protecting him. Oh and he's had a long day, make sure no one bothers him for things like ID or passwords or anything when he gets to Air Force One."

    To do list:

    Rename this movie Tony Stark.

    Stop building the suits in China cos the production quality has severely dropped.

    Give Jon Favreau a box of band aids to patch this mess up.

    Last edited 27/04/13 5:11 pm

    I thought it was good - but not quite as good as the first. I was/am heavily jet lagged though and don't quite trust my own judgement, so I really need to see it again to make my mind up.

    this is petty but for some reason the scene with the blindingly obvious product placement of a large computing brand really got to me. i know movies gotta sell themselves out to obtain budget but the heavy handiness of it just seemed so artless.

    Last edited 27/04/13 6:52 pm

    Saying this was the best of the three... youve got to be kidding me, it played like a Maybelline commercial for the self rightous Robert Downey Jnr who spends so little time in the suit that you can tell he argued for more face time.. as for the direction of the film... it was like the director had been given his first big boy budget to show off random special effects and pointless tech (I know he did predator and what not but who really cares).. the film was not memorable at all.. apart from the army of suits which in my opinion added no value... they took what was fantastic source material and dumbed it down for the kiddy crowd... if you wanted to make a family movie marvel.. dont use non family friendly source material... bring back john favreau as director, because even iron man 2 was more theatrically polished than this unmemorable mess... and dont get me started on what they did to mandarin... Iron Man Fanboy Out!

    Last edited 27/04/13 9:13 pm

    My take on Iron Man 3

    Apparently Disney ( who now own the Marvel franchise ) had issues with Tony Stark abusing alcohol as a way of coping with the aftermath of the New York Incident in The Avengers. At no point ( even in the flashbacks to before the original film ) was Tony seen with a drink in his hand.

    I would you suggest you keep this in mind as you watch the film - it adds a little more depth and darkness to an otherwise excellent movie, especially if you consider the scene in his wine cellar, and when he has to enter the dive bar...

    It all becomes clear how awesome Iron Man 3 is once you realise it was written by the guy who brought you Lethal Weapon 1 & 2, The Last Boy Scout, The Long Kiss Goodnight, Last Action Hero, and Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (which if you haven't seen you need to stop what you're doing and go and watch it immediately).
    Shane Black does dialog better than most screenwriters out there (except the all powerful Sorkin), and he lived upto that in this one, i thought it was the perfect blend of action and comedy (movies are supposed to be fun especially comic book movies). As to the portrayal of the Mandarin... Sir Ben did a marvellous job as Trevor and i thought the handling of the walking caricature that is the Mandarin from the comics was well done and fitting with the franchise and as a comic book nerd myself i didn't take offense at all. I along with the rest of the cinema was in hysterics when Sir Ben emerged from the bathroom, both times i've seen it so far. I personally though it was the best of the series and an excellent followup to the amazing Avengers film but i did feel it would have been nice to see a bit of Shield or some more hints about whats next in phase 2, and it was sad to think this is the first film that wouldn't have agent coulson in it.

    Last edited 28/04/13 8:28 pm

    Just got back from watching it and while its not a bad movie i think the era of exciting superhero movies is over. It was very predictable and flashy without anything that made me go wow.

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