Iron Man 3 is not only the third film in the franchise that originally started Marvel’s Phase One in 2008, but it’s also the first film post Avengers starting Phase 2. Phase 2 will eventually lead up to The Avengers 2 and their cosmic battle with one of the greatest villains in the Marvel universe Thanos (Probably best known for killing half the universe to impress Lady Death), so before that happens things honestly have to get real, and they do starting with Iron Man 3.
Iron Man 3 finds Tony Stark shortly after the events that transpired in New York during The Avengers. Tony hasn’t been quite the same since his near death experience and passing through the wormhole. This coupled with his newfound monogamy and dedication to Pepper Potts gives us a much different protagonist than the one who started the series.
Tony Stark finally has something real to lose and in a strange way that scares him more than anything.
Tony can’t sleep, suffers from panic attacks and is haunted by the simple fact that after his experiences in The Avengers there are bigger and badder things in the universe on their way. This seems to be an opinion shared by most who inhabit the world in Phase 2, so definitely look for this to be a over-arching theme in the other films as well.
Warning Spoilers Below….
Iron Man 3 is the story of Aldrich Killian a scientist who has created a drug that will let people regenerate lost limbs, but in that process makes them lethal human weapons with the power to detonate like bombs. Using the Mandarin who turns out to be nothing more than an actor in Killian’s employ, Killian is manipulating both sides of the coin using terrorism on one side and his science organization AIM on the other to hopefully take over the United States.
Of course Iron Man eventually foils Killian’s plot and the world is safe for another day at the end of the film, but Iron Man 3 isn’t really about his battle with Killian. The film is ultimately about the end of Tony Stark’s personal journey of finally becoming the hero he needs to be who will be able to lead The Avengers through Phase 2 and beyond. See we don’t see a lot of Iron Man in Iron Man 3 ultimately; most of Stark’s time is spent out of the suit. But what we do see is a man on a mission who is trying to figure out what his role is in the universe is, after finding out it didn’t revolve around him in the first place.
Iron Man 3 is also the first Non-Jon Favreau directed Iron Man film, it was written and directed by Lethal Weapon scribe Shane Black and it shows. The film has a flow and a pace to it rarely seen in these films and is a welcome breath of fresh air as far as I am concerned. Every actor rises to the occasion giving performances that are on par with Downey’s best and shows what the evolution of these films have become in the hands of Marvel.
Iron Man 3 ups the ante in every way shape and form both story-wise and character-wise as well. My only quip with the film would be the non-existent 3D created in post conversion. Honestly I see this as Marvel’s only issue with their films is their usual poor use of the technology. But that aside Iron Man 3 is pretty great.
In Iron Man 3, we see the culmination of 4 films and 5 years of character development in an ending that is truly satisfying. One can even understand why after the epilogue there is even some talk Downey might be leaving the character, now that his contract has run out with Marvel. Hopefully he continues on as Tony Stark, because just like Stark, Robert Downey Jr. didn’t get truly interesting until he figured out what kind of hero he could be as Iron Man.
With that I give Iron Man 3 a 4.5 out of 5 stars, bring on the rest of Phase 2!