Iron Man 3 (2013)

7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 8/10

Robert Downey Jr. still sells the franchise, better than Iron Man 2

Almost becomes a kid movie, Guy Pearce is a weak enemy

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Iron Man 3

Studio:  Marvel Studios

Genre(s):  Superhero/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  April 14, 2013 (Paris)/May 3, 2013 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


Awkward first date

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is back!  After helping the Avengers successfully defeat alien invaders, things aren’t going well.  Suffering from night terrors and anxiety attacks, Tony’s past is about to come back and bite him.  A New Year’s Eve 1999 party with a researcher named Dr. Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall) led to an encounter with a man named Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) whose company Advanced Idea Mechanics (aka A.I.M.) was developing a product called Extremis which tapped into the human mind to unleash its potential.  Now, Killian is back and gunning for Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Tony.  Tony’s problems are further exacerbated by the arrival of a mysterious terrorist called the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) whose attacks are popping up all over the world and almost costs Tony’s friend Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) his life.  To stop Killian and uncover the Mandarin, Tony, with the help of War Machine rebranded Iron Patriot (Don Cheadle), must go back to his roots and face his fears, and it could cost him Pepper forever.


I’m the star…right?

Directed by Shane Black, Iron Man 3 is the follow-up sequel to Iron Man 2 (2010) and The Avengers (2012).  The movie was released overseas initially and received positive reviews and box-office breaking records.  The movie was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

Though one of my least favorite Marvel mainstream characters, Iron Man is my favorite of the Marvel film series.  The previous Iron Man solo outing, wasn’t much of a solo outing.  It, of all the Marvel films, was most like a set-up for The Avengers with appearances including Nick Fury, Black Widow, and lots of talk of the Avengers Initiative.  It was a bit clunky having too much going on, but still enjoyable.  Here, Iron Man is back to the basics.


Fear me and my sports bra!!!

The plot of Iron Man 3 is more controlled here.  Though Downey’s character seems a step behind on what is really occurring (it seemed for a guy so smart, he should have figured out some stuff sooner), but I can forgive him.  The movie almost verges down the “cute kid” sidekick path, but fortunately, Stark’s wit is faster than the kid and it manages to get pass this point in the film.  I like that it is more hands-on and plot driven, and less supporting cast based.

The real pull of both the Iron Man movies is Robert Downey Jr.  He just gets the character and brings the cockiness while still managing to make his asinine behavior likeable.  Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper gets into the mix here near the end than in previous films due to the Extrimis plotline, but her character is largely missing for the middle of the picture.  Cheadle continues to be fun as Rhodey and probably does deserve a stand-alone movie (or inclusion in Avengers 2) at some point.  I felt Guy Pierce’s role was not very interesting and very generic as the “undefeatable” bad guy, but did enjoy the small part played by Ben Kingsley which was much more touted.


Nothing says America like Iron Patriot!

Visually, Iron Man is still fun and much better than the similar feeling Transformers movies (aka big metal guys fighting).  The movie does have a couple of confusing fight scenes, but for the most part the editing and sound help get you through the events.  I didn’t love the whole Extrimis effect (though I…and about the only one in the theater…did get a laugh from his Westworld reference).  I did sit through the fun credits which were edited as rift on old spy thrillers…plus you get a cameo from a fellow Avenger.

Iron Man 3 will be enjoyed by people who liked Iron Man, but people expecting The Avengers again might be let down.  I enjoyed the movie more than The Avengers because it moved faster and was less pretentious and jokey (which says something since Iron Man is constantly slinging zingers and the whole Mandarin plotline)…but Iron Man 3 gets the humor right.  I do wish that the movie had gone deeper for a villain and made more visually stunning enemies though I was glad that Tony didn’t just face a big hulking armored foe again.  Iron Man is scheduled to return in The Avengers 2, but who knows if Tony Stark will cameo in any of the other second wave Marvel films.

Related Links:

Iron Man (2008)

Iron Man 2 (2010)

The Avengers (2012)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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