Iron Man 3 (2013) Film Review

Rating 12
Length 2h10
Release 18.4.2013
Director Shane Black
About Tony Stark encounters a formidable foe called the Mandarin. After failing to defeat his enemy, Tony embarks on a journey of self-discovery as he fights against the powerful Mandarin.
Moon: no moon sighting
Where to Watch: Disney+

First Thoughts

I’ve actually only seen this instalment once. I went with one of my best friends at the time, we went to the new cinema in Leeds and I remember getting told that I couldn’t have a packet of sweets in the screen. I could have them, but they had to be in their special boxes. Something that caused more noise than had I just been able to eat them out of the packet. Sigh.
I remember more about going with the friend than I did about the film itself. I remember really liking it and I remember we talked for ages after about what it meant for the franchise. Man, I miss him and our mate dates.

The Good

  • I love the framing of the film. Tony Stark’s voiceover is awesome. It pulls you in and makes you feel like he is addressing you. Which is made all the better if you hang out to the end of the credits. It’s not the audience he’s addressing, but one of his new Super friends.
  • The script is on point. From the subtly of “I had created demons and I didn’t even know it.” to the snigger inducing “I’m not trying to be a dick-” pause to allow the camera to pan to children within ear shot “-tator”.
  • The story, at first, seems to be struggling with a balancing act of bad guys. Almost in the same way as Spiderman 3. However, as it unravels its much more nuanced than that. How they all connect is a stroke of genius.
  • As for the Mandarin. I had major issues with both the fact that the Mandarin was a fake and that he was played by Brit Ben Kingsley. However, on this repeat I truly do like how it plays out and how Kingsley performs. While not being able to express my dislike at the time, it boiled down to appropriation and negative implications of this representation of terrorism. Now, appropriation is something that has come up before with Kingsley. He actually is of English and Indian decent and it does appear that his ethnicity does give him a chameleon quality that when you stop to think about, makes the casting choice so much deeper.
  • I love Harley and the relationship between him and Tony. Perhaps the films first foray at establishing the New Avengers. I guess that remains to be seen, but even from an isolated film point of view its a beautiful touch. Harley is able to ask questions and offer insights that no one else could. It also showed us that Stark really is a good mentor.
  • The best part of this film? How it addresses PTSD. Here we have a rich man who has escaped death many times. He’s Iron Man. Yet his own body is reacting to the trauma of New York. Okay, he’s not a God but he’s certainly privileged. Yet this is something he can’t throw money at, he can’t engineer a fix. He has to experience it, just like everyone else. I can only imagine how much this will have meant to fans. To boys, to men, who struggle to talk about these sort of experiences?! I absolutely love this exploration of mental health.

The Bad

  • I’m not sure how much I buy the history between Pepper and Aldrich. Not enough to believe that Aldrich has resentment towards Tony over her. The bit that perhaps is missing, is her involvement in the 1999 flashback.
  • Pepper screaming “Tonaaay!” got very old, very quickly.

The Ugly

  • The glossing over Pepper’s powers really saddens me. I think it was owing to the fact that there was not going to be another Iron Man movie in which to explore that story. However, it was too neat, to easy a fix and it was done off screen.
    She deserved much more. Both Pepper and Paltrow.
  • In fact, the end for me was a little too rushed and we didn’t get enough of a polished ending that did justice to many of the secondary characters; Happy and Rhodey included.

Final Thoughts

Quite possibly my new favourite of my rewatch. Watching it today has actually made sad that there isn’t another solo outing for us. I will also be adding this film to my Christmas watch list.

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