When I stepped into the theater the other day I had huge expectations for Iron Man 3. Though it seemed impossible, the film managed to live up to every one of my expectations and then some. Until the first Iron Man hit theaters, the iron clad hero wasn’t even a blip on my radar. I knew almost nothing about the hero. Now Tony Stark has become one of my favorites. The third installment in the Iron Man series pits Tony against The Mandarin and scorned enemies from his past. This was the best Iron Man so far for countless reasons. Here are some of my favorite reasons.
• Stark’s Split Mind: The events of the Avengers are not forgotten in this film, in fact they play a key role in the plot. Since Tony (Robert Downey Jr.) returned from New York he admits that nothing has been the same. He has been shown other universes and other worlds and it has changed Tony Stark. Unable to sleep and suffering from crippling anxiety attacks, we see a very different side to the superhero. Still sharp tongued, witty and brilliant, Tony Stark is on the verge of a mental breakdown throughout the entire film. This gives a whole new dimension to the cocky, seemingly invincible superhero.
• The Kid: About halfway through the film, after his house has been destroyed and Tony is on the run, we meet Harley Keener (Ty Simpkins). Harley is a young man whose father left him and who has an obsession with Iron Man. Harley’s character is not advertised at all but his relationship with Tony Stark is one of the best aspects of the film. The two help each other. Harley, a boy who feels abandoned, finds someone to believe in and Tony finds that sometimes good help and good advice can come from unexpected places.
• The House Party Initiative: The commercials have made no secret of the fact that this film features more than one Iron Man suit. The entire film features the Mach 42 suit, a suit with the ability to be called remotely and attach to Tony. The other suits don’t really come into play until the final battle but it is a truly outstanding battle. With Jarvis (Paul Bettany) controlling the suits, Tony Stark leaps from suit to suit as he and Jarvis battle hordes of nearly invincible enemies. This made for a fantastic and unique battle.
• The Director: Jon Favreau, who directed the first two Iron Man films, was not the man behind the camera for the third installment. Instead Shane Black, director of one of my favorite films Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, takes the reigns. His directing style becomes apparent right away as the film opens with a voice over from Tony Stark. Robert Downey Jr. and Shane Black have already proven to work well together and Iron Man 3 only solidifies the trend. A little darker than the first two films, Black brings his own flare and style to the best Iron Man film yet.
• The Villain(s): While the film did not keep the many Iron Man suits a secret, they did keep a lot of secrets about the film’s villains so I am not going to ruin anything here. The villains in this film were outstanding. Ben Kingsley gave an amazing performance as the Mandarin and other terrifying villains (whose identities I don’t want to ruin) also give great performances. The hierarchy of the villainy in this film was filled with genuine shock and awe, creating some of the biggest twists and turns in the film. Oh also, most of the villains were immortal with the ability to heal themselves, super strength and the ability to heat up their body to super human temperatures.
I could keep listing off reasons as to why this film was amazing but I’m pretty sure that you would get tired of reading…eventually. Obviously, I would recommend this film to anybody that likes Iron Man, the Iron Man film franchise or super hero films in general. This film however, like many of the super hero films coming out, is for more than just comic book nerds and children. Super hero films, starting with the first Iron Man, have changed to appeal to a much wider audience. I would recommend this film to anyone from my eight year old cousin to my seventy five year old grandfather. It was witty, funny and action packed. It had a good plot that was not just based around fighting and delved into some pretty deep topics, most of them involving the mental state of Tony Stark. This is an A film for me. See it in theaters, the experience is easily worth it.