Iron Man has a long history and has been a part of popular culture for a very long time. It wasn’t until 2008 when Robert Downey Jr was brilliantly cast as the playboy Tony Stark that Iron Man became a major part of pop culture. In the first film, Iron Man was created as a result of Tony getting abducted. In the second film, an intelligent psychopath is set out to kill Tony, but Iron Man wins the day. In the third appearance, The Avengers, Tony/Iron Man was not the only major character, but was very pivitol in winning against the alien invasion courtesy of an inter-dimensional demi-god. Now in the fourth appearance, Iron Man 3, the focus is more on Tony than the suit.
In the previous Iron Man movies, Tony was portrayed as a brilliant, egotistical, seemingly unstoppable, and incredibly snarky man who used his near limitless wealth and know how to make a very powerful weapon known simply as Iron Man. In Iron Man 3, there is a new threat in addition to a super power psychopath, Tony Stark himself.
One of the big issues that Tony is dealing with are his severe and repetitive anxiety attacks. In the previous film, The Avengers, Tony experienced a bit of trauma when he dealt with impending doom in the form of an alien invasion. Tony nearly sacrificed himself in order to save the Earth and the impact of that decision weighed very heavily on Tony and was affecting him greatly. Unable to sleep, lack of focus and trouble in his relationship with Pepper. In the larger part of the story, there is a new threat reeking havoc around the globe, the Mandarin. Going into watching this movie, I genuinely had no idea about the story or the plot or anything. And at first I was excited to see Mandarin making an appearance as he kicks ass. However, his adaptation into the big screen was a total disappointment. First of all in the movie, Mandarin was not Chinese. Second, Mandarin’s rings did have a brief cameo, but were nothing more than accessories on his fingers. Lastly, no Fin Fang Foom. After the disappointment of Mandarin, there is a new villain introduced in the form of Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) who actually matched the comic really closely. Aldrich ultimately creates the Mandarin as the leader of the terrorist organization which is bombing parts of the world. The reality is that these “bombings” are really a cover up for medical experiments that have lost control and exploded. There is little to no focus on Stark Industries which is a nice change of pace also. Tony is just a man who needs Pepper’s (Gwyneth Paltrow) companionship, gains a friendship in a young boy and ultimately commits to a clean slate.
With that being said, the thing I liked the most about Iron Man 3 was that the focus was more on Tony as a person; how vulnerable he really is and how dependent he really is. Most especially when he crash lands after seemingly blacking out, and his trusty artificial intelligence Jarvis fades out of power, and Tony in a moment of Wintery isolation simply says “don’t leave me” and appears very alone. Tony has to truly fend for himself and of course makes it work because he is very intelligent. Eventually he finds out that Mandarin is a farce, Aldrich can breath fire, and brings in about 3 dozen Jarvis coordinated Iron Man suits which are what really save the day. In what I think is the best scene of the movie, is when Pepper, who had been captured by Aldrich and began a biological transformation, was ultra, super sexy as she kicked Aldrich’s ass.
All in all, Iron Man 3 was quite a bit different as the plot was less about Iron Man and more about the man in the can. It was refreshing to see the hero reveal vulnerabilities and reluctantly show that he is in fact still just a human; humility at it’s finest while blowing stuff up and kicking bad guy ass.
Have you seen it yet? Comment on your thoughts about Iron Man 3!