Reviewed by Movie Moxie’s Alicia Glass

Studio: Marvel Studios

MPAA Rating: PG 13

Director: Shane Black

Review Rating: 7.5

Up against a formidable terrorist known as The Mandarin, Tony Stark as Iron Man goes back to his roots to take down the bad guys and save the day!

The good news, and there is plenty of it: it’s a much better film than Iron Man 2. Tony Stark still has plenty of Stark snark as it were, but we and he have to remember, he is at heart an unparalleled genius and builder, and this third movie brings him back to those roots. Pepper Potts gets her own form of badassery, and it is cool, however unexpected it may be. Guy Pearce is tossed in the mix as Aldrich Killian, rival genius, hell, actually rival everything. There is an entire line of Mark-ed Iron Man suits now, and us film-goers get treated visually to each one, however briefly. The visuals are great, the explosions are practically constant, even the plot is actually quite good and involved without being cumbersome. References to the first movie are often made, for those paying attention to that oft-overlooked friend called plot.

The bad news: this is what we call an interjected movie, that is to say that in IM3, Stark is suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and lots of it due to the admittedly rather stressful events in the film The Avengers. This means, despite there being a few lines of dialogue explaining that in 3, that your average movie-goer has to have seen both films and in the right order to fully comprehend Tony’s troubles. This does not make me happy, personally. Iron Man started off so well, it could have continued on it’s own steam instead of being marketed as a larger part of the Marvel franchise. (I know, there’s no getting around the Marvel’verse, that’s not the point.) A few references are made by nemesis Aldrich Killian to Stark about what happened during the Avengers movie, and indeed even the Easter Egg after the credits involves Bruce Banner. The saving grace to this, is that the PTSD is what leads Stark back to his roots, building many and better versions of the Iron Man suit that eventually save his ass in the big showdown in the end!

Also, it has to be said, what the film did to the Mandarin character. Ben Kingsley gamely gives a fine performance, but the role the movie gods gave him is frankly, an insult to the Mandarin, who is a pivotal character in his own right. And yes, Rhodey is in the film as the newly painted Iron Patriot, though as much as I respect Don Cheadle as an actor, I really do think he doesn’t fit the character at all.

The ending plot wrap-up after the films final confrontations might even have you shedding a tear for ole Stark-snark Tony, and of course wondering, will Iron Man grace The Avengers 2?

UPDATE

This question has now been answered.

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