Skip to content

Movie Review: Iron Man 3

May 3, 2013

Iron Man 3 PosterIron Man 3 – A Walt Disney Pictures’ Release

Release Date: May 3rd, 2013

Rated PG for violence

Running time: 129 minutes

Shane Black (dir.)

Drew Pearce (screenplay)

Shane Black (screenplay)

Brian Tyler (music)

Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark

Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts

Don Cheadle as Colonel James Rhodes

Guy Pearce as Aldrich Killian

Rebecca Hall as Maya Hansen

Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan

Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin

James Badge Dale as Savin

Ty Simpkins as Harley Keener

William Sadler as President Ellis

Miguel Ferrer as Vice President Rodriguez

Paul Bettany as Jarvis (voice)

Iron Man 3

©Walt Disney Pictures.  All Rights Reserved.

Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) in Iron Man 3.

Our reviews below:


Iron Man 3 Review By John C.

***1/2 (out of 4)

How do you follow up one of the biggest and best movies of last year?  You bring back Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), having anxiety attacks from the events of The Avengers and left to save the world from a different kind of threat in the excellent Iron Man 3.

The film opens with a flashback to 1999, when Tony Stark gets involved with Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall) and first meets neuroscientist Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce).  We then jump ahead thirteen years, as the billionaire is suffering from PTSD after what happened in New York, going for days without sleeping and spending all of his time tinkering in the workshop.  But there is a new kind of threat that comes from The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), who keeps appearing through hacked satellite signals with disturbing videos promising more terrorist attacks, adding a level of genuine intensity to the film as mysterious explosions keep happening across the country.

With help from his beloved Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), and Colonial James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) who dons the suit of the Iron Patriot, there is a lot of pressure on Tony Stark to save the world once again.  But his journey to better understand himself adds another fascinating layer to the film, as he teams up with the young genius Harley Keener (Ty Simpkins), to help him with fixing his broken down suit.  Directed by Shane Black, Iron Man 3 stages every action sequence on the grandest of levels, while also delivering a compelling human story.

This is a smart blockbuster that plays as a top notch action film, complete with riveting set pieces and ample moments of humour.  The screenplay is sharp and witty, as Robert Downey Jr. expertly delivers the snarky dialogue and one liners that follow many of the scenes.  As the stakes are raised throughout the film, so is the action, leading up to a thrilling finale that offers suspense that is felt across multiple platforms.  Above all else, Iron Man 3 is also a Christmas movie in the same way that Die Hard was 25 years ago, with holiday songs ironically playing on the soundtrack and decorations being used for multiple purposes.

Robert Downey Jr. deserves an Oscar nomination for his role, taking the character that he made iconic and bringing him to even deeper places.  Tony Stark is a charismatic hero, but now he is also a man haunted by demons of his own creation, suffering anxiety attacks and losing sleep over his memory of what happened in New York.  He gets some of the funniest lines in the film, but the actor also excels during the quieter moments of self reflection.  Tony Stark is a fascinating character who bursts off the screen both in and out of the suit, but he becomes truly human in the moments of self doubt.

The last five years of Marvel movies have become one of the most impressive franchises of all time, building up a fully developed world that spans numerous characters and films.  This latest entry into the expansive series is not only a perfect conclusion to the Iron Man trilogy, but also a follow up to last year’s superhero extravaganza The Avengers, showing how the effects of that film changed the life of Tony Stark.  There is a lot of mythology built up throughout all of these interconnected Marvel films, and the ways that they keep bringing all of it together is nothing short of triumphant.

Where The Avengers perfectly brought Phase One completely full circle, Iron Man 3 is a great start to Phase Two, once again setting the bar incredibly high for upcoming Marvel films and the rest of the summer movie season in general.  I’m just gonna say it – Iron Man 3 rocks.


Iron Man 3 Review by Erin V.

***1/2 (out of 4)

In a long line of films in the Marvel universe, comes Iron Man 3.  Following last year’s The Avengers, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) has been trying to figure out where he stands in a world he now knows as a lot more complicated than he previously knew.  Staying up for days at a time building suit after suit, he uses his obsession with advancing the technology as a way to escape having enough time to think about what happened in New York which brings on panic attacks.  Tony’s abundance of suits (he’s now at mark 42) provides for a very entertaining final battle.

When a new threat arises in the form of ‘The Mandarin’ (Ben Kingsley) and the mysterious company Extremis, Stark’s world and life with Pepper Potts (Gweneth Paltrow) is violently torn apart.  Alone and lost in the middle of Tennessee with a malfunctioning suit, he has to finally face his fears and learn to re-rely on using his innovativeness and intelligence to find a way to defeat these new threats rather than just falling back on the suit.

We see a different and very relatable side of Tony Stark this time around.  Underneath his cocky and confident exterior, he is struggling to maintain a grip on his own anxiety and the image he presents.  Showing a hero having these issues brings a real face to those suffering from panic attacks and PTSD – something that is not in the person’s direct control, but does certainly not make them weak.

The actors here continue to fulfill their roles to a tee.  The film is often carried through dialogue-driven scenes between them, and like the other recent Marvel films this provides a nice balance of storyline with the action sequences coming organically in the plot without becoming bombastic.  Although the 3D works well enough the film would be just as enjoyable at a 2D show if you want to save on the surcharge.  The visual effects here are top-notch as always, and the score by Brian Tyler fits the Iron Man world quite well and I enjoyed its use in the film.

But how does Iron Man 3 hold up to last year’s The Avengers and the first two films about Tony Stark?  Quite well in fact, which is quite a feat in itself.  The characters continue to advance which keeps things from feeling repetitive.  I would consider Iron Man 3 a notch above the second Iron Man, just because the characters develop more over the course of this film than they did in that one.  If you haven’t seen the others, you will probably still enjoy this one, but the first two Iron Man films provide a good background to Stark and the references to New York will make far more sense if you’ve seen last year’s wonderful The Avengers.

Overall Iron Man 3 is definitely worth seeing – and be sure to watch for the after-credits scene, which perfectly bookends the reason for opening the film the way they do…


Iron Man 3 Review by Nicole

***1/2 (out of 4)

Iron Man is back in yet another adventure.  This time, we see a more vulnerable side of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), as he struggles with panic attacks after his battle against Loki’s army.  Iron Man 3 begins with a flashback to New Year’s Eve 1999, when Tony Stark is celebrating with co-workers in Switzerland.

The film then turns to December 2012, when he is faced with a new threat, a mysterious figure known as the “Mandarin” (Ben Kingsley).  Several suspicious explosions have occurred and it is not clear who is responsible.  Tony Stark must team up with Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Colonial James Rhodes/Iron Patriot (Don Cheadle), to get to the bottom of the mysterious attacks before Christmas.

Iron Man 3 is a lot of fun.  Robert Downey Jr. is just as likeable as ever.  Gwyneth Paltrow carries a much bigger role as Pepper Potts, and Ben Kingsley is both scary and weirdly humorous as the Mandarin.  Don Cheadle plays a more prominent role in Iron Man 3, and it would be interesting to see if he gets a bigger role in a subsequent film.

The special effects are as cool as ever, with lots of action and CG effects.  But it is the human characters and the plot line that really carry the film.  Iron Man 3 is a lot of fun, and will be worth revisiting in November leading up to Christmas.  Be sure to stay through the end credits, for a funny epilogue.


Iron Man 3 Review by Maureen

***1/2 (out of 4)

Iron Man 3 opens with the voiceover of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) telling the story of how events in 2012 had their roots in a hotel room in Bern, Switzerland back in 1999.  It’s there we see an arrogant and cocky Tony Stark hooking up with a brilliant scientist, Maya Hansen (Rebeca Hall) on New Year’s Eve, after brushing off the nerdy creator of AIM (a think tank organization), Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce).  As Stark learns, some encounters have future consequences.

Flash forward to Christmas 2012 where a near-manic and sleep-deprived Tony Stark is spending all his waking hours in his Malibu home lab designing one Iron Man suit after another.  It turns out the events in New York where Iron Man and the Avengers team defeated a threat from alien forces have caused Tony to have severe panic and anxiety attacks.  Iron Man’s devoted partner in business and love, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) is frustrated and concerned.

Meanwhile the world is experiencing threats and attacks from a terrorist named the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley).  Unexplained bombings are being masterminded and carried out by an army of soldiers who overheat and combust when under attack.  Tony Stark publicly challenges the Mandarin with the response being a major attack on Stark’s home.  After the attack, Iron Man finds himself on a suited up flight to Tennessee, where the suit malfunctions and he has to rely on his wits and support from an unlikely ally, a young boy named Harley (Ty Simpkins).

Iron Man 3 is action-packed from start to finish.  The Iron Man suit never gets old and the visual sequences in so many scenes are amazing to see.  One of my personal favourites is the holographic crime scene recreation that Tony Stark manipulates to figure out Mandarin’s ultimate plan.  The special effects are phenomenal throughout this movie.  Although the 3D, while good, isn’t really necessary.

What’s different from the first two films is the vulnerability of Tony Stark in Iron Man 3.  His panic attacks and his actions outside the suit show a whole other side of the brilliant entrepreneur.  Robert Downey Jr. is wonderful to watch as always.  His comic timing and delivery are perfect with his dramatic side being especially good.

Iron Man 3 also boasts a particularly good performance by Ben Kingsley as the odd and terrifying villain.  Gwyneth Paltrow is also good as Pepper Potts.  It’s nice to see the character have a stronger role this time.  Don Cheadle seems to have fun with his role as Col. Rhodes/Iron Patriot, as do Guy Pearce and the original Iron Man director Jon Favreau have in their respective parts.

If you enjoyed the first two films, you’ll enjoy Iron Man 3.  Robert Downey Jr. is always a delight to watch as the likeable hero.  The level of action and violence make the film a little heavy for younger viewers, but intense enough for Marvel comic fans.  Iron Man 3 is a nice addition to the Marvel series.


Iron Man 3 Review by Tony

***1/2 (out of 4)

Iron Man 3 features a recurring confessional voiceover from the title character Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), beginning with a flashback to a 1999 New Year’s eve party where he blew off obsessed scientist Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) and had a one night stand with another brilliant researcher, Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall), leading to the present conflict. Suffering from severe insomnia and occasional panic attacks, Stark currently spends most of his time in the lab and not enough with Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) who now lives with him.

A mysterious series of escalating terrorist bombings and threats from the “Mandarin” (Ben Kingsley) brings Iron Man back into action, but not before his home is nearly destroyed in an attack and he finds himself in rural Tennessee. With the help of a precocious local kid (Ty Simpkins) he manages to rig up enough gear to team up with Colonel Rhodes (Don Cheadle), locate Mandarin’s lair and defeat his force of enhanced burning hot fighters.

Now directed by Shane Black, Iron Man 3 has the same nice balance between action and humour as the first two films directed by Jon Favreau, whose character has been promoted in the present film from Stark’s chauffeur to security chief. Though over two hours long, it maintains interest with a good script to go with the exciting story, and as a bonus lots of small Marvel references for the fans, including the mandatory Stan Lee cameo (judging a beauty pageant). Among the fine cast, Ben Kingsley stands out, stealing every scene he is in, all the more impressive with RDJ in the room.

If you liked the other Iron Man films or comic book films in general, you will not be disappointed.


Consensus: Robert Downey Jr. delivers another excellent performance as Tony Stark in Iron Man 3, an incredibly entertaining blockbuster filled with exciting action sequences and a smart screenplay that has plenty of humour.  ***1/2 (Out of 4)

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: