Spoiler warning: Film review contains spoilers for the story of the "Iron Man 3" film.
“Iron Man 3” is on its way to being the best of the franchise with $1.1 billion in ticket sales worldwide, on its way to toppling the combined earnings of both “Iron Man” and “Iron Man 2” (1.2 billion), making it the most watched of the trilogy and arguably the best of the comic book movie craze.
The third installment of the franchise has Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr., getting introspective, with the film being more about Tony Stark the man, instead of Iron Man, the suit of armor. In this epic Stark begins to analyze and rationalize his life as well as his relationship with his love interest Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow). The movie also delves into the psychological makeup of Stark as he deals with anxiety attacks and nightmares, both stemming from the battle in New York as he teamed up with the Avengers in last summer’s blockbuster movie "Marvel's The Avengers". Even though the true blue comic book enthusiast are upset about some of the not-so-subtle changes made in the movie version, like the spin of the Mandarin character, director Stan Black seems to pull off the changes flawlessly.
Even the novice moviegoers can appreciate the story line and plot of the film that seems to be written specifically for Downey as it showcases his wit. Downey performs the perfect balancing act between arrogant, egotistical billionaire and super hero genius with a humongous heart by mixing in his brand of sarcastic humor. This is a rekindling of sorts as Black and Downey made “beautiful music” together previously in the 2005 comedy-crime-adventure flick “Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang”.
The third installment on the film introduces the Mandarin played by Oscar-winner Sir Ben Kingsley, as an Osama Bin Laden-type figurehead in the Ten Rings, the same terrorist organization that was responsible for ambushing and kidnapping Tony in Afghanistan during the first Iron Man movie. Yet in Iron Man 3, it is Advanced Idea Mechanics (A.I.M.) head Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), who turns out to be the man behind the scenes pulling the strings – having recruited a half-baked British actor to play the Mandarin in a series of broadcasts, where the (fake) terrorist takes credit for “bombings” around the U.S. The explosions were caused by malfunctioning patients in A.I.M. and scientist Maya Hansen’s (Rebecca Hall) Extremis program. This program used disabled military veterans as guinea pigs to test their experimental enhancement drugs on. The experimental drug was made to tap into human DNA in order to regenerated limbs and enhance strength, but an overdose of the drug would turn the soldiers into walking time bombs – literally.
In Iron Man 3 Killian destroys or takes away everything that Stark loves, virtually stripping him of everything. The movie starts off with a bang as his mansion gets blown into the ocean, along with him and all of his suits of armor. Left with nothing but his wits and ingenuity Stark begins on the road of redemption and revenge, with a 10-year old sidekick named Harley, played by Ty Simpkins. One character that is getting more screen time along with added responsibility is Lieutenant Colonel James Rhodes (Don Cheadle), Stark’s trusted friend and controller of the battle suit War Machine.
Without giving too much away, this movie is a must see full of action, suspense, plot twist, and humor. Not only is Iron Man 3 one of the biggest money makers of the year, breaking over a billion dollars in ticket sales worldwide, it is also arguably the best film of the year.