Metal God

“Iron Man 3” is in theaters worldwide and if you haven’t seen it, stop what you’re doing and head out to the theater immediately to join the phenomenon.  For those who have seen it, then you will most likely agree with what I’m about to tell you.  Unless you’re an angry fanboy who will find some sort of problem with the film no matter what.  Regardless, I loved it.

For those who were disappointed by “Iron Man 2” back in 2010, this film not only makes up for the second installment’s shortcomings (yes, even I admit it’s the weakest installment in the Avengers saga despite liking and owning the blu ray) but it’s more of a a direct follow up to the preceding box office mega hit “The Avengers.”

The third film takes place months after the events of “The Avengers.”  Tony Stark (played once again magnificently by Robert Downey Jr.) is not his jovial, arrogant-self.  Sure he’s still a smart ass, but ever since what happened at the end of “The Avengers” he hasn’t been able to sleep and spends nearly 24 hours of his day just building Iron Man suits.  It’s become a serious obsession in the hopes he can protect those who matter most to him.  Not to mention he has a bad case of anxiety attacks.

Enter the conflict in the outside world.  The Mandarin, played by Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley, is a ruthless terrorist warlord who had made and delivered on credible threats to the United States.  In order to protect the President, Lt. Col James Rhodes (Don Chedle) goes from War Machine to the Iron Patriot, assigned to protect the President.  The Mandarin is equally equipped with an army of soldiers who carry out his orders and end up destroying large groups of men and women in random bombings.  Yet there’s no bomb residue or trace of the killers to be found at the scene.  If you’ve read the comics, you know exactly what this is: the Extremis project.

When the terror hits Tony Stark’s world through an attack on his close personal friend, it’s a declaration of all out war.  The message is received, and war is brought to Stark’s doorstep literally.  His home is attacked, ravaged and destroyed, leaving Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) displaced with Stark’s ex-flame Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall) and Stark left to fend for himself with damaged Iron Man armor in a small town as the Extemis soldiers hunt him down.

As Stark is in pursuit of the Mandarin, there’s another threat to Stark, this time it’s in the form of Aldrich Killian (Guy Pierce) who continues to lust after Stark’s lady Pepper with a science project that seems all too dangerous.  I won’t say anymore about the story here due to a major twist that changes everything  you think you know in the story.  All I can say is the film ends in particular comic book fashion with an epic battle that leaves you on the edge of your seat.

“Iron Man 3” works on every level and hits all the important factors of a comic book film positively: story, characters, special effects, action, and comedy.  Without question it’s the best installment of the Iron Man trilogy and in my opinion the second best film of the Avengers saga.  There’s a reason why when these movies come out, that fans line up in droves to see it and they generally receive great praise from fans and critics alike.

What I like the most about this is that it’s more of a story about Tony Stark, not the armor itself.  When movies about superheroes such as this and Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy can make you care more about the man behind the suit/armor rather than thinking it’s fodder until the character suits up again, then the story is told correctly.  Stark is essentially using what little resources he has to survive and it brings a vulnerability to a character that for the longest time was only known as a cocky, arrogant, but lovable human being.

In closing, see this movie.  Not just because it’s the biggest movie in the world right now, but because if you love comics and superhero movies, this one stands out among the finest.  I’m very much looking forward to not only the continuation of Tony Stark in his next adventure, but where else the Marvel Avengers saga is headed.  We won’t have to wait that long as Thor is set to return this Fall and Captain America will return to the big screen next Spring.  “Iron Man 3” deserves every accolade it has received and I implore everyone out there to go see it.  All great sagas have their time in cinema: “Star Wars” in the late 70s/early 80s, “Harry Potter” in the first decade of the 21st Century.  This is the time of “The Avengers” and how great a time it is if the films continue to be this good.

Overall Score: 10 out of 10