ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Iron Man 3 Film Review

Updated on August 26, 2014

Warning: This review contains spoilers.

Iron Man is back and his return was as awesome as hoped for. Iron Man 3 is a funny, emotional, and thrilling superhero action film that delves into the mind of Tony Stark, challenging him to his very core. After last year's gigantic success of The Avengers, the question was whether or not Marvel could continue to deliver with their individual films and the answer is a resounding yes. The future release of the Thor sequel, the Captain America sequel, and Guardians of the Galaxy have a high standard to live up on the road to the Avengers sequel.

Iron Man 3 begins with a flashback to New Years Eve 1999 where Tony Stark arrogantly disrespects crippled scientist Aldrich Killian, played by Guy Pearce, while getting ready to sleep with Maya Hansen, played by Rebecca Hall, at a technical conference. It is in this flashback where we are shown the capabilities of the substance known as Extremis, which is used to heal wounded veterans but turns into a corrupted super soldier virus. We then jump to the present day where the world is under constant threat from The Mandarin who has committed various acts of terrorism across the United States. Tony Stark is also dealing with severe anxiety and possible Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from his experiences in The Avengers. He can't sleep and fills his time building Iron Man suits, which puts a strain on his relationship with Pepper. After Happy Hogan gets injured in a Mandarin attack, Tony issues a public challenge to the terrorist that destroys his world and sets him out on a journey to rebuild whats left of his life and take down those responsible for taking it from him.

I'm sure many of you who will read this have either seen the film or know what happens, but for the sake of those who haven't seen the film, I will not divulge the major twist of the film. I will simply discuss it's execution and impact on the film. In a surprising twist of events, a major shift occurs where everything Tony, Rhodes, and company thought was true gets undone. The impact of this twist has sent fans into a frenzy of either despising the change or understanding and accepting the change for the benefit of the film. I personally enjoyed the surprise and understood why they made the change. I felt like even though we did not get to see what we all had expected, we got something creative in an attempt to take something that's classic in the comics and do something new with it to better serve the story. I believe the change worked and was still somewhat faithful to the comics if you seek out certain stories with elements similar to what was done in the film.

The performance from Robert Downey Jr. was arguably his best yet as Tony Stark. We see everything that Tony Stark used to be get ripped apart after his experiences in The Avengers. He can't be selfish in a world with super soldiers, Norse Gods, and alien armies that threaten the Earth. His inability to reconcile his personal wishes with his moral obligations to a changed world serves as the centerpiece of Iron Man 3's drama. He endures anxiety attacks, has nightmares about the New York battle, and consistently avoids any discussion of the battle or The Avengers. His struggle to come to terms with his reality takes Tony to the depths of his own mind. To see him rebuild after being completely undone was a highly entertaining experience since I think that the real success of Robert Downey Jr. in this role is that he's a lot more interesting when he's not in the armor.

However, when he is the armor, the action is top notch. The action sequences in this film were thrilling and often brutal as Tony battles the Extremis powered soldiers. The destruction of Tony's house, the Air Force One rescue, and the climactic oil rig battle are all stand out action sequences. The use of all of Iron Man's armors in the climax was very well done as Tony would switch from armor to armor throughout the fight.

Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle deliver fine performances once gain as Pepper and Rhodey. Rebecca Hall does well as Maya Hansen. However, other than RDJ, the other standout performances are Guy Pearce as Aldrich Killian and Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin. Both stood as equals to Robert Downey Jr. and were very captivating on screen.

Overall, Marvel has delivered another fantastic film with the Marvel Cinematic Universe that continues to keep the bar high for future Marvel releases. The road to the Avengers sequel has begun and it's off to a great start.

Update: I have seen the film again after it's release on blu-ray and I stand by my opinion. It is a fantastic superhero film that gets the second phase of the Marvel Universe off to a great start. Robert Downey Jr. delivers what is arguably his best performance yet as Tony Stark, Ben Kingsley gives a scene-stealing performance as the "Mandarin," Guy Pearce puts on his villain shoes and does a great job as Aldrich Killian/the real Mandarin, Gwyneth Paltrow delivers as Pepper Potts, James Badge Dale does a nice job as the baddie Eric Savin, and Don Cheadle is good as always as Colonel James Rhodes a.k.a. Iron Patriot. The action was great and featured standout sequences in the destruction of Tony's house, the attack on Air Force One, and the climactic battle on the oil tanker. Tony's story arc that sees him trying to discover if he makes the machine or does the machine make him provided RDJ with an opportunity to portray Tony Stark completely isolated after the Mandarin literally attacks him at his front door. it was nice to see the creative team focus solely on Tony Stark without any inclusion from the Avengers or SHIELD since it allowed Tony a chance to prover his mettle on his own for the first time since the original film. I still give this film five stars.

Ben Kingsley turns in a captivating and surprising performance as The Mandarin.
Ben Kingsley turns in a captivating and surprising performance as The Mandarin.
Robert Downey Jr.'s performance in Iron Man 3 is arguably his best as Tony Stark.
Robert Downey Jr.'s performance in Iron Man 3 is arguably his best as Tony Stark.
5 stars for Iron Man 3


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • stvrich profile image


      4 years ago from East Rockaway - Long Island - Planet: Earth ~

      Well Written. :-)

      Enjoyed your summary of IronMan-3 a lot. Concise and Cogent.

      I'm a fan of "Stark" / RDJ myself. LOVE his work as IronMan & Sherlock- I hope we don't "Lose" him in this role for a few years- -

      I Like the "IronMan", for it's symbolic meaning overall.

      even the "Armor" / overcompensation for his Humanity...

      I've got a series here (FaceBook Covers) where I occasionally feature Ironman and one or two of those articles may be interesting to a fan like yourself. I actually just completed doing a (first / experimental) fan-music video using IronMan 2008 as the video source.... have not posted it as of my writing this, but just "produced" it last night/today... have yet to see if YouTube will allow the "copyright infringements".

      Again, well written.

      when I FIRST saw IronMan 1, actually I thought it was rather "shallow" but after a second (and third look) - it is philosophically metaphorical, as well as "Fun".

      [side note: ...was going to read Mcmillen's article.... but I notice.... he no longer "exists" here at hubpages... SEE WHAT HAPPENS??? now I'm curious what HIS "take" was on his-royal-Starkness's Psyche...]

    • clopez26 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Lopez 

      5 years ago from Laurel, MD

      Thanks for reading. Your take was a very interesting read, but I still loved the movie. Even though they changed a lot in this movie and other marvel movies, I feel that the good ones have stayed true to the heart of the material. I'll always be a happy fan as long they do that.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      For every ying, there is a yang.... you loved the movie and that's your right as a fellow fan, but please allow me to present my yang to your ying..... I had a slightly different take on the film... as stated in my hub at "Iron Man 3 Through The Eyes Of A Real Fanboy"


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)