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Hypable

Posted at 1:25 pm,
May 6, 2013

Has ‘Iron Man 3’ fallen victim to the threequel curse?

Iron Man 3 hit theaters this weekend, and while its massive box office numbers tell the story of yet another Marvel blockbuster, it may end up joining the ranks of Spider-Man 3, The Matrix Revolutions, Godfather: Part III, and X-Men: The Last Stand in the bargain bin of cursed trilogies that ended with fans expecting more. (spoilers)

If you haven’t read our reviews for Iron Man 3, take a look at them here and here, where two of our writers have two very different takes on the film. Instead of another review, we thought we’d take a look at what may have gone wrong in director Shane Black’s Iron Man 3.

Marvel fans and moviegoers in general have joined a massive online discussion about whether Iron Man 3 has fallen victim to what so many trilogies have in the past. Its “twist” has audiences across the globe split and foaming at the mouth, with the majority finding it unnecessarily comical, instead of vital to the plot, and wondering what exactly the true villain in this film was attempting to accomplish. The film has also suffered on film review aggregate RottenTomatoes, as it continues to slip from its critic score of 97% to 77% over the past few days.

Iron Man 3 mandarin hatersRobert Downey Jr. starts the film off with a great flashback where we see our old friend living the good life, but throughout Iron Man 3 we’re left with a totally different Tony Stark – one with what we’ll call Post-Avengers-Stress-Syndrome. Director Shane Black and the film’s writer, Drew Pearce, were quoted saying that they wished to move back to the basics with Iron Man 3, but we aren’t seeing even a hint of the original Iron Man in the new film. Honestly, one has to wonder at this point if these two even saw the first two Iron Man films.

Each trailer and TV spot that was released for Iron Man 3 greeted fans with a similar tone for the film. We were led to believe that Tony would be in a psychological battle with Sir Ben Kingsley’s, The Mandarin, but the Oscar-winning actor is in the film literally less than 10 minutes, considerably less if you don’t count the pre-recorded terrorist videos that he releases. Not only is he a weak opponent for Iron Man, he’s an entirely fake opponent, and his bumbling drunken-act completely sucked the life out of everything we thought we knew about this villain and his motives.

Now, sometimes this sort of revelation about a villain can work. Not knowing much about a villain in a movie can often make them more menacing and thought provoking, but what we ended up with was the true villain, Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), who has very little backstory, other than a sob story from 13 years ago and literally zero reason to be a major villain. Why is he committing all of these heinous acts? He says he’s attempting to create a supply and demand for his product, Extremis, but to do so he apparently feels the need to kill the President of the United States (and countless others in terrorists bombings) and enlist the Vice President into committing treason?

What is Aldrich Killian’s end goal?

Why exactly would Killian need to go to such great lengths to gain wealth or power? He’s obviously an intelligent guy, and possibly most important of all: his product works. He has an incredible product in Extremis; it rebuilds the human body and makes humans stronger. Of course there are problems along the way, but did he skip Bio 101? People react differently to viruses, therefore his subjects that explode are simply margins of error that investors would have to be made aware of (we are talking about a comic book movie afterall). The point is, Killian’s goals are all obtainable without acts of terrorism and forcing elected officials into committing treason.

WHAT HAPPENED WITH ALL THE TALENT IN THIS FILM?

So let’s look past the poorly fleshed out villain(s) and their severe lack of vision. What happened with all the talent in this film? We have a couple of the most talented actors in the last decade in this film and yet most of them have less screentime than some Extremis soldiers. Why hire an incredible actress like Rebecca Hall as Maya Hansen if you’re only going to use her for less than five minutes and then have her own boss shoot her for no apparent reason? This doesn’t even seem to bother Tony that much that his old fling was shot-dead right in front of him. But, if someone dares to say New York in his presence, he’s forced into a fetal position as his eyes swell up.

iron man 3 full page wide new

Speaking of Tony’s flings, Gwyneth Paltrow continues to get the shaft in these films, even though she plays a character that fans truly seem to enjoy seeing on screen alongside Downey. Don Cheadle probably gets it the worst though, as the trailers and TV spots had us believing he would be vital to this film, seeing as he was given the job of protecting the President, but one would never know that unless they saw the teasers as all he’s seen doing in the Iron Patriot suit is going on two missions which turn out to be completely bogus. Then he ends up losing his suit to the terrorists – what sort of script execution is that? Rhodey may be the most poorly written sidekick in the history of superhero films.

Let’s focus on one of the more poignant scenes in the film: Stark’s cliffside mansion being blown to bits. Prior to this event, Tony broadcasts his home’s location, but when “The Mandarin” attacks Tony’s home with helicopters and missiles, he has no home defense mechanisms and his main suit is essentially unusable. No flight-mode yet?

Apparently Stark’s been working on all of his other 41 suits instead of giving his current suit the ability to fly. While the visual effects are breathtaking, this inability to have a fully functional suit available after taunting a terrorist seems like quite a poor choice. Not to mention, in many of the 21 TV spots released for the film, we see The Mandarin hanging outside one of the helicopters that takes down his house, but he’s nowhere to be found in the film itself. Not entirely unusual for trailer footage to be cut from the final film, but this just continues to make us think the studio was selling us a film they never intended on the public seeing.

Tony Stark meets his new best friend

The suit finally takes flight (for unknown reasons) underwater after being crushed by slabs of concrete from his mansion, and he wakes up in Tennessee where we meet his new friend, Harley. Granted, this kid was actually fairly refreshing considering the mess that was the first act. He and Tony’s relationship was fairly comical, a surprising highlight during this part of the film, culminating to the point where he’s called a pussy by Tony of course (But who’s the one crawling on the ground weeping). One question though, why exactly does Tony Stark need to charge his suit during this sequence again? Isn’t that one of the advantages of having an arc reactor attached to his chest 24/7? Plot hole number 87.

Iron Man 3 full page half size finalDespite enjoying Harley, we can’t help but feel Disney’s heavy hand in his involvement. Injecting a young kid into the film, and then later having Stark send him a ton of Christmas gifts, including a Verizon FiOS enabled computer which just happened to have their logo plastered on the screen. We were fairly surprised Tony didn’t include some toy-sized Iron Man suits to play with, along with the hot rod that Harley won’t be able to drive for the next six years.

It definitely had us paying attention to the product placement, but fans may have been laughing too much to remember what products they should be buying after heading out of the theater. Not to mention the half a dozen Audis we saw throughout the film. One which Tony Stark seems to simply steal when he leaves the bar, but not before throwing Harley another insult.

The final act attempts to redeem the film by stuffing scenes with as many Iron Man suits as possible, but it fails to emotionally effect fans as even Tony Stark can barely muster up any emotion when “the person he cares most about” falls 100 feet into a blazing fire to her death.

As he and Aldrich battle, it doesn’t quite feel as epic as it should, and as Tony destroys suit after suit, they really start to lose their magic that they once had in the previous films. Not to mention his suit is shattered when hit by a truck after the the Air Force One sequence. Wasn’t he able to catch cars and trucks with his suit in the first film? As he continues to fight Aldrich, with interesting jumps and slides into multiple suits which Killian cuts in half with ease, we start to wonder about their lack of durability. By the end of the massive fight, Killian’s death is forgetful at best as Pepper comes out of nowhere and knocks him on his ass with a pipe, while Tony throws his Mark 42 suit on him and orders Jarvis to self-destruct.

Wrapping it up

With Pepper showing back up, all is well as Tony, for reasons unbenounced to the audience, decides to blow up all the rest of his suits that he’s spent countless hours (ignoring Pepper and his company) building over the last few years.

Looking past the rampant product placement, which can be understood, this film simply wasn’t well executed. The VFX looked impeccable, as it should, but with the lack of a well written, proper villain, and a plot which strays constantly, we just ended up with a panic-attack-ridden Tony Stark, outside of the suit that made him famous, attempting to save Pepper Potts once again in front of a new backdrop.

The film wraps up nearly everything; Stark even has his metal fragments removed from his chest, and he tosses his arc reactor into the sea below his previously destroyed cliffside mansion as his voiceover attempts to make audiences feel all warm and fuzzy – as if something has actually been accomplished by what we’ve just seen.

When the end credits finish rolling, and we see Stark talking with his new “psychiatrist,” Bruce Banner (Hulk), it definitely felt great to have the two geniuses together again since The Avengers proved that the two actors have great chemistry, but when the screen flashes “Tony Stark will be back,” we’re just not so sure about that after sitting through this film.

View the latest articles from: Iron Man
  • http://twitter.com/leviosa96 Lovisa Andersson

    I think Iron Man 3, and the twist, was great.

    Is it only me or has Hypable been really negative this year?
    (The Host review etc)

    • http://twitter.com/noesunacuenta Braulio is :O

      I also liked Iron Man 3 a lot. It made sense (in the direction it took) and was funny and a great spectacle :D

    • Jackie Hall

      The Host was a terrible movie, why would they give it a negative review? Everyone else did.

      • http://www.facebook.com/lilliempeterson Lillie Marie Peterson

        That movie already came out? Oops…

    • http://www.hypable.com/ Andrew Sims

      I really loved Iron Man 3 and the twist, but I’m a basic comic movie fan.

    • http://www.facebook.com/JesseB.72 Jesse Barrow

      Truthfully i agree hypable has seemed overly negative this year, but this was an accurate assessment of Iron Man 3. Don’t get me wrong it was still a pretty good movie way better than the Spiderman movie we do not speak of, but it was sorely lacking.

      They took what could have been the greatest villain besides Loki and turned him into a simpering idiot. I mean COME ON people the Mandarin was the perfect villain for the condition Tony was in. If they use the Mandarin the way they do in the comics then he comes out swinging magic and panic attack Tony can’t function so he turns to extremis to make him strong enough “To protect the one thing he can’t live without” I want anyone who absolutely loved this movie to go read up on the mandarin and then you will see why Sir Ben Kingsley was wasted, also check into the extremis iron man armor as well as the Bleeding Edge iron man armor and then try to tell me they didn’t just crap away what could have been the only stand alone movie that could hold a candle to The Avengers.

      Again don’t get me wrong they did an pretty good job, but now i’m not sure if i still want to have high hopes for Thor A Dark World and Captain America Winter Solider. That all being said they stepped their game up with fight choreography making the fight scenes more than just one suit of armor vs. whatever the bad guys can throw at him. They also really pulled out all the stops in the video FX department. I just think it was stupid that Shane Black neutered The Mandarin…

    • http://twitter.com/akaFenikkusu Mario Pendleton マリオ

      The Host wasn’t that good. It’s the type of movie you half ass watch while you’re doing something else.

  • http://twitter.com/Dillon_Mays Dillon Mays

    I agree. This wasn’t the best of films.

  • wth

    I was genuinely frightened of The Mandarin at first, but then…

  • alazear2

    Ok, first of all Iron Man 3 doesn’t even come close to the horrors that are spiderman 3 and X-men first class. As for your points, if you actuallymapid attention to the movie you would have understood all of your points.
    Lets start with the killian one. His plan has nothing to do with terrorism. Tony explains it when ne is held captive. The extremis serum works, but if you react badly to it you explode, as you noted. However you also explode if you use your powers to much and run to hot. The solider in Rose Water didnt commit suicide, he ran to hot and detonated. Thats why they created the Mandarin, so that they would have someone to blame and not get in trouble for starting human trials to early. Thats also why they went to stark industries and eventually kidnapped pepper. They needed tony’s intelligence to fix the problems with the serum.
    As for why tony needed to charge the suit, the arc reactor that powers the suit is not the same one that is in his chest. We saw in past movies that the suit drains power quickly, and powering it with the thing that is keeping him alive would be suicidal and moronic. As for why he destroyed the suits, its supposed to show that he is getting past his PTSD, and that he fully recognizes that he needs to focus on pepper.
    Finally the mandarin twist. Speaking as a comic fan I both loved it and hated it. I would have loved to see a movie about tony doing psychological battle with someone on his level. At the same time the mandarin from the comics wouldn’t fit the MCU. Magic has yet to be introduced into the MCU. Besides the tony of these movies fights villians who are grounded in reality, and a man who uses alien technology, in the form of magic rings, doesnt fit that. Then there is the fact that the mandarin is an insanely racist character. He is many ways no more thana fu manchu stereotype, and with the growing ammount of importance that the China market has for hollywood they wouldn’t dare offend them.

    • alazear2

      Sorry I meant X-men: last stand. I actually really enjoyed First class.

      • 7Starrchasers

        I was about to write “First class??? HOW DARE YOU!!!” …. haha thanks for clarifying!

    • actuallymapid

      actuallymapid

      • alazear2

        I was typing on a tablet. It should be obvious what I was saying.

    • Andrea

      I agree completely!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001520602497 Louie Stark

      Wow, finally someone who actually oberserved the movie enough to reach complete comprehension!! Thumbs up!

    • Robert

      I don’t think that the author is saying Iron Man 3 is “as bad” as all the films mentioned, just that it didn’t really hold up to what fans thought it would and that it may have fallen to what has really been a curse for trilogies in the past. I think they’re fairly on point, Iron Man 3 wasn’t a disaster persay, but it wasn’t even close to Iron Man 1 or The Avengers in terms of enjoyment.

      • http://twitter.com/akaFenikkusu Mario Pendleton マリオ

        I definitely don’t plan on buying IM3. I’m just going to forget it was ever made.

      • Liderc

        This says it the best honestly. It wasn’t terrible, it just wasn’t good. And compared to Iron Man 1 or The Avengers, it’s not even close. What’s sad is it’s making so much money that Marvel is going to think this is what audiences want, but it really isn’t. Repeat viewsign were down, it was the foreign markets that had been untapped that went to see the film.

    • A.P.W.B.Dumbledore

      Also I don’t understand why everyone is still so upset about all the suits blowing up. At first I was floored and actually said *a little too loudly* “NO!” when they blew up. However, I realized two things. First, those suits can easily be rebuilt because Tony is obviously smart enough to keep all of his blue-prints from all of his suits, saved to J.A.R.V.I.S.. Secondly, he blew up the suits, knowing they were digitally saved, to show Pepper that he could detach himself from the suits and no longer depended on them to live. The best way to end an addiction is to get rid of its source. Now the suits don’t taunt him by sitting in his garage, but he also has the safety backup of being able to have them built fairly quickly, on demand.

    • http://www.facebook.com/JesseB.72 Jesse Barrow

      The Mandarin was not racist… He is a racial stereotype, please for the love of Thor people learn to use the correct words lest you look ignorant… also who cares if you can’t take social commentary then you shouldn’t be watching movies half of what they do is culturally/racially motivated and no I think a post avengers tony stark would have been the perfect place for alien rings and magic i mean what was tony psychological problem in this movie about… oh that’s right the fact that he was having trouble processing gods, magic, aliens from another galaxy huh sounds like the perfect intro to me :D

      • alazear2

        Ill give you that he is a racial stereotype but by their nature those are racist. And as for your social comentary claim, there is no social commentary in racism. And I love social commentary in movies where it is warantedn not in summer blockbusters (unless they’re made by a man named nolan). And finally your scifi claims. The iron man movies hav always been the grounded films in the MCU and adding to many aliens hampers that.

        • http://www.facebook.com/JesseB.72 Jesse Barrow

          I’m asking for one alien artifact first and I’m sorry we saw plenty of magic in the avengers and as Kevin Feige said iron man 3 wasn’t just going to ignore what happen in the avengers. Second it’s not racist to say that some in the fringe of socialism are terrorists not all but some are which is essentially why he cut it because he viewed at as too much of a stereo type a and b that’s crap that racial stereotypes are racist they aren’t saying that someone is better than someone else just because of race(which is the definition of racist) it’s just saying that hey white people sun burn easily hey a lot of native Americans know how to handle knives(the two races I am primarily) it’s joke based off of observing the actions of a majority of a race. The whole entire world needs to chill and quit assuming everything out of someone else’s mouth is racist(not referencing what you said making a social commentary)

    • Kat

      The only thing I don’t agree with is that SpiderMan 3 was a horror! I loved that movie!!!!

    • Denzellazer

      That is the same way i felt when i first heard the ring were not magic i was okay with it because i knew it would not fit but i didn’t expect Ben Kinsley to be a drug addict off the streets,i wanted him to be like the Joker is to Batman with a psychological battle.

  • http://twitter.com/fabulousjoshie Joshua Harris

    Now I know what Joss was talking about when he said he had finished the Script for Avengers 2 by saying Shane Black was making it difficult for him. Iron Man 3 was the best one so far! It was GREAT!!!

  • SnatcherGirl

    I saw the film, laughed at all the funny moments, and was thrown by the twiste. Even so, I didn’t leave “emotionally traumatized,” which is disappointing because only great films leave me in an emotional wreck. I’ve been trying to figure out why that is, and I think this article almost touches on why I, personally, was less than satisfied.

    I’m not so much concerned with the technological inconsistencies and product placements, as with the lack of character development. The brilliance of Whedon’s Avengers (or any of his works) was that he was able to assemble such a large, talented cast, and give time to each of the characters. The only character with issues and conflicts in this movie was Tony. As you said, not even Killian has a plausible motive. Pepper’s epic moment of conflict was taken away before it could be explored. Rhodey is purposeless. The Mandarin was dumbed down before he could become threatening. The end effect felt lacking, which leaves me disappointed.

  • Liderc

    Have to agree. This was not a good movie, I would say Iron Man 2 was actually better and I didn’t even think it was very good at the time either. I watched Iron Man 1 and 2 after I watched Iron Man 3 and I truly believe that 3 was the worst by far. I think people defending it are just smitten by the box office and all the hoopla. Sure opinions are opinions, but this movie was just not good, and it definitely didn’t touch The Avengers. Hell, Thor 2′s trailer looked better when I saw it play before Iron Man 3 now that I think back.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001520602497 Louie Stark

      Gayyyy!!!… You’re obviously blind, deaf, and stupid lol No offense.

  • baconslicer

    Is it just me, or has this year in general been increasingly crappy?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001520602497 Louie Stark

      Its just you.

  • baconslicer

    Oh, and the Host was the biggest piece of sh!te I’ve ever seen in my entire bloody life.

  • claystripe6514

    I thought Iron Man 3 was great. Putting it on the same level as other superhero threequels is ridiculous.

    1) Every Marvel movie (*especially* the Iron Man and Avengers films) has had product placement all over the place. Never once (with one possible exception from Iron Man 1), however, has any of the characters directly plugged a product or has the product placement taken me out of the movie, so who cares?

    2) Downey was awesome in this movie. Him having PTSD/Anxiety attacks (which are a real thing, in case anyone needs a reminder) didn’t make him a “pussy”, they made him a more interesting, vulnerable character. And him not reacting crazily to Pepper’s death wasn’t a failure to muster emotion- it was showing Tony as being completely broken and numb.

    3) I find it hard to believe Disney was saying “Put a kid in here for marketability’s sake” but were fine with Tony Stark living with his girlfriend and shooting/blowing up bad guys. I don’t think anyone’s lying when they’re saying that Disney’s been taking a hands-off approach to the Marvel movies.

    4) They did Don Cheadle a disservice by *not* having him in a CGI suit for most of the movie? What?

    5) Guy Pearce’s character was weak, but his plan actually made a lot of sense. Super soldiers may or may not violently explode and there’s no way to tell if they will or not? Make the buyers desperate enough to take the risk. Even better, get a president with a vested interest in the serum to back you up.

    6) The Mandarin was a waste, but there’s just no way in hell that the character was going to work on the big screen. It’s incredibly difficult to make him work in the comics as is. He’s a relic of the 60s and has a power set that doesn’t mesh well with the films. Besides, Killian is “technically” made into the Mandarin at the end of the film.

    7) The trailers showed an awesome, action-packed movie with emotion, danger, and quips. I’d hardly say that they lied by not giving away the plot of the movie.

    • http://twitter.com/JonHike jghike

      Completely agree! I thought it was a great movie and I loved it. Yeah, I would’ve liked a little more of The Mandarin, but I thought the twist was great and Ben Kingsly did a really good job with it all.

      • Liderc

        How did Ben Kingsley do a “really good job with it all”?

        He was a joke, he was a drunk actor. An idiot could have played the role, why did we need one of the most celebrated actors currently alive to take on this idiotic role.

        • http://twitter.com/JonHike jghike

          You realize he still had to act as the Mandarin in the first half of the movie, right? My point was he was believable as a scary terrorist, and as a drunk actor. And I don’t think it was an idiotic role, it was a commentary about how one guy can use the media and fear to create a villain the ultimate misdirect. And not just anyone could’ve done it. There are plenty of people who can’t act drunk.

          • Liderc

            The terrorist in the first Iron Man was scarier than Ben Kingsley was in this movie and he was a no-name. So yes, anyone could have done it.

    • Liderc

      They didn’t call him a pussy because of his PSTD, Tony Stark called the kid a pussy in the movie… Maybe you need to watch it again.

      This was the first Iron Man movie controlled by Disney, they definitely had their hand in the film. You’re kidding yourself if you think otherwise.

      • http://twitter.com/JonHike jghike

        He was referring to the fact that the author of the article called Tony a pussy because he was “crawling on the ground weeping.”

        And whether or not I agree with you, I’d like to know how you thought Disney had their hand in the film?

        • Liderc

          They didn’t say he was a pussy, he said he called the kid a pussy, The author wasn’t directly calling tony a pussy, they were pointing out that his name calling was ironic considering how he was acting.

          How did Disney have their hand in this movie? Bet you 10 bucks that there was never a kid in the original script, bet he was entirely created when Disney asked them to try and relate more to a younger demographic. Shane Black is a great writer, not as strong of a director, and I HIGHLY doubt he had a 10 year old kid helping tony stark in his original script with Pearce.

          Even the actors say that Marvel movies are “like machines,” they are a collaborative effort and there’s no doubt in my mind that Disney didn’t at least suggest having a kid interact with Tony so that they could show TV spots with the kid and Tony on the Disney channel. Disney isn’t stupid, they bought Marvel and they’re going to have their hand in their films.

          • http://www.facebook.com/Nevermore1001 Josh Owen

            Ok, saying it’s ironic that he calls the kid a pussy when Tony’s the one crawling around and weeping is basically calling Tony a pussy, just not in so many words… It doesn’t have to be spelled out, an as you pointed out, the insinuation is there. But I digress. Calling the kid a pussy is kinda not-Disney. The presents at the end kinda is Disney, but over all the kid didnt seem like a Disney move to me. And to mention, Hypable, the car that Harley won’t be able to drive for a while, Tony didn’t give that to him, it was in the garage the whole time, Tony just did what he does best: he fixes it. And I don’t think I saw one preview with the kid in it, he wasn’t a marketing ploy for Disney at all. The kid is a very natural part of this film, I think, I don’t think Disney added him in.

          • http://www.facebook.com/Nevermore1001 Josh Owen

            And giving Tony real world problems like PTSD instead of making him bad ass all the time is a little something we like to call “character development.”

          • Ronan

            They can leave “character development” out for me then, because I just threw up my arms every time he started having a panic attack. It was useless to the story. What did we gain from tony having a couple panic attacks? It didn’t change anything, I didn’t feel like he was any difference once we was mid-fight.

          • http://www.facebook.com/Nevermore1001 Josh Owen

            Of course it was important. It was because of his post avengers stress that he created the 42 suits he ha in that vault. His whole journey in this film revolves around his PTSD and his panic attacks, because he’s become so dependent on his suit that he doesn’t know what to do without them, and now that he’s had a glimpse of the bigger things outside, he’s becoming afraid. His PTSD was a major plot point of this film. I’m sorry if you don’t like that Stark looked weak, but he’s not Asgardian, he’s not a super solider. He’s a mortal human, a genius no doubt, one who has come up with some fantastic technology, but he’s still just a human, and PTSD is the natural result of what he went through in New York, culminating in his creating 42 suits in six months, and his desire to either have the suit on at all times or have the ability to summon it at will. Haven’t you noticed, through all four films his suits have become increasingly mobile an available, from in his basement to in a suitcase to a suit that is summoned by bracelets, to now a suit that is summoned by injected technology in his forearm. And extremis could be a next step if they took it that way in a follow up. If you don’t want character development, stop watching movies with well written characters.

          • Liderc

            So you saw all the previews? Because I saw previews with the kid in the tv spots, and they were on ABC (Owned by disney) and the Disney network. AKA they did this so they could advertise it on children’s networks that they own.

  • http://blackrapture.tumblr.com/ thegoodshipdestiel

    I kind-of want you guys to shut up about this. There was a positive review and a negative review. Bases covered. Can we please move on?

    • Glaciusx

      Amen.

  • http://twitter.com/msqu Marie Squyres

    Others have already said it, but comparing Iron Man 3 to X-Men or Spiderman 3 is completely ridiculous. I think, more than anything else, it was fan expectations that were disappointed rather than the film being a disappointing three-quel. A lot of the problems pointed out here are problems that were there in the first film – minimal roles for Rhodes and Pepper, baffling motives for the villains (Obadiah and Killian), etc.

    In many ways, I loved this film just as much or more than the first one, and there were parts of it that I didn’t like at all. Ultimately, I think the first and third Iron Man films are both solid winners, and it was the second film only that can be found lacking. But everyone is entitled to their opinion.

  • Meghan

    I didn’t think this movie was perfect but I still loved it. I thought it was awesome and funny and that the acting was great. Maybe I don’t have as high standards as you guys may have, but I thought that Iron Man 3 was better than Iron Man 2 and on par with the first one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001520602497 Louie Stark

    A quote from Iron Man 2, “Learn to let go, don’t to attached to things.” The movie was beyond great, it was epic. I like the fact that it wasn’t like the first Iron man. It had a different feel and the twist was surprising. Very unexpected but genius. Black delivered a movie we had never seen before, if you wanted Iron Man 1 then I suggest you buy it and what it as many times as you want.

  • student

    I don’t think Tony having panic attacks hurts his character at all! I really appreciated it, actually. I’ve had panic attacks before when in really, really stressful situations when I didn’t even realize that I was that stressed at first (like Tony), and it is a baffling, frightening, and ultimately humbling experience. What he went through is totally realistic.

    • Lauren

      Where did it say there’s anything wrong with having panic attacks?

  • Ethan

    I think it is ridiculous that people are getting so worked up over the Mandarin twist. I think it was clever how they built up the marketing campaign in such a way that they had people so convinced even though we only ever saw a few seconds of footage of the Mandarin, and the fact people are getting so upset shows that they planned something rather clever. I thought the film was far more enjoyable than the previous Iron Man and while character development may be a bit lower than Avengers, it does not have as many plot holes that become more obvious the more times you go back and look over it (am I the only person that noted that none of them appeared to have ear pieces or microphones on their bodies during the New York fight scene, yet they were all able to communicate with each other?)

    And I think people need to accept product placement and get over it. A film like this can’t be made without a little bit of a help, and Tony does need to use a computer and drive a car, so people just need to not let it get under their skin as its not as if anyone is actually going to go out of the movies and go straight to the Audi dealership or local computer store.

    I think that this movie was one of the best Marvel has come up with in recent years, and that people upset over the Mandarin should just accept this is an adaptation and that they got tricked and move over it.

  • shadyob023yar

    Well…i liked the humor in it…..the rest was ehhh …OH Oh OH and Bruce!! And Gwyneth Paltrow’s abs of steel..

  • Frances Early

    I disagree with 99% of this article. I did understand Killian’s motives, he didn’t start out to be a bad guy. Furthermore, the twist was great: THE BEST PART OF THE FILM, and the performances from everyone was great. You’re complaining that it’s not the same Iron Man as the first film: OF COURSE NOT, people change, especially after life changing events like what happened in The Avengers.

    There will not be another Iron Man film, obviously, if you’ve done any research that would seem evident, but I do expect TONY to return in The Avengers pt 2.

    This was a great film, better than the second, and I cried like a baby all the way home. It succeeded, at least for me, and I reckon it would for you too if you started paying attention.

    • http://www.hypable.com/ Joshua Nealey

      Considering I’ve covered Iron Man 3 news for over a year now, and written about Marvel films for nearly a decade, I’d have to take a guess and say I probably paid sufficient enough attention to enjoy the film.

      There’s a reason this film is receiving poor reviews, it’s simply not up to the standards in which we’ve become accustomed to seeing from Marvel.

      • Josh

        How is a 77% poor? And I thought the film was a whole lot better than the awful Iron Man 2.

        • Claire

          First Iron Man got a 93%, 2nd Iron Man got a 73%, The Avengers a 93%. Iron Man 3 will go near Iron Man 2′s 73%, which means critics think it’s as good as Iron man 2.

      • alazear2

        Actually only the first Iron Man and the Avengers ranked above 90%. Thor has a 77%, Captain America Has a 79%, and The Incredible Hulk has a 67%, and of course Iron Man 2 has a 73% I believe. So technically Iron Man 3 ranks right in the majority of the Marvel movies, meaning it is just as good.

        P.S. on rotten tomatoes a bad review is anything below 60% so there really aren’t that many bad reviews coming in. there are 203 fresh reviews and only 57 rotten ones. your numbers on bad reviews are way off.

        • Liderc

          How is it way off? Iron Man 2 got a 73%, which everyone hated apparently, and Iron Man 3 got a 77%, so it’s within the same range of Iron Man 2 quality, which was said to be a failure even by Robert Downey Jr.’s standard.

          Iron Man 3 was a failure, in every way except financially.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brianpatrick.lewis.1 Brian Patrick Lewis

    This is an ok review. If you did not see all the Marvel
    movies leading up to the Avengers. If you spent the time and saw the natural progression
    of Tony Stark you would have given a better review. Plus originally the writers were not going to
    go more in-depth with Tony’s and Pepper’s relationship. Robert changed their
    minds.

    • Lindsay

      You realize the guy who wrote this is the person who writes about all the marvel movies lol. He’s probably seen them a lot more times than you have.

  • lego5ker

    If there is any weak link in the iron man trilogy then it is iron man 2.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Nevermore1001 Josh Owen

    I honestly feel that Iron Man Three is the best of te series, possibly the best Marvel movie to date. It is hilarious, it is action packed, it is totally focused on the hero and not the villains, and instead of diminishing the hero by making his opponents much stronger than him (like Warmonger, like Abomination to the Hulk), it does what comics do best: show how badass our hero is when facing his foes. That’s what I’ve always wanted to see in a superhero film: the villains show up, and the hero takes them to town in style. And who has more style than Tony Stark?

    Now, on the Mandarin, I know a lot of people are pissed. I get your anger, I get where it is coming from. But I honestly love the twist, because for once, no one saw it coming. Everyone knows the Mandarin’s deal, and so when he was revealed to be an actor, it was a complete surprise. I’m fine with them breaking continuity, because honestly, this is the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it can stand to be different than the Marvel Comic Universe. I mean, they have altered things before, and frankly, the comics offer a varied selection of origins and back stories for characters, that this change doesn’t bother me at all. And for those of you that do, just because this version of the Mandarin turned out to be fake, doesn’t mean the real one isn’t out there. The Ten Rings were in both Iron Man and Iron Man 2, and it was said that Kingsley’s Mandarin was built off the stories of different terrorists. Who’s to say the real Manarin wasn’t one of those? Who’s to say he wasn’t laying low, letting all this play through to get a better look at Tony Stark? All I’m saying is, there is room for the real Mandarin to show up in the future. This is Marvel.

    I see no reason to compare this fantastic film to the crap that was Spider-Man 3 or X-Men The Last Stand. I think the people who hated if the first time should give it another go. I think seeing it the second time, without the expectations people place on the Mandarin, will help people enjoy it more. I’ve seen so many complaints on this film and they are completely unwarranted, from a story-telling point of view, from the ideas of trying to be fresh in a world where we know all the details up front, Shane Black did a beautiful job of keeping Tony Stark true to where he should be after New York, keeping the humor of Iron Man and exceeding it, keeping it a gripping action film, and for once in a comic book movie, creating a true moment where die hard comic fans didn’t know what was going on. It was a bold move, and in my opinion, it paid off tremendously. I ask people please stop complaining that the Mandarin wasn’t what you expected, and please, give this movie a chance for what it is, a fantastic adventure film.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Nevermore1001 Josh Owen

      And to add to the suit explosions, and Tony removing the arc reactor in his chest, this is not a poorly executed move, this makes total sense. His relationship with Pepper had been strained at the beginning because of the suits. It was an addiction, his crutch, if you will, and after the Avengers, he couldn’t stop making them. I mean, he had a suit for everything. He built at least 42 suits in six months. It was becoming a problem. The “clean slate” order was to allow him to be free of his addiction, and to show Pepper he was ready to focus on her. He took the arc reactor out because he doesn’t need it anymore. Part of his addiction, and every suit has it’s own now. Otherwise Rhodey’s wouldn’t function, nor would the 42 suits flying around at the end. And frankly, this is Tony Stark we are talking about. His main suits are already destroyed, and he blew up his PTSD building frenzy suits, which he built in six months. This dude can obviously build another suit in no time. It’s not a big deal. I wouldn’t even be surprised if a version of the Mark 7 is stored in Stark Tower.

      Man, the more I think about it, the more I consider this one of the best superhero films of all time. I really don’t get why others hate it so much.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Nevermore1001 Josh Owen

        And I’d like to add to Hypable, trapping Killian in the suit and blowing it up is a bitchin’ way to kill a baddie, even if it didn’t work. And sliding from suit to suit was much more entertaining than watching him fight in one suit like always. As for the durability of the suits, the Mark 42 is a prototype, literally created just days before his mansion is attacked, and we’ve already seen it is prone to falling apart. So falling apart when the truck hits it makes sense (as does the comical Errol moment when it triumphantly returns just to fall apart when he hits something). And the other suits? He built 42 in six months. More than likely they weren’t up to the standard of Mark 7. He probably came up with a concept, built it, stored it, and moved on, not taking nearly as much time as he did on the first suits. Which is another reason he was fine to blow them up.

  • http://twitter.com/Rantuch Nick Rantuccio

    I believe he destroyed the rest of his suits for the same reason that he had the shrapnel removed. He’s done being Iron Man. Or, at least, that’s what Marvel wants us to speculate about until Avengers 2.

    • Liderc

      If he’s done being iron man, why’d he grab his robots and his favorite screw driver at the end and say “I am Iron Man.” How do people look past this type of stuff?

  • max rakušček

    I really don’t get why people don’t like this movie. I mean sure, it butchered an iconic villain and I understand why die-hard fans are pissed, but regular movie-fans should appreciate such an unexpected twists. And yes there are plotholes, but it’s a freaking Marvel movie. It’s smart, it’s funny, it’s spectacular, it has an interesting character story arc, Robert Downey Jr. and Ben Kingsley were awesome, what more do you want? I’m sure there are also some plotholes in the first Iron Man that everyone ignored because it was just so new and fresh and wasn’t a threequel. Otherwise, it has a similar tone like the first two movies and is just as good, if not better (depending which one are we talking about).

    • John

      Kingsley was “great”? When was he great, the 2 minute scene he was in with Tony?

      So in a 2hour 15min movie, one of the best actors of our time was great for 2 mins, well used talent there lol.

      This movie was almost awful, I’d give it a 1.5/5 stars maybe a 2/5. I saw it twice (was forced to go with another friend the 2nd time) and it was just as bad the second time. Total bore-fest.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ron.swanson.378 Ron Swanson

    Everyone who disliked Iron Man 3 still look at Spiderman 3, Transformers 3, and other terrible 3rd movies and still recognize that IM3 is leagues above those films. I loved IM3 way more than IM2, and just a little less than IM1. People upset over the Mandarin need to get over it. They did something cool and original, rather than just making the movie Iron Man’s war against terror. It would have gone over the top with Tony fighting a man with 10 rings, each with a different power. It may work well on the panel of a comic, but I think it would have looked super terrible on the big screen. I was a bit dissapointed with all the marketing leading up to it, but now that I’ve seen it I love that part of it the most! And had they done him as a real villian, we wouldn’t have gotten the kick ass fight at the end! Not a fan of the segments with the kid, but they weren’t movie breaking. I’d give it a solid 4 out of 5. Not once did I feel as bad when I was watching Iron Man 2…now that movie is close to being the worst Marvel has done.

  • Azeem

    The Mark 42 had to be charges because it broke into separate little pieces and wasn’t a single piece suit like the previous ones.

    • Liderc

      Why wouldn’t each piece charge once he attached them to himself again?

  • Glaciusx

    Stop.

  • Dan

    So many of you are missing the point; if you’re not going to do it right, then don’t do it. Dishonoring a long standing storyline with legions of fans wasn’t a necessary move to make. The paradigm set by the previous 2 films could have been sustained by simply creating new material that had no connection to the comic legacy. Nobody would have complained. The writer is a loose cannon who needs to be reigned in.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001426890433 Louis JR Robles

    $176 MILLION MARVEL FANGIRLS GOT PUNKED LOL…THANKS DISNEY

  • http://www.facebook.com/lilliempeterson Lillie Marie Peterson

    The advantage of not watching previews is that you don’t get let down by stuff like this. Loved it!