Robert Downey Jr. reprises his role as Tony Stark, the billionaire and former playboy who now spends his nights in his garage tinkering with his life's achievement – the Iron Man suits. His girlfriend Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) now runs Stark Industries, and Col. Roads (Don Cheadle) now dawns his own Iron Man suit permanently, but with a new paintjob and the name “Iron Patriot”. Tony is suffering from anxiety attacks and mild PTSD brought on by the haunting memories of what happened in New York during The Avengers, and throughout the film there are a number of references to the other Marvel works, including many direct mentions of the Avengers team.
In this movie, Tony narrates the story of how this all began, what the chain of events were that led up to the climax of this film. It begins in Bern, Switzerland in 1999 when a young aspiring scientist Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) approaches the cocky Tony Stark at a New Years Eve conference while he’s in the process of taking a girl up to his room. Tony dismisses the crippled man, who almost 14 years later has developed a technology which could potentially repair human DNA and thus ‘fix’ cripples and amputees. While this man seems to be hiding something, whatever it is doesn’t seem important to Stark, as his attention is, like the rest of the world, on the terrorist figure who goes by the name “The Mandarin” (Ben Kingsley). The Mandarin sees himself as a ‘teacher’, educating the West – or more specifically the US President – about America’s sins.
While it’s a big machine of a movie, full of pop-ish references and a few too many laughs for a serious action film, Iron Man 3 is still a fun theater experience. The “sci-fi” aspect of the movie pushes the boundaries as to what we’ll believe so much that the supposed scientific elements almost burst at the seams, but somehow the plot all still holds together, and the human element of the story is still very present here. Overall, Marvel’s first flick since last summer’s mega-hit The Avengers isn’t a bad movie, its just becoming harder and harder to live up to the incredible hype built around Marvel sequels nowadays, especially if they have Iron Man in them. Essentially, if Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark character isn’t getting a little old for you yet, then its worth going to see this one.