If this is to be the last Iron Man movie then Shane Black, the director of Iron Man 3 has ended the franchise on a strong note.
The basic premise of the latest instalment of the Iron Man franchise has Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) still recovering from the events of last year’s The Avengers in particular the moment when he went through the wormhole and back to protect Earth, in particular New York City from an alien attack. His PSTD has affected his personal life with girlfriend Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and his health.
The villain in this film is The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) an Osama Bin Laden type villain who televises some of his heinous acts to American audiences.
When Tony’s ex-bodyguard turned head of Stark Industries security becomes a victim of one of Mandarin’s attack, he issues a threat to this would-be terrorist. How does the Mandarin retaliate? He sends his henchmen, enhanced super soliders that seem to draw their strength from some sort of regenerative heat thing called Extremis. In the prologue of the film, we went to a time in Tony’s life (1999 in Bern, Switzerland) where his girlfriend at the time, a botanist named Maya Hanson (Rebecca Hall) was working on plants that were able to regenerate themselves and working biological DNA experiments. One of the people that they also meet during this time is a Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) a long haired nerdy looking cripple that wants Maya and Tony to work for his think tank AMI.
Anyways, the Mandarin targets Tony’s Malibu home and in the cross fire is not only Tony but Pepper and Maya, who came to Tony to warn him. In one of my favourite parts of the film is as Tony’s home starts to crumble, Tony sends one of his Iron Man suits to go on Pepper to protect her. It was really neat to see Pepper in the suit and doing some Iron Man stuff until the moment she and Maya are safe that Tony re-takes the suit and starts to battle the Mandarin’s men, who actually to win and Tony ends up in Rosehill, Tennessee. With his latest suit damaged, he ends up at the home of a young boy Harley who ends up helping Tony. Anyways, it seems these Extremis soldiers have followed Tony to Rosehill but he manages to win that battle too.
Meanwhile, Pepper, taking Maya to safety, is betrayed by her and is captured by Killian, who appeared earlier all able-bodied and good looking. He takes Pepper hostage as leverage in getting Tony to cooperate. Killian too seemed to be an Extremis soldier as his body glows as if being heated up. By the way one of the side effects, if it doesn’t take is you act like a bomb.
There is a twist with the Mandarin that is hilarious and we get what the Mandarin is up to, which involves the President and Rhodey’s (Don Cheadle) new Iron Patriot suit.
I don’t want to spoil more on the plot but basically we get tons of action sequences involving Tony, his Iron Man suits versus Extremis soliders and the Mandarin. Plus there is tons of quippy dialogue that I thought was very funny and especially enjoyed the shout out to Downton Abbey.
Now, I’ve never read any of the Iron Man comics and not knowing any of the changes that the filmmakers made, I thoroughly enjoyed Iron Man 3 and thought it was way better than Iron Man 2. I thought there was better continuity here and I really liked Tony’s character growth from the first film to this one, especially in his relationship with Pepper. She definitely has become the Lois Lane to his Superman.
I hope this isn’t the last time we see Tony Stark and it may not be since there is an Avengers 2 coming in 2015.