Iron Man 3 - The Man of Iron

So I was lucky enough to have a friend who works in the entertainment industry who gave me tickets to see the new Iron Man 3 movie. It came out last Thursday, 25 April in Indonesia (sorry, you North Americans have to wait until 13 May) and most cinemas filled out just about all of their theaters with this movie. And yet, it was still difficult to get tickets. Anyway, here's my take of the movie...


Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is back for the third installment of the ever so popular Iron Man franchise. This movie marks the first release of phase two of the Marvel superhero movie collaborations - will be followed by Thor: The Dark World (8 November 2013) and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) to make the 2nd Avengers movie.

Iron Man 3 assumes the viewers have seen The Avengers (2012), making frequent references to it and is a major reason behind some of Iron Man's problems (which was not clearly explained in the movie). The story takes place shortly after the events of the Avengers where Tony had a close encounter with death while defending Earth against an alien invasion. Early in the movie Stark loses his fancy cars and his house in Malibu, and for a long stretch of the movie, his super suits and AI Jarvis. And this reveals a new side of Tony Stark that we haven't seen before - vulnerable and human. Tony, now with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), also stripped of his suits and tech, must now go back to his core skills to find and stop his new adversary, The Mandarin, from his evil plot.

Downey Jr. delivers a stunning performance, showing both Stark's vulnerable moments while keeping up with his witty and arrogance self. Kingsley (as The Mandarin) stole the scene with his charismatic and powerful, yet coupled with unexpectedly humorous, performance. Pearce is also on fire (literally) as the sophisticated and charismatic antagonist Killian who brought to the table more than just angry mobs of super soldiers. Aside from brilliant actors, climax scenes like the "Barrel of Monkey" scene - where Iron Man saves falling crew of the Airforce One in mid air - and the "call for backup" scene - where dozens of various autonomous Iron Man suits show up to provide support in the action finale - leave you smiling and wanting more. As if that wasn't enough, Iron Man 3 also had plenty of witty humorous moments like the idiosyncratic prototype Mark 42 suit and Tony's failed attempts to remotely call various parts of his suit. Scenes where the increasingly funny Don Cheadel's character Rodey tell you his password also left the audience in a unilateral laughter. And finally, for the first time,we get to see Tony kicking ass with a combination of his partial suit and conventional firearm, a combination that proves to be as fun to watch as it is deadly to the bad guys.

There were lots of anticipations and expectations from this movie. Did it deliver? In one word: yes. For those who has seen previous movies involving Iron Man, this is an absolute must watch, a great sequel. However, with its lack of background story, things could be quite spotty for people new to the franchise. Overall, it was a very enjoyable movie with a great balance between action, drama, and comedy.

Verdict: 8/10 

Photo Credits: various scenes from Iron Man 3 movie on Google Images search engine