Iron Man 3 is truly a fun movie. It is long at two hours and twenty minutes but not one minute of it was wasted or dull. The movie gave an ample supply of character development to most of the characters and their relationships while balancing that against showing off the “Iron Men” in combat along with other “bling”.
In Iron Man 3 Tony Stark is suffering from extreme PTSD after the battle of New York which took place in the previous film The Avengers. In spite of that his relationships with Pepper Potts and others around him are starting to mature.
Tony Stark is forced to go back to some “old school” attitudes in order to deal with the latest threat from the bad guys, bad guys who find a way to tear through his armor with little difficulty. The combat scenes are innovative and at times mind blowingly brilliant.
All in all, stories are about people, not just techno-suits in glorious battles. Watching Tony come to terms with himself and the man he needs to be, Pepper needs him to be, and the world he has sworn to protect needs to be, proves to be the best part of this film. Experiencing the development of Pepper Potts from a competent nerdy pretty face to a vital and active participant in saving the world is also very gratifying. They say behind every great man is an even greater woman. Pepper Potts personifies that truism.
The film was a story told almost perfectly, but was hampered by two glaring plot holes. As seen in the released movie trailers, Tony Stark’s home is blown to bits by the bad guys with him in it. Does anyone believe for a moment that Nick Fury and SHIELD are going to do nothing while this happens to one of the Avengers? While a super powered terror group is turning America upside down where was SHIELD? Context and continuity matter in telling any good story. During the movie I could hear people in the theater saying at an appropriate point on the film “Where is SHIELD?” We know from the director’s notes from The Avengers blue ray release (as well as a tidbit in this film) that Tony Stark and Dr. Bruce Banner have grown very close. With Tony presumed dead after his home was destroyed is it even for a moment believable that Banner (The Hulk) would not come to the aid of his friend? This should have been explained or otherwise dealt with in the film.
The other plot hole in the film is slightly more arcane. While Tony is fighting one of the the mutated super bad guys, he uses his large chest repulsar at maximum blast to blow a very large hole in one of them, later when his army of Iron Men (as seen in the trailer) comes to help fight, why does Tony not have them use the same tactic against similarly nasty bad guys? Marvel fans are like Star Trek fans. They are intelligent and they will find mistakes such as this and be irritated by them as I was.
Iron Man 3 is great fun and a worthy film on it’s own. It tells a story and tells it well. It is not for little kids. Marvel films are mature in that they show that violence has consequences both good, bad, sad and horrific. Good people are killed in plain view in the film. The good guys are not saints and not every bad guy ends up being a true villain. The violence is realistic, but it is not gratuitous as it has meaning and context.