Comic book fans who know all about the Mandarin and his origins can forget all that when they see this film. The film is made by Marvel, but for the general audiences who know nothing about the character or mythos. It can stand on its own, but better to see Avengers first before seeing this one.
Here’s my review, written at the time of the movie’s release:
[THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE THEATRICAL RELEASE].
Ironman 3 ** MINOR SPOILERS **
Though I was a bit disappointed that the storyline was not about Chinese megalomaniacs with 10 alien rings of power, I did enjoy the non-stop action and humor!
Storylines and Plot:
Well heck, you can read most of that on IMDB or other user reviews. I will say that Tony Stark has to be the most prepared guy in the universe.
After further improvements in his armor and even getting to a point where the armor comes to him and parts of it can act independently, we find the only reason he’s doing this is to immerse himself on what he does well – a mechanism for controlling is panic attacks!
We forget sometimes that Tony is just a guy. A very smart guy but really behind that superior façade it must be a shock that there are aliens and gods in the universe and that he was barely able to hold his own with the technology that he has to hand.
Rather than being an advertisement for the earlier Avengers film (and that would be a natural conclusion, LOL), it’s similar to Ironman 2 – an exploration into Tony the man.
I love the Marvel films because they are more than about the heroics. This may fall flat with fan boys but the producers want a film that resonates with the general public, and Ironman 3 does just that.
Destruction of the Malibu home yet there is some pretty clever moves that ensure survival from a missile attack by black helicopters.
Mid-scene reveal of who The Mandarin really is (and no, he is not a Chinese dictator who has alien rings of power – dang it!) as he is surrounded by beauties. Humorous bathroom scene.
The people that Tony dissed at a 1999 New Years’ party and the resultant backlash 20 or so years later. Some surprises.
Though it is scientifically impossible for the body to heat to 3000 degrees, the film made the idea somewhat plausible – the weaponization of scientific discoveries is not completely unheard-of.
Pepper Potts kicking some violent action!
Plenty of great action scenes – some ties to terrorism and the media’s slavish reporting of it – and the power of what one man can do to either conquer the universe or conquer himself.
[Do stay tuned for the end-of-credits scene!]