The 3rd installment in the Iron Man franchise is directed by Shane Black with a screenplay written by him & Drew Pearce. Jon Favreau who directed the first two installments returns as Executive Producer for Iron Man 3 which sees Robert Downey Jr return to the role of Iron Man & Tony Stark. Also returning are Gwneyth Paltrow & Don Cheadle and joining them are Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, William Sadler and Ben Kingsley. Favreau also reprises his role as Stark’s former bodyguard Happy Hogan who is now Chief of Security for Stark Enterprises.
The movie starts off with Tony Stark narrating how the incidents of the current film were put in place back in 1999 in Geneva. At a New Year’s eve party Stark is with scientist Maya Hansen, inventor of Extremis—an experimental regenerative treatment intended to allow recovery from crippling injuries.disabled scientist Aldrich Killian offers them a place in his company Advanced Idea Mechanics, but Stark rejects the offer, humiliating Killian. Flash forward to now and we find Stark pottering about in his lab still shaken by his experiences with the alien in New York (see the movie Avengers) and also suffering from panic attacks. He has also built several Iron Man suits which vary slightly. It is then that a terrorist named Mandarin launches several attacks on US interests, which leave the US govt & military puzzled. As the military sends James Rhodes—the former War Machine, now re-branded as the Iron Patriot to track the origin of these attacks. Stark issues a televised threat to the Mandarin, who responds by destroying Stark’s home with helicopter gunships. Hansen who had come to the Stark home to warn him of the attack survives the attack along with Potts, who drives her off to a hotel. Stark had left the destroyed building in an Iron Man suit avoiding detection which his artificial intelligence JARVIS pilots to rural Tennessee, following a flight plan from Stark’s investigation into the Mandarin. Stark’s experimental armor lacks sufficient power to return to California, and the world believes him dead.
Stark is helped by 10 year old Harley, at whose’s lab in a garage, Stark leaves his suit to be recharged and investigates an explosion in the city which he suspects was caused by Mandarin. He discovers the “bombings” were triggered by soldiers subjected to Extremis, which at this stage of development can cause certain subjects to explosively reject it. After veterans started exploding, their deaths were used to cover up Extremis’ flaws by manufacturing a terrorist plot. Stark witnesses Extremis firsthand when Mandarin agents Ellen Brandt and Eric Savin attack him. After warding off their attack Stark traces Mandarin to a mansion in Miami and finds out that Mandarin is actually a ruse – he is a British actor hired to play a role actually a creation of Killian, who appropriated Hansen’s Extremis research as a cure for his own disability and expanded the program to include injured war veterans. After capturing Stark, Killian reveals he is the real Mandarin; he has kidnapped Potts and subjected her to Extremis to gain Stark’s aid in fixing Extremis’ flaws and thereby saving Potts. Killian kills Hansen when she has a change of heart about the plan. Killian’s agents lures Rhodes into a trap and capture his suit and using it Savin goes into Air Force one and attacks the president. Remotely controlling his Iron Man armor, Stark saves some surviving passengers and crew but cannot stop Killian from abducting Ellis and destroying Air Force One. They trace Killian to an impounded damaged oil tanker where Killian intends to kill Ellis on live television. The vice president will become a puppet leader, following Killian’s orders in exchange for Extremis to cure a little girl’s disability.
On the platform Stark goes after Potts while Rhodes saves the president and gets back into his suit. Stark summons his Iron Man suits, controlled remotely by JARVIS, to provide air support but finds that Potts has survived the Extremis procedure. However, before he can save her, a rig collapses around them and she falls to her apparent death. Stark confronts Killian and traps him in an Iron Man suit that self-destructs, but fails to kill him. Potts, whose Extremis powers allowed her to survive her fall, intervenes and kills Killian. As a sign of is devotion to Potts, Stark has Jarvis activate the auto-destruction of all his suits. With Stark’s help, Potts’ Extremis effects are stabilized, and Stark undergoes surgery to remove the shrapnel embedded near his heart. He pitches his obsolete chest arc reactor into the sea, musing he will always be Iron Man.
Much better than Iron Man 2 and certainly bigger than the first one – but I still couldn’t get into this movie as much as the first one, which I like a lot. Still it’s a great action movie with lots of awesome special effects and comedy bits thrown in. 8.5 outta 10!