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Tony Stark is back! Taking place months after the events in The Avengers, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is struggling with PTSD (not that he'd admit to it) and attempting to maintain a relationship with his love, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow). While Pepper continues to run Stark Industries, Tony spends his time working on the latest iteration of his famous Iron Man suits, the Mark 42. Tony's world is thrown upside down when his friends become involved in a mystery surrounding a terrorist known at The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) along with two people from Tony's past; Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) and Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall). Along with Colonel James "Rhody" Rhodes (Don Cheadle) and Tony's computerized companion J.A.R.V.I.S. (voiced by Paul Bettany), Tony is forced to get back to basics if he wants to save the world from the Mandarin and his terrorist group.
If you are familiar with the Mandarin story line from the comic books, you'll know that in the comics the Mandarin is a genius scientist with superhuman powers gained from the rings he wears on his fingers that are a form on alien technology. While this film was in production, those involved with the film stated that they would be changing the Mandarin's story so that it didn't exactly follow the comics. I wasn't familiar with the Mandarin before this film, however what they did with the Mandarin left me a bit let down. If you are a Marvel comics fan, you may find yourself disappointed with what they did with the Mandarin.
I don't want to spoil the plot for anyone, but I can say that this film is action packed! Compared to The Avengers and the two previous Iron Man movies, this film is a bit more violent so you might want to keep the younger kiddos at home. There are only a few references to the Avengers, otherwise this film is all Tony Stark, which I didn't mind because Tony happens to be my favorite Marvel character. Compared to all the previous Marvel-Avengers related films (otherwise known as Phase I), especially the other two Iron Man films, this one wasn't as good. The Avengers is still my favorite, with Iron Man 2 and Captain America: The First Avenger in a close second. Be sure to stay until after the credits to catch the post-credits scene. Again I don't want to spoil it, but I know some who have seen it and thought it was silly and a bit cheeky and that the tone of the entire film wasn't right. However I feel that, yes the post-credits scene was cheeky, but they (Disney/Marvel) are allowed to be a bit cheeky. Unlike the Phase I films (Iron Man 1-2, Captain America and Thor) are no longer building up to this huge, epic film like The Avengers. Granted we are building up to Avengers 2, but we are no longer needing all the character development and background story. Now it's all about what they are doing now after The Avengers and what their motivation will be once Avengers 2 comes along and how that will affect the dynamic of the group. And again, not to spoil it, but I think that those particular characters who are in the scene have more in common that I think people realize and make a good pairing. I for one enjoyed a chuckle after such a knock-down, drag-out brawl that was the end of the this film.
I'll probably go see Iron Man 3 again, I saw it in 3D and would like to see it in 2D as well (plus my husband said he missed some lines due to people either laughing or clapping at certain points, we had an enthusiastic audience), but I probably won't see it more than that while it is in theaters, but will certainly add it to our home movie collection. Overall I would say if you enjoyed the Phase 1 films, that you will enjoy Iron Man 3 and the beginning of Phase II.