As successful as the Marvel Cinematic Universe is, there have been bad apples along the way. Most, people can agree on. The movies that people typically regard as “bad” in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are Avengers: Age of Ultron, Thor: Dark World, and Iron Man 3. I’ve been doing a lot of rewatching lately and one movie is the third Iron Man. The Iron Man trilogy was completed so early in the MCU, I think we forget about these movies. I don’t mean to offend any Tony Stark fan out there. In fact, I watched Iron Man 3 recently and it wasn’t that bad. Not like how everyone says it is.

Will the Real Mandarin Please Stand Up?

Granted, it’s the weakest in the trilogy. It also is infuriating to tease a character like The Mandarin in the movie and it not be any sort of accurate reputation at all. In fact, it didn’t even end up being the real Mandarin. Actually, the only reason why I forgive the character decision is because of the short movie that was released after called All Hail the King. In this short movie, an agent of the real Ten Rings comes to take Trevor Slattery away to bring him before the real Mandarin to punish him for using his leader’s identity.

Back to Iron Man 3. I ended up really liking the movie’s decision to focus on Tony’s PTSD after the events of the first Avengers movie. I remember back to Happy saying to Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Far From Home than Tony “was a mess”. While Tony’s grown so much in the MCU, we have to remember that he didn’t always have it together. Tony could be incredibly self-destructive when going through things that he chose not to share with others. It was an incredibly powerful scene seeing Tony and Rhodey at a restaurant and Tony writing “help me” when a kid asked for an autograph.

There Was Some Great Character Development in Iron Man 3

Due to a brash decision, Tony invites the “Mandarin” to “come and get him” after seeing all of these horrible atrocities happening around the world. Horrible acts that were quite graphic, I might add. Throughout the course of the movie, his home is destroyed, and Tony does go on a little soul quest. He’s able to sort of deal with his PTSD and we see his fatherly instincts kick in way before ever meeting Peter Parker and becoming an actual dad. In case you missed it, the random kid at Tony Sark’s funeral in Avengers: Endgame was the kid from this movie.

The Villain Wasn’t a Bad Villain

Then we have Guy Pearce as Aldrich Killian. Perhaps I’m just biased, but I will like Pearce in anything he’s in. That includes Iron Man 3, where it had looked like he was attempting to steal Pepper Potts from Tony. At some point, Killian really does steal Pepper, just not in that way. We find out that Killian is the “real Mandarin” (which, he isn’t) and at some point Pepper has powers. I forgot about this – it would have been cool for that to be a thing.

Rhodey becomes the Iron Patriot for a hot second, but we love him as the War Machine. At some point, Tony fears he’s lost Pepper, but she, in fact, saves him! Looking back, I feel like it was a great foreshadowing to Pepper coming in again in Endgame to help fight alongside the man she loves as Rescue.

Iron Man 3 Is Better Than You Remembered It As

All in all, Iron Man 3 wasn’t as bad as we make it out to be. Certainly not as bad as Thor: Dark World. Iron Man 3 had a lot of great aspects and character development. We get Tony dealing with his PTSD and having the surgery to remove the shrapnel from his chest. He and Pepper’s relationship is strengthened and I think this is a real turning point for Tony to become more mature and preparing him to be the mentor that he was so great at being with Peter and a better spouse to Pepper. While Iron Man 3 didn’t necessarily have a great villain, as none of the Iron Man movies really did; it was overall a better movie than I remember it being with a lot of character development.

What do you think of Iron Man 3?

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