OpEd: Iron Man 3 is The Best Iron Man Movie and One of The Best MCU Movies

in Entertainment, Marvel, Movies, Movies & TV

Robert Downey Jr. wearing a black shirt

Source: Rebloggy

With all of this extra time we have at home and as the movie industry is in a bit of a hiatus, people have had time to think back to what came before.

Specifically, there’s been a lot of chatter online today about which Marvel Cinematic Universe movie is the worst of the bunch. Even more specifically, the question of which is worse, Thor The Dark World or Iron Man 3 has reared its head and is now (amazingly) trending on Twitter. With that said, a huge portion of the tweets seem to be Iron Man 3 appreciation tweets, though there’s certainly some intense debate going on both ways!

WARNING: Bad language incoming. 

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Now I love a healthy debate, but I’ve got to tell you; Iron Man 3 isn’t a dookie. It isn’t anywhere near a dookie. It’s far, far superior to the horrendously rushed Iron Man 2 and (getting ready for some hate), I think it’s even better than the first Iron Man. For my money, with the exception of Black Panther and Thor: Ragnarok, it’s the best solo movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (That doesn’t include Guardians of the Galaxy or its criminally underrated sequel, in case you were wondering).

Now, let’s take a look at ten passionately delivered reasons for my argument;

  1. Iron Man 3 takes mental health incredibly seriously in a way that most MCU movies (or blockbusters in general) just don’t. Tony has PTSD from the events of The Avengers, humanizing him immensely and creating a strong role model for kids. It shows that even Iron Man isn’t ok sometimes and that it’s ok to not be ok. Seriously, that facet of Iron Man 3 is still horrifically overlooked.
  2. The Mandarin Twist. Come on, guys. It was actually pretty well done. Sir Ben Kingsley is an incredible comic foil and the twist is genuinely surprising. While I do think the Mandarin in his comic-book form could work in the MCU (thanks Shang Chi for tackling that one), I personally love this bait and switch that shows Marvel Studios taking real risks with the source material for once. I don’t even hate Killian. Yeah he’s a little bland, but so are a good percentage of MCU villains. Has anyone ever thought of Ghost since seeing Ant Man and the Wasp, for example?
  3. The Extremis plot is one of the best the comics have to offer and it’s done pretty perfectly and with surprising fidelity.
  4. The airplane rescue scene. One of the finest action sequences in any MCU movie; this air-born rescue by Iron Man is simply exhilarating.
  5. It finally gives Iron Man a definitive leitmotif. One for the film and music nerds perhaps, but for me, Brian Tyler’s Iron Man 3 score is the definitive theme for Tony Stark. Such a shame it wasn’t implemented again after Avengers: Age of Ultron.
  6. Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle have perfectly settled into their roles as Tony Stark / Iron Man, Pepper Potts, and James Rhodes / War Machine. They’re more heartfelt, funnier, and more believable than ever before.
  7. Director Shane Black KILLS IT. Black’s direction is far more charismatic and action-packed than the Jon Favreau predecessors and it’s generally a more intimate, character-driven affair. It’s also super funny.
  8. Tony Stark’s relationship with Harley Keener is a perfect, Home Alone inspired foreshadowing of his later relationship with Peter Parker / Spider-Man that develops as of Captain America: Civil War and is further emphasized in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
  9. IRON MAN SUIT x 1000! Tell me you weren’t excited when they all came out in the finale. You can’t, because you’d be lying.
  10. It’s set at Christmas. That’s all.

So for my money, Iron Man 3 is far from the worst MCU movie; in fact, I’d have it in my top 5. And my once-controversial opinion seems to be shared by quite a few of you out there, which makes me very happy and less alone.

Where do you stand on Iron Man 3, Thor The Dark World, or the rest of the MCU? Personally, Iron Man 2 is my least favorite, but I love em’ all. Now the Incredible Hulk? That’s a story for another day. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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