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MCU Retrospective: Iron Man 3

Time for the finale of the Iron Man trilogy. Since its release I’ve heard a lot of negativity for this movie and while I can understand some of it, The Mandarin being the most egregious of its sins, I never fully understood why this movie got all the hate it seems to get. Throughout my MCU re-watch, Iron Man 3 has actually been my favorite of the lot so far (one of my next ones though is Winter Soldier so it won’t hold that mantle for much longer).

One reason I feel that this movie doesn’t get the love it deserves is because this isn’t an Iron Man movie, this is a Tony Stark movie. Tony spends about 85% (at least) of the movie outside of the Iron Man suit but that’s what makes this movie so great. Up to this point we’ve seen a lot of Iron Man but haven’t gotten a lot of Tony character development and this movie fills in that gap.

The action scenes in this movie are also stunning. The Mandarin’s attack on Tony’s mansion. The House Party protocol with the hundreds of Iron Man suits. Tony’s stealth infiltration of the Miami mansion hideout. But all of these scenes pale in comparison to the free-falling Air Force One staff rescue scene sequence (lovingly dubbed the “Barrel of Monkeys” scene based on dialogue during the scene).

While the scene itself is just amazing and fun to watch, it's made exactly 1000000% better when you learn that except for the beach background down below being edited and removing the parachutes of the divers in post-processing, the entire scene was practical effect. People actually jumped out of a plane with cameras and shot this scene mid-air. I looked it up for more information because I knew that fact previously but didn’t know the details and it took four days and dozens of jumps for them to get the entire scene perfect. Hands down one of my favorite scenes in the MCU just based on that fact alone.

The (actual) villain isn’t that compelling though which is a little disappointing. If only Marvel had stuck to their guns and actually used The Mandarin instead of a bait-and-switch maneuver. I guess we’ll just have to wait for the actual Mandarin and the Ten Rings in Shang-Chi.

Beyond that this is just a really solid movie all around. Definitely give it a re-watch if you haven’t seen it in years. If you are one of the people that thought that it wasn’t that great initially, you might be surprised after finishing it again.


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