+++ Opinion +++
“Iron Man 3” is again on free TV today – on ProSieben at 8:15 p.m. Because of the Mandarin twist, many Marvel fans are ambivalent about the blockbuster. For me, Iron Man 3 is one of the best Marvel movies ever. In addition to the Marvel-typical interaction of action and humor, the film is also an intelligent examination of topics such as the fear of terrorism, the status quo in the USA and the limits of psychological resilience, which also shows the cool bon vivant Tony Stark from an unusually vulnerable side.
After the attack on New York in the Marvel Heroes’ Rendezvous The Avengers’ Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is no longer the same: The billionaire is plagued by nightmares, suffers from insomnia and panic attacks – which also has a negative impact on his environment. The former playboy is only a shadow of himself in “Iron Man 3” and is more reminiscent of a traumatized war returnee than a hero in shining armor.
Nothing can be seen of the same for a long time. The iconic combat suit, which otherwise brings death and ruin to Iron Man’s enemies, becomes a sensitive retreat in which the once tough bon vivant always seeks protection when the next panic attack is announced.
» “Iron Man 3” on Disney+*
Layer by layer, Tony Stark is released from his protective iron cocoon by Drew Pearce (“Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation”), who wrote the screenplay in collaboration with director Shane Black (“The Nice Guys”). From the larger-than-life hero figure, who just held the fate of mankind in his hands in New York and had to prove himself in a fight with a deity and extraterrestrial troops, only a vulnerable human being remains, a prisoner of his own fears.
“Iron Man 3” is a highly political action thriller that also detaches the steel man from his comic book roots as a Cold War superhero, who keeps punching stereotypical villains from the USSR and China. In the second part he got a fossil of past conflicts with Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) aka Whiplash, but the enemy in this Marvel blockbuster is much more modern and therefore less tangible.
Instead of confronting a visible enemy, “Iron Man 3” deals with the fight against terror: sleeper cells, series of attacks, genetic warfare agents that turn people into living booby traps (involuntary suicide bombers). Only Ben Kingsley becomes a caricature of horror as Mandarin. As head of an anti-American terrorist organization, he stirs up fear in the population from a secret hiding place.
Warning, there are spoilers for “Iron Man 3” to follow!
In “Iron Man 3”, director Shane Black shows an injured America that is still trying to recover from the deep wounds more than 10 years after the attack on the World Trade Center. It’s not for nothing that the Mandarin’s video terror messages bring back memories of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who hid from the American secret services for years.
When the dreaded adversary in the final act turns out to be poor playwright Trevor Slattery (Ben Kingsley), hired to cover up by actual villain Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), many die-hard comic book fans may have been alienated . However, the reinterpretation is a clever comment on the fear-mongering role of the media in the often very emotional terrorism reporting of the time. In addition, Ben Kingsley’s transformation from feared terror leader to harmless idiot is still incredibly good entertainment even when you watch it again – if you can get involved with it.
With “Iron Man 3”, director Shane Black and screenwriter Drew Pearce break up the already deadlocked Marvel formula – a daring I wish the comic book giant would do much more often. A clever and political zeitgeist commentary, packaged in an entertaining blockbuster guise, which is also a lot of fun despite the emotional heaviness, made Iron Man’s third solo outing a real cinema highlight, which is still an absolute highlight today Guck recommendation is!
“Iron Man 3” is on ProSieben this Friday, July 1, 2022.
*This Disney+ link is an affiliate link. By subscribing via this link you are supporting DashFUN. This has no effect on the price.