The Daily Cup 59 Iron Man 3

Welcome to The Daily Cup a movie blog/writing project by Kyle B. Dekker, presented by Hot Chocolate Media. You can read series concept here. The basic rules, Kyle must watch 365 movies in 2018 and write about all of them. 292 of them have to be movies he's never seen before. Thanks for reading.

2013 is an interesting film year for me. My son was born that year, which means my movie viewing that happened that year was dumb luck. I did make it to the theatrical release of Iron Man 3 (2013), but I was likely in such a sleep deprived stated that most of the details were lost on me. I remember thinking this film was just ok, and not much else. On this revisit while I don’t think it’s one of the best MCU films, it’s much better than its reputation.

Iron Man 3 follows the events of The Avengers. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is dealing with the mental strain of such a tumultuous event. He’s suffering panic attacks, and showing signs of PTSD. He doesn’t know what to do with his life anymore so he throws himself into his work. An elaborate plot from a once spurned fan Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) utilizing biotech known as the Extremis program aims to take down Stark with his army of exploding/regenerating super soldiers. Tony, Rhodey (Don Cheadle), and Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) team up to defeat the threat alongside Tony’s army of new Iron Man suits.

The biggest thing this movie doesn’t get credit for is that it is the only movie in the MCU except the first Iron Man that has any consequences for Tony’s past life as a party-happy, warmongering profiteer. All of the other MCU movies just accept Tony is good now, if a bit quirky. The events in Iron Man 3 are all caused by Tony’s past mistakes, the lesson is that if you are an asshole in the past it can come back to haunt you. By addressing this in this movie and having Tony tackle panic attacks/PTSD really ground him and allow the character to grow. In Iron Man 3 Tony truly matures, he is able to let go of most of his ego, and understand why he can be a force for good in the world. Without this maturity, we can’t buy Tony as the serious reform driven man in Civil War, or the mentor type in Spider-man: Homecoming. WHile I agree this film has little impact on the overall MCU story it is critically important to the arc of Tony Stark.

Iron Man 3 still.jpg

This movie really excels at top notch action sequences, and witty dialogue that is pure fun. The helicopter assault on Tony’s mansion is pure intensity and one of the first times you are legitimately concerned about Tony’s safety. The action sequences with Tony out of his armor are also quite good, infiltrating the AIM mansion where “The Mandarin” lives with homemade spy gear, and the fight through the Tennessee town versus the Extremis soldiers are well choreographed and filmed. As far as banter goes, every scene Tony has with the kid Harley (Ty Simpkins) is just fully fun and adorable. The scene with The Mandarin/Trevor is one of the funniest and most enjoyable comedic scenes in the whole MCU and is a great upending of the expectations of the audience.

I don’t think Iron Man 3 gets the love it deserves. As an action movie with fun characters it is basically perfect. It’s only failings are that it doesn’t have as much of an impact on the greater MCU as many of the other films in the series and that it completely diverged from many core ideas people had about the Iron Man character from the comics. In the end it’s a film that did the very important job of maturing and grounding (just a little) Tony Stark, and raised the bar for the quality of the action sequences possible in a superhero movie. Shane Black did an excellent job and would love to see him make another superhero film in the future.


Movies new to me watched: 45/292

Other movies: 14/73

Total movies watched: 59/365

Have your own thoughts or opinions on this movie? Comment below or contact Kyle at or on Twitter at @kbdekker.