Iron Man 3
After 'The Avengers', it would be a full year until the next few movies would come out. We eventually gained knowledge of an 'Iron Man 3', a 'Thor 2' and a 'Captain America 2' coming up, which was a fair point before moving on to bigger and better with 'Guardians of the Galaxy'. We needed to see where all of these characters stood in the aftermath, and we pretty much went in the same order of things, starting with Stark, just over a year later. For anyone keeping track of any sort of timeline, this is essentially Christmastime, 2013. So yeah, I guess this is almost Marvel's answer to a Christmas movie.
After the events of 'The Avengers', Stark finds himself in a most peculiar situation. Being the only truly grounded character in the MCU (essentially this universe's Batman), he now has to deal with the idea that aliens exist, along with Norse Gods, and there are much bigger things out there than the terrorism he's been fighting around the globe since becoming Iron Man. This leads him to create a whole whack of Iron Man suits in his spare time, hardly giving Pepper the time of day. He also suffers from anxiety attacks, and much like 'Iron Man 2', this becomes a Tony Stark movie over being an Iron Man movie. In this case, it may be a little more justified.
A terrorist who calls himself The Mandarin, in the meantime, commences a series of bombings around America. When Happy nearly gets killed by one, Stark, not thinking, calls out the Mandarin and give him his home address. I mean, I know he's all pissed off and cocky, but c'mon, Stark is REALLY smarter than that! Anyway, the attack happens, and Stark soon finds himself wondering alone, trying to get to the bottom of what the Mandarin wants, and above all else, who he is.
Sadly, despite this film carrying a decent sense of humor with it, it's easily one of Marvel's weakest entries. There's a whole lot more going on in this as well, involving Rhodes as the new 'Iron Patriot', and Tony and Pepper's relationship problems, and what the source of the bombings end up being, it's just too much to lay out. I always find myself kinda tossing this one aside as, perhaps a bit of fun, but it has little to nothing to do with the 'Infinity War' story. It's so much more about developing Stark's character to suit the upcoming universe.
The big reveal is a disappointment, as well. I won't spoilt it here, but if you go into this fr the first time, expect the Mandarin to end up in your opinon with the cinematic likes of 'Spidey 3' Venom and 'Wolverine' Deadpool. Perhaps to a lesser extent, but considering everything the MCU has done, the Mandarin SHOULD have been much, much more interesting, and he's just weak here.
I do have a tendency to go "Team Marvel" on people, but even I have to admit that 'Iron Man 3' is an exception. I don't think it's awful, but to this day, I consider it the worst movie that the MCU has cranked out. It's just far too busy, there's too much going on, and it's hard to keep track of everything that's going on. And, in some agreement with Loki's line from 'The Avengers', "I'm not terribly fond of what follows" either.
POST-CREDIT SCENE: It's revealed that Tony Stark has been chatting with Bruce Banner the whole time, thus giving way to the fact that the movie is narrated. It's not much, but it reveals that the two will be together again.
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