Thanks to Disney/Marvel, I had the unique privilege of attending the Tribeca Film Festival Red Carpet closing night screening of Marvel’s “The Avengers” in New York last summer. I walked out of that theatre thoroughly impressed by the special effects and blown away by the genius of Joss Whedon. They completely nailed it and I think we were all on the special high you get after watching an awesome movie (and seeing Robert Downey Jr address the audience right before the show!).
I’ve been counting down the days until Robert Downey Jr. and Iron Man returned to the big screen. Last week, my wait was over as I strolled down the red carpet of the Iron Man 3 premiere. This event was so huge that Marvel took over not only the El Capitan Theatre (as is the norm for Disney premieres), but ALSO the famous TCL Chinese Theater across the street!
When Tony Stark first appears he looks more like Elvis than the playboy, genius and billionaire we last saw in New York. Don’t worry – he hasn’t undergone a makeover, the look only lasts through a brief flashback that gives the back story on biotech engineer Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) and former flame, scientist Dr. Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall).
Current day, Tony and Pepper are living together in Malibu, as normally as a superhero and his girlfriend can live. Pepper is a powerhouse running Stark Industries as President/CEO, while Tony “tinkers” in his workshop with new technology, and some of the baddest Iron Man armor to date. (FYI – he is now on Mark 42 of the armor suit). Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) has returned to Stark Industries as the eyes and ears of Stark, as head of security. As usual, Happy gives some great comic relief.
While Tony might have the Iron Man arsenal and technology to battle the world’s next threat, psychologically as he tells Pepper, he’s a “hot mess”. Still mentally reeling from New York, trying to comprehend worm holes and aliens, Tony isn’t sleeping. He is also experiencing severe panic attacks at the mere mention of New York.
Busy trying to get his life in order, he’s taking a backseat to doing the physical work of Iron Man. Rhodey (Don Cheadle) takes on the role as Iron Patriot (or War Machine, as Stark prefers) and he and the President sort out the chaos from the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley). But when pushed, Tony issues a challenge to the enemy, which results in a situation that puts everything he loves in danger.
His home destroyed, and separated from his suits, the “man in the can” is just a man.
Director Shane Black and crew did a great job of showing the human side of Iron Man, giving another dimension to the action packed film. I LOVED Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin. His character is so much different than what you expect and he really owned the part.
You see a much different side of Tony Stark in this film. He’s still throwing jokes and thinking on his feet, as fast as he deflects the bad guys, but he does it while vulnerable. There’s no army to come rescue him, just a smart kid (Ty Simpkins) with a potato gun, limited edition Dora watch, and his own ingenuity. I found myself laughing out loud and excitedly cheering throughout. And I’m pretty sure when it gets to the part where they say “It’s Christmas, let’s take them to church!”, you’ll be clapping wildly as well.
I have been saying this one liner to everyone I talk to Iron Man 3 about – “It’s hands down, the BEST Marvel film to date. You don’t want to miss this in the theaters!” With this film, Marvel continues to push the bar higher and then clear it by a mile. I can’t wait for Avengers 2 and the next Captain America film.
Disclaimer: Disney/Marvel provided me with an all expense paid press trip to cover this event and share my experience with you. All opinions are my own. Images have been provided by and are copyright Disney/Marvel.