I'm hardly the young male demographic that comic book movies cater to, but I've watched them all: Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America, The Hulk, The Avengers. Iron Man 3 was tops on my must-watch list, but thanks to a well-timed press screening, I got to watch it a few days early and share my thoughts:
Iron Man 3 is set a short time after the events in The Avengers, and in the beginning we find Tony Stark still trying to process the fact that gods, aliens and monsters are actually exist. He's suffering from anxiety attacks and insomnia, and he's trying to deal with it by tinkering with Iron Man suit prototype after prototype after prototype -- at the expense of quality time with his girlfriend, Pepper Potts. And no, Tony, a giant 20-foot stuffed rabbit won't make up for that.
The action heats up (literally) when a terrorist organization bombs Grauman's Chinese Theatre, and Stark's friend Happy Hogan is caught in the blast. Stark swears revenge, and the terrorists attack his home.....
....okay, that's all the plot I'm giving away. If you want more, you'll have to watch to watch the trailer below, or better yet, watch the movie.
One of the things I like best about Iron Man 3 is that Stark does a lot of his heroics without his Iron Man Suit. I really liked seeing him forgo his hi-tech equipment and tinkering with stuff you can buy at a regular hardware store. It's kind of a metaphor for Tony Stark's own personal journey: in this movie, he's reconnecting with who he is and what's important to him.
For those of you with kids, note that it does have some pretty violent scenes -- aside from the usual bullet and missile carnage you'll also see people exploding and people falling out of planes. You'll also see people with glowing eyes, people with glowing skin and people seemingly rising from the dead. You know your kids best, so use your judgement on whether they can handle it.
My kids (age 9, 9 and 12) are actually pretty sensitive and emotionally vulnerable at movies, but they are dying to watch it, and I'm going to let them. It helps that they've seen Iron Man 1 and 2, and The Avengers, so they know the level of violence to expect (although you don't need to see any of these to enjoy Iron Man 3). It also helps that the action scenes are too amazing to be true -- there's no way a real person could survive what Tony Stark does. The crazy action scenes reinforce the fact that it's just a movie, and even when things are at their worst, my kids can take refuge in knowing that good will win out in the end.
If you plan to watch Iron Man 3...
a) Buy extra popcorn because you might spill some when you jump in your seat or shake with laughter.
b) Watch for cameos from Stan Lee, Bill Maher and Mark Ruffalo
c) Do not leave the theater until after the last credit has rolled, or you'll miss and extra scene and a special message from Iron Man!
If you don't plan to watch Iron Man 3...
d) WATCH IRON MAN 3, then follow steps (a), (b) and (c)
Disclosure: I was invited to an advanced press screening of Iron Man 3. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.