Just Shut Up And Listen To Robert Downey Jr. Say Awesome Shit: A Review of ‘Iron Man 3′

May 5th, 2013 // 40 Comments
Robert Downey Jr. Iron Man 3

“Only douches still use Bluetooth? Well, then I guess that makes me a douche. A douche all over YOUR FACE. (Laser to the dick. Laser to the dick, go!)”

Welcome to the first review of the summer movie season which thankfully hasn’t been marred by a horrible tragedy we learned absolutely nothing from even after a second one happened just a few months later where even more kids died because this is America, goddammit, and you have to make us learn shit with your cold dead hands. Except not really because we’ll just shoot them off. But enough politics, let’s talk about Robert Downey Jr. quipping his dick off in a robot suit. PEW PEW!

(Not even two paragraphs in, and I’ve already said “dick” twice. Roger would’ve wanted it this way. He would’ve wanted it this way.)

Quick Note: This review is going to be quasi-spoiler-ish. I’ll warn in BIG BOLD LETTERS if I’m going to drop something, but for the most part, there honestly aren’t very many huge reveals like say the end of The Dark Knight Rises when we all found out that, yes, this thing is going to end with Batman still being a giant pussy. Wonderful.

The Shit That Worked:

- Sweet Baby Jesus in a frijole, the dialog. Shane Black should write and direct every single conversation anyone of us has with anyone ever. I’m talking, I take my first sip of coffee in the morning, then I say something awesome like, “I call this my faggot mug,” except I’ve already transformed into a badass, yet hilarious, homosexual hitman who made a great quip about pussy earlier so it’s totally cool. (Five people got that joke, the rest should immediately buy Kiss Kiss Bang Bang then come back and watch Iron Man 3 again with fresh, new doe eyes that now realize what a delicious salt lick they’ve been given.)

- Pretty much the entire fucking movie. Save a few little foibles and logistical issues which happens this was like watching some of the great action flicks of the 80s and 90s with a shiny, new Iron Man shell and dialog that will pull back your ear’s clitoral hood and go, “I’m Inigo Montoya, you killed my father. Prepare to die.”

- Tony Stark barely wearing the suit. You’re probably hearing by now that Robert Downey Jr. is barely in the Iron Man suit the entire movie which is true, but trust me when I say, just shut up, it works. Although, apparently Photo Boy heard people bitching that there were was “too much talking” even though there was literally an action sequence every 10 minutes at most, but I can see people being a tad butthurt thinking the the trailer promised them NON-STOP IRON MAN ACTION. You get an incredible action movie written and directed by the guy who wrote Lethal Weapon, one of the goddamn boilerplates for every American action film over the past three decades. Fuck, at one point, there was a buddy cop scene with Don Cheadle. And if it seems like I’m really going to bat for this movie, you have no idea how glad I am it made up for Iron Man 2 which was a soul-less abortion that even Robert Downey Jr. openly hates being a part of. It was a slapped-together two hour trailer for The Avengers where at least Iron Man 3 set out to tell a self-contained story without dealing with the baggage of lining up The Avengers 2. Something we’re apparently going to see a lot of from the Marvel Phase Two movies. Character-focused, self-contained movies except for – and this is a theory – Guardians of The Galaxy which I’m predicting is where we’ll see (SPOILER ALERT: the new, possibly Extremis-powered END SPOILER) Tony Stark show up next for a cameo to manhandle his anxiety over outside forces head on if these things are using Marvel NOW as a roadmap. There was a lot of misdirection in the marketing of Iron Man 3, and I’m counting all the talk about Robert Downey Jr. being completely done with his contract but still probably popping up in just The Avengers 2 as part of that. And to answer your questions, yes, I do read a lot of comic books and spend a lot of time wondering if the first time I see a vagina it will talk with a British accent.

- “Westworld.” At the premiere, Joss Whedon said Shane Black did everything right and basically raised the bar for The Avengers 2. I guarantee it’s entirely because of this line and this line only.

The Shit That Kinda Worked:

- The fact that The Avengers happened. As much as the movie tries to dance around it, and Marvel saying as much as possible that the future movies will show Nick Fury, Captain America and Thor being busy dealing with their own shit, (Does the Winter Soldier shoot flaming uranium out of his penis? Because he’s going to need to at this point.) it’s still hard to watch everything unfold with The Mandarin and not wonder how the hell Nick Fury or at least that chick from How I Met Your Mother in tight pants hasn’t showed up to go, “You know, we should probably justify having an entire aircraft carrier that flies just for the hell of it by using our unlimited futuristic technology that we’ve already demonstrated has the capacity to harness energy from a deity to find one person. It’s the least we can do.”

- Tony’s anxiety attacks. This plot device quickly goes to somewhat believable because, okay, insanely smart people obsess over things to an unhealthy level – *takes out magnifying glass, makes sure Internet still has porn on it* – to comical to okay, we fucking get it, New York was super stressful, but all you’re doing is reminding us that The Avengers and/or S.H.I.E.L.D. really should’ve showed up by now and gone, “For real, an entire flying fucking boat. Let us help.”

- Iron Patriot basically being an upgrade of War Machine and not Norman Osborn going batshit crazy attacking Asgard with his Dark Avengers. SPOILER ALERT: For future movies, just have Rhodey shoot whoever works on his suit as soon as they’re finished. END SPOILER It will save everyone a whole lot of trouble even if it’s just some kid in Afghanistan who spit-shines it. Because, let’s be real for a minute, you really can’t trust those types, according to the Breitbart.com editor holding a gun to my head making me type this shit he’s looking- So what, liberal Hollywood, the guy in red, white and blue can’t be the one to stop the villain? Only the pre-marital fornicator/former drug addict can? Talk about your typical “Everyone gets a ribbon” attitude. What’s next Piers Morgan as Batman? Because here’s a newsflash: WE WON THAT WAR. And without France’s help! I don’t care what your history books said. (But for reference, let me know what edition you’re using so we can have Texas edit it. America!)

- Pepper Potts. Gwyneth Paltrow has always been surprisingly non-annoying and serviceable as Pepper. And even with the absolutely gratuitous, and predictable, scene during the final battle (Also, did Marvel learn nothing about earpieces from The Avengers Honest Trailer? Jesus Christ.), she still manages to make you forget she’s Gwyneth Paltrow. At least until we have to see her crazy toned abs which we get it, Gwyneth Paltrow, you starve yourself to look remarkably in shape. We all saw your ass at the premiere.

The Shit That Shat:

- The ending. For a movie that managed to perfectly dance around what could’ve been a sappy cliche, the ending just threw all of that down the toilet and took a huge saccharine piss on it. Granted, my first reaction was a certain event happened way too quickly that I went, “Wait, why didn’t they do that from the beginning?” the more I thought about it, we were probably not-too-subtly shown that SPOILER ALERT: Tony has Extremis armor now. END SPOILER. and will see the end result of that in The Avengers 2 if not Guardians of The Galaxy. That said, the shit was way too sappy, and putting the end credits kicker as the actual final scene would’ve been a much better coda. Because if you have a life and don’t sit through a list of 80 million Chinese SFX workers just to see an Internet meme, you completely miss a pitch-perfect ending to Robert Downey Jr.’s solo Iron Man movies.

- The possibility that Marvel will try and make an Iron Man reboot way too soon or try to put someone else in the suit for The Avengers 3. At this stage, I don’t think Marvel is as desperate as DC is right now, so they can probably wait a few years especially considering all Robert Downey Jr. has to do now is show up for a few cameos, quip like a motherfucker and make a ridiculous amount of bank on the back end. Because, really, after this one, there’s no need for another solo Iron Man movie in this particular Marvel universe. You’ve said what needed to be said, this one wore out its welcome with a few people, so just stick to using Iron Man in small doses. That said, MONEY.

Alright, once again, I’ve written way too much which I genuinely didn’t think I would do this time because I actually enjoyed the shit out of Iron Man 3 and figured that would leave me with nothing to bitch about. Granted, it has its few glaring plot holes and logic problems – For example, I’m almost positive I watched Guy Pearce lob Iron Man’s entire leg off, yet there it still was. – this was a rare treat if you appreciate/grew up with old school 80s/90s blockbusters like Lethal Weapon or The Long Kiss Goodnight and also happen to be a giant nerd. That said, I can see how people might be disappointed coming off The Avengers, but to me anyway, this one still flew just underneath it on the spectacle level, but absolutely blows it away on the dialog level. I don’t give a Thor’s dick that Tony barely wore the suit or didn’t talk to Thanos, just make fun of little kids without a dad. That’s really all I ask for in a superhero movie.

Mark IX out of X.

NEW: The Shit Where I Make Photo Boy Talk About Nerd Stuff

Generally how this works is Fish and I see the big summer flicks together, then eat burritos and pick apart every aspect of a fictional world because, what are we supposed to do, have sex with women? Ha! You guys. Anyway, most of the time — and this time is no different — we pretty much agree on everything except for the extreme comic book minutia which usually has to be explained to me very slowly and I still don’t care about it. I’m a little more of an effects nerd, so to append Fish’s review in that regard, I would say there isn’t a bad effects sequence in this movie. There are times during the end/oil ship/battle that get a bit too cluttered and quick cut, but ultimately everything looks tight. Even the look of Extremis, which could have eaten fat dicks, was done extremely well. I felt Iron Patriot was shoved into the movie for no real reason other than to create one huge set piece, but again, I have no clue about the comic book origins of this character, so try to keep your head from exploding about why he had to be there. Downey Jr. was, as always, the straight-up balls and anyone who tries to say, “Waa, but he wasn’t in the suit enough!” Stop it. First of all, He wore it to the bar. Second, he figured out how to control it remotely to – Oh I don’t know, maybe – improve his odds against DYING inside it. You know, like a brilliant genius would do. The dialog was great, the less Avengers stuff was great. GOOP was kept to a minimum, so nice job there. My only other quibble, which Fish didn’t address is the villain. Nothing about these evil plans is new, but after facing interplanetary domination, shit’s going to pale in comparison. I get that. Alright, this is entirely too much of the “I agree, I agree, but what about this?” type of talk that should have been enjoyed over pineapple salsa. YOU BASTARD I’LL NEVER FORGIVE YOU!! - Photo Boy

Photo: Marvel


  1. Jazzoo

    crappy product placement for google glasses much?

  2. JWM

    That didn’t even make sense. WTF are you talking about moron?

  3. Jeff

    I don’t get your point/remember from the movie that we were shown anything about tony now having the extremis armor. Care to explain?

    • *SPOILERS*

      In the way-too-rushed ending sequence, Tony says he used what he learned from fixing Pepper to remove his shrapnel and remove the Arc Reactor. This hints that he perfected Extremis which he already figured out most of to begin with while drunk in Switzerland in 1999. That said, he could just as easily not have Extremis and the literal ending to the movie was, “Welp, don’t need this anymore. I litter in your face, ocean!”

  4. Jam

    The leg issue: I watched it again today, and if you watch closely, they show his leg and arm come out of the suit and just the suit itself get ripped in pieces.

  5. Jeff

    Also, my theory/idea for how Marvel will reboot Iron Man once RDJ decides he’s too rich to keep playing Tony Stark: Tony becomes the new director of SHIELD (he does so in the comics) so RDJ only has to make a cameo every now and then and make Rhodey or some new character become Iron Man full time.

  6. Seb

    Other shit that shat (and shat HARD):

    * Sweet-FA of Iron Man solo scenes vs bad guys. The end battle was a mess of iron-men reminiscent of Transformers:Revenge of the Fallen. In addition (*spoiler*) the suit(s) was/were being slutted-out to Pepper, the President…FFS.

    I just wanted Iron Man to save the day. By himself. And when I say Iron Man, I don’t mean Tony Stark with parts of the suit on (ooh lets see what he can do with just the arm part…). Think of his scenes in the Avengers. They were sick, and far less disjointed.

    * The Mandarin. Seriously? His identity? Will the real Mandarin please stand up? Kill me now.

    • **Spoilers**

      Honestly, I’m not sure why people get all up in arms when the main character doesn’t do absolutely everything. While the Big Bad coming back from the MK 42 explosion was superfluous in and of itself, the fact that Pepper stopped him was fine, just as Rhodes saving the president was fine.

      I do agree that the final battle was a Transformers-esque mess, I’ve never been a huge fan of frantic CGI saturated fight scenes. They can be done well, but most of the time they seem to end up being more like this.

      I was actually OK with the Mandarin. It was somewhat clever to get around the fact that the Mandarin is a racist caricature by making him a literal racist caricature. A lot of people seem to be suffering gnerd-rage over this one point, perhaps I didn’t care enough about the original character. I will say this, though, I was vaguely disappointed that Raza wasn’t involved. You know…that guy that hates Stark…who is the only bad guy to survive the first film…who was the leader of the Ten Rings…y’know…jez sayin’

  7. smoozy

    who is the guy behind the superficial? i iz wantz to know! how can you be so witty and knowledgeable about cinema and yet you so eloquently shit on Kardashians and the like? I’ve been reading TS for 8 years now and i demand to know. pleazez

    • Pretty sure it’s that diabolical Kris Jenner, no?

    • Hung Well

      My theory: The Fish is actually 2 people pretending to be one. Kinda like Christian Bale’s character in The Prestige. One person writes about movie nerd-dom, the other person writes about pop culture reality-show trash. It’s all smoke and mirrors, nothing is as it seems. Just like the Prestige. Photoboy is actually the REAL boss who calls the shots. Photoboy is Guy Pearce’s Killian to The Fish’s Ben Kingsley/Mandarin.

  8. I loved every minute of this movie. I was never expecting this movie to match or surpass The Avengers (how is that even possible). I know people are bitching about the way they used The Mandarin, but it worked well.

    The dialogue was perfect, the action was excellent, I wanted to nail Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce was awesome, Ben Kingsley was terrifying and hilarious, and RDJ gets better everytime I see him. What more can you ask for in a movie? I’m going to see it again.

  9. Rob

    Thought it was awesome! But what “hint” showed you *spoiler* that Tony has Extremis now? *spoiler*

    I saw them take out his repulsor/heart reactor/shrapnel, but missed whatever you saw entirely…

  10. it'smeain't

    So, as usual, the writer, though witty, can’t think his way out of a paper bag. He excoriates gun use, then gives props to a movie that does nothing but glorify guns and gun violence. Asshole.

    • If billion dollar flying suits of armor with lasers are outlawed, only outlaws will have billion dollar flying suits of armor with lasers.

    • Perhaps the writer is able to distinguish comic books from reality.

      • it'smeain't

        But…but…but….the anti gun ass mouths continually point to violence in movies as a problem. That means people can’t distinguish comic books from reality. So this ass mouth is trying to make a counter argument, OR, he’s another typical ass mouthed liberal who wants to pick and choose where things apply to further his political agenda. In other words, an ass mouth. Liberals are pathetically fucking stupid.

      • I’m pretty sure the anti-gun crowd points to GUNS as the problem. The scapegoating of comics, movies, etc. tend to come from the folks on the pro-gun side of things.

      • Yeah, the people most vocally bitching about violence in the media are the NRA…of course they only seem to do it when people have the audacity to question our country’s piss-poor ways of dealing with gun violence.

      • Bryan

        Liberals are often pretty smart. I say this as a proud lefty.

        Fish’s problem is that he isn’t so much a liberal as he is a member of Team Liberal. He doesn’t have to actually know anything about what he’s saying, as long as his opinion fits The Right Opinion of his teammates. You can tell from this and his other asinine gun control comments that he is utterly clueless and misinformed on the topic of guns. But it’s okay, CNN and NPR will pat him on the head for saying The Right Thing.

        The worst thing about the gun debate is the lack of left wing voices in support of gun ownership, and the idiotic use of “liberal” as a slur by the NRA and right-wing gun supporters, because it just further promotes the tribalism that Fish has so clearly fallen victim to.

  11. My only real complaint was that at this point in the movies, Tony isn’t fighting alone in the world. He didn’t even get a voicemail from Nick Fury asking if Shield could help. (Cap can’t figure out cell phones so he gets a pass.)

    I didn’t expect it to turn into Avengers 1.5, but at least acknowledge why all your super buddies aren’t helping you out after your home was blown up by super-terrorists. (I know everyone thought he was dead but I don’t think Shield ever really loses track of anyone and the Hulk is one of Tony’s employees.)

  12. Cock Dr

    Blogger may be enthralled by GOOP’s toned abs but I suspect that blogger’s gender is male, which makes them weak to such ploys.

  13. Bringbackbabalu

    Terrible fucking movie. I couldn’t even sit through this garbage. NOTHING WORKED!
    Don’t waste a second on this garbage.

  14. Deacon Jones

    Didnt watch it, but everyone I know that saw it hated it.

    Fix the damn thumbs up buttons

  15. Bringbackbabalu

    It just doesn’t work.
    The whole Mandarin angle turned out to be a complete joke. The action was terrible..the dialogue was putrid…

    Did Disney pay you to write this shit?

    Because the reviews are all so good, but everyone that sees the movie realizes its the biggest utter piece of shit to come from Hollywood in a while.

    I get it, Gweneth is smoking hot…I agree with that.

    • God damn it I agree. I did enjoy some of the quips, however, it was just too much… I get that he’s a genius billionaire playboy with impenetrable armor and unlimited resources so he can literally do whatever/say whatever he damned well pleases. BUT – with all of that intellect, don’t you think his douche alarm would go off at some point?!?! I mean, c’mon! Like when I go to wear a v-neck shirt – sure, it’s comfy and accentuates my upper body – but what a douche I would be if I actually followed through with the purchase. You know? Or when I find myself putting on excessive friendship bracelets (more than zero), the douche alarm sounds IMMEDIATELY. To me, it just seemed like they let RDJ ad lib his balls off and figured everyone would just eagerly bend over and take his metaphorical doucherod until they squirted all over the theater seats. Maybe I’m just not a big enough nerd… But I was thoroughly disappointed. And yes, I too would fuck the everloving shit out of GOOP.

  16. beeboo

    I am a woman reading this and I seriously need to get laid.

  17. Alex

    I thought for sure the “real” bad guy was going to be Rollo Tomasi.

    Loved most of the movie despite the obvious set-ups like Pepper’s power at the end. (And what about Aldrich Killian’s silly transformation from geeky science guy into suave, james bond looking guy?)

  18. Fix the god damned thumbs, man.

  19. Rick

    First paragraph you said Batman was a pussy..how was flying with a nuclear bomb about to explode equal a pussy? Cant even read the rest of the review because of that..Thanks noob Simply put better than IM2 but not as good as IM1 but go see it and make up your own mind

    • The last Batman movie opens with Bruce pouting for 8 years because the bad guys killed his girlfriend. We have seen Batman’s reaction to loved ones being killed and none of it ever involves him growing beards and hiding from the world. It typically involves him becoming more driven and punishing crime with extra hard ass kicking. So yes, in that last Nolan flick, Batman was a pussy.

    • Not to mention Nolan’s Batman now spent maybe a year, year and a half total fighting crime – and that’s including the events in TDKR which happened after an EIGHT FUCKING YEAR BREAK – only to quit again to sit around sipping espressos with Catwoman. Not exactly the relentless, never-ending one man war on crime you expect Batman to be, but on a realistic level, I’d probably quit and have sex with Anne Hathaway, too. At any moment.

      “Batman, you gotta fly this bomb to safe-”
      “Go ‘way, bangin’.”

  20. Swift

    You liked this better than Star Trek? You have got to be kidding me. And Shane Black: Hey buddy, there are other times of the year than Christmas, ya filthy animal.

  21. Just watched this the other day and I enjoyed it but Tony Stark actually comes across as an asshole, and the suit not working – the mark 42 – was just ridiculously bad. But overall I liked it.

  22. Anonymous

    Iron Man 3 sucked ass. The suits were shit and fell apart every time someone gave them a dirty look. The Mandarin bait-and-switch made me want to punch Shane Black’s mother. The bad guys looked like they were invented by an ADHD 12yo boy.

    “And…and…the bad guys should shoot FIRE out their BUTTS!”
    “I know the kid said butts, but shoot it out the mouth.”

    There were fucking huge plot holes. Iron Man being recharged by a fucking car battery? Anxiety ridden Tony attacking the Mandarin hide out with taser gloves? War Machine being held back by…fucking chains? Tony can remove the arc reactor and metal from his chest, negating the entire fucking plot for Iron Man 2?

    Shane Black took a steaming piss all over the franchise. Fuck this movie.

  23. Anonymous

    Almost forgot: Pepper seemingly dies and Tony’s reaction isn’t even to the level of losing a puppy.

    Then Tony fails to defeat the bad guy with…like…a dozen suits being torn to shit.

    But then Pepper returns, rips apart a suit, and kills the bad guy with…WAIT FOR IT…one well placed repulsor shot from the arm of a broken Iron Man suit.


    On top of that we see Pepper gain powers that would place her in the top tier of the Avengers, but NO CONSEQUENCES. We can’t radically change the character like that except as a deus ex machina to resolve a plot written by such idiot writers that they couldn’t get out of the corner they shat themselves into.

    “Hey…maybe the fact that we can’t find a logical way to end this means it’s a shitty plot and needs to be rewritten?”
    “What, are you crazy? It’s a great plot! Just…um…have Pepper kill everyone, and then we’ll have Tony mention in passing that he got rid of her powers for her.”
    “Of course, why didn’t I think of that?”

    And Tony, who is scared to death that he can’t defend Pepper, destroys all of his suits because he thinks that will make him a better boyfriend.


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