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Why 'Iron Man 3' Is a Crucial Film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Dean is a new online writer. He usually writes movie and music reviews.

'Iron Man 3'


'Iron Man 3' kicked off the second phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Infinity Saga in 2013. The film was by no means a box office flop. In its opening weekend, the film grossed over $170 million. Its total gross in the U.S. was over $400 million and 1 billion worldwide. Needless to say, the film made a whole lot of money.

Though when a conversation arises about the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, I am always disappointed that 'Iron Man 3' is not praised more than it is.

'Iron Man 3' takes a different approach than its predecessors by throwing Tony Stark a curveball and taking him to Tennessee while he struggles with severe anxiety attacks.

With all that being said, let's get into why 'Iron Man 3' is a crucial film in the MCU and how it contributes to Tony Stark's character arc.

Even Heroes Fall


The thing I love most about this film is that Tony Stark loses everything. He suffers from PTSD and has reoccurring panic attacks after the events of 'The Avengers'. Before, Tony was just a billionaire in a high-tech suit who fought bad guys around New York. Then Loki showed up in 'The Avengers' and sent an army of aliens to Earth. Tony realized that Gods exist and there are threats outside of Earth that he may not be able to prevent.

Tony stops sleeping. He spends all of his time building new suits. The man is on the verge of a breakdown when the Mandarin shows up and pisses Tony off. The Mandarin destroys Tony's house and Tony accidentally flies the Iron Man suit to Tennessee where the Iron Man suit is severely damaged.

So, Tony Stark is homeless, without a working suit, and thousands of miles from home. Even heroes fall. Life is not always perfect for these heroes and they even go through hard times. The hard times they go through are not similar to ours because we do not threaten a terrorist which leads to your house blowing up. But that is neither here nor there.

Tony Stark has his demons. He is just a man in a suit battling with Gods and super soldiers against aliens. This is going to have an effect on a person.

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If You're Nothing Without This Suit, Then You Shouldn't Have It


A line spoke to Peter Parker in 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' by Tony Stark, "If you're nothing without this suit, then you shouldn't have it."

At first, this line may come off as hypocritical. I mean, Tony always has his suit when a force threatens his safety. However, 'Iron Man 3' shows that Tony is more than just his suit.

Throughout the second act of the film, Tony acts as an investigator trying to solve the mysterious bombings' mystery. We see Tony as the true heroic man outside of his suit of armour when he breaks into the Mandoran's hideout. He uses gadgets that he builds with items that he buys from a hardware store. He has to think smart and move around as if he was a trained assassin.

Tony Stark proves that he is more than his suit. He proves that he isn't nothing without the suit. Which is why he deserves to wear it so much. The suit does not define him, it is only a branch of the man he is.

What Does This Mean In The Bigger Picture?


In 'Edngame', Tony Stark stood bravely in front of Thanos with the Infinity Gauntlet on his hand, snapping his fingers and saving the universe from total annihilation. A man who started his heroic journey in a cave ended his life for the sake of humanity.

It is prominent throughout 'Iron Man 3' that Tony will never be able to rest while there are threats out there. He is obsessed with protecting the Earth. There is evidence of this even in 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'. Tony Stark has such an incredible character arc: from douche bag billionaire to savior of the universe.

I know people have their problems with 'Iron Man 3'. Some did not like the Mandarin twist in the film. I will also admit that the real bad guy in the film, played by Guy Pearce, is a by-the-book villain with poor motivation. 'Iron Man 3' is not a perfect film and it is not the best film in the franchise. However, I do not think it receives the recognition that it deserves. I love the character study on a superhero having trouble finding his place in the world now that there are better heroes than him with bigger threats than he ever imagined.

It's also got the witty humor and fun dialogue that is prominent in Shane Black, the director, films. The ending action scene is incredible. Tony jumps from suit to suit to defeat Pearce's bad guy character. Outside of the fact that it is a great addition to Tony's character arc, it is also just a damn good action movie.

Ton Stark is Iron Man. This is the perfect film to define who Tony is in the world. It is a different take on Iron Man. It is a crucial film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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