Iron Man 3 (*****)
Tony is broken
The Mandarin wreaks havoc
Tony is Tony
POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD. I can't go too in-depth with this review without giving things away—which is pretty surprising considering the crazy amount of footage we saw prior to the movie's release—but I can say: Marvel does it right yet again. Iron Man 3 is on par with (if not better) than the original. SUCH a good movie.
At the beginning of the film, Tony is broken. He's experiencing post-traumatic stress thanks to the events of The Avengers. Dealing with aliens, gods and the whole nearly dying in the cold of space has turned Tony's world upside down. He's still as enigmatic as ever, but there's a fragility underlying the bravado. I think it helps to drive home that Tony Stark is just a man in a suit, not a superhero with powers. He's a brilliant, rich, handsome man, yes, but he's a man nonetheless. Robert Downey Jr. does a superb job of bringing this Tony to life (natch).
Tony is soon drawn into a battle with super villain The Mandarin and, in his quest to find the man and destroy him, finds out that nothing is what it seems. Sir Ben Kingsley is a wonderful addition to the cast as The Mandarin. I won't go into detail, but the role surprised me, and through it, Kingsley proves to me that he's an actor worthy of his Oscar. (It also made me think that he'd be a really interesting dinner guest.)
The dynamic between Tony and a kid he meets ... in a place ... in the middle of his quest for vengeance, is one of my favorite things about the movie. He and the kid more on the same level, with the same kind of thoughts and actions, than anyone else in the film. Tony really is just a giant man child at times, and his interactions with a kid who's a little ahead of his years are absolutely perfect.
Eventually, the Tony we've come to know and love returns. Well, sort of. Some things happen at the very end of the movie that confuse me as to the future of Iron Man, but I suppose I'll just have to wait (impatiently) and see what's to come.
The show is somewhat stolen, however, by the myriad of Iron Man suits. (Tony has obviously been using his whole not sleeping thing pretty wisely.) They each have a bit of personality, and the way they help out the team makes for a very impressive action sequence.
Also—Be sure to stick around for the post credits scene. It's amazing, because of reasons. (Do not click on that link unless you want it spoiled for you. Thanks for sharing it with me, TGG!)
P.S.—Don't forget to enter the giveaway for the Fandom Plush! It closes tonight at midnight.