Tony Stark has been, up to this point, perhaps the only Marvel hero seemingly immune to angst. Spiderman lost Uncle Ben and has been forced to contend with the whole “great power” bit, the X-Men are persecuted by humankind, and the rest of the Avengers consists of, in part, a man out of time after spending sixty years frozen in ice, a member of the Nine Realm’s most combative nuclear family, and a guy who’s just plain nuclear. Tony himself was blown up and tortured by insurgents, but just kept on going with the same reckless charm and bravado. Now it seems that he is headed down the same tormented path…
For those of you who, for whatever reason, can’t see it, or have chosen not to watch it, but still want to know what happens, here’s our rather stream-of-imagery breakdown. Those who don’t want to know, stop reading now.
“My name is Tony Stark. I build neat stuff, I got a great girl, and occasionally save the world. So why can’t I sleep?”
So begins Tony’s agonized voice-over: working on the suit, placing a necklace on Pepper, sat in bed looking miserable. Meanwhile, as he’s going through his crisis of confidence, the President has commissioned the Iron Patriot – Tony’s best friend, Lt. James Rhodes – to bring down The Mandarin, a mysterious terrorist who’s wracking up civilian casualties and blowing up Hollywood’s iconic Chinese Theater. The hooded villain himself intones, in a voice vaguely reminiscent of Heath Ledger‘s Joker, “They’ll neverrrr see me coming…”
A plane is depressurized; a memorial beneath human-shaped scorch marks left in a wrecked building. The media questions “Where is Tony Stark?”, as we catch a brief glimpse of a suited Aidan Killich. Tony vows to protect Pepper, the one thing he can’t live without – a new model Iron Man suit descends beneath the floor. But it’s already too late: attack helicopters approach Tony’s Miami pad as The Mandarin tells Tony that “today is the first day… of what’s left of your life.” A glimpse of The Mandarin, bearded and robed, waiting amidst the shadows.
The Iron Man suits explode in their cases one by one. Tony and Pepper are propelled backwards. We stay on Pepper, slow-motion, hit by the force of the blast. Tony suits up as the building around them falls from the cliff-top into the ocean. Tony’s suit disassembles around him as he lays on his back in the snow. The Mandarin offers him a choice: “Do you want an empty life or a meaningful death”. Pepper holds the Iron Man helmet to her face, seemingly in mourning. The Mandarin spreads his arms demonstratively.
A series of people, presumably tests subjects, are strapped into harnesses – Pepper may be among them (the Extremis virus?). Tony undergoes an operation. Tony appears before the press; angrily, he promises, “no politics… just good old-fashioned revenge.” Explosions. Jumping. Tony throws himself on the Iron Patriot above the Golden Gate Bridge. Later, to a suited Rhodey, “We do need backup.” “That’s your department”. Cue Iron Man and the Iron Patriot forming a floating human shield and joined by Tony’s boys: one suit after another of (presumably) unmanned Iron Man armor. One that looks like a two-legged tank, which looks astonishingly like the Hulk Buster armor, smashes through a shipping container towards us.
Bang. Done. Trailer over.
Whatever other publicity may be released before Iron Man 3‘s April 26th release date, it’s difficult to imagine anything topping that. It showcases director/screenwriter Shane Black‘s eye for action and ear for dialogue, Robert Downey Jr‘s besieged Stark, Sir Ben Kingsley‘s calculating Mandarin, and the ever-reliable Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle – in short, there are a million reasons to feel excited and hopeful about Marvel’s newest superhero release.
However, if you’re desperate for some more immediate coverage, IGN has seen half an hour of the film between the 20 and 50 minute mark, and are sharing their thoughts – spoilers aplenty at the link, so be warned.
In any case, 50 days to go and counting…