‘Iron Man 3’ Movie Review (and Bonus Interviews with Property Master & Set Coordinator)

Disclosure: Disney sponsored my travel, accommodations and activities during my stay in Los Angeles. Thoughts are my own. 

Last Monday, I told you about my amazing experience on the Red Carpet Hollywood Premiere for Iron Man 3, and now it is time for me to talk about the movie itself! Since the movie releases in theaters TODAY, May 3, 2013, I don’t want to give too much away regarding plots or important story lines, but I will share my thoughts on Iron Man 3, as well as some exclusive interviews with Russell Bobbitt (Property Master on Iron Man 3) and Christ Swift (Legacy Effects on Set Coordinator on Iron Man 3).

Iron Man 3 Poster

The Story

Marvel’s Iron Man 3 pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?

New Additions in Iron Man 3

There were several new additions in Iron Man 3 that made for an exciting ride! (I’ll do my best to not drop any spoilers)

My personal favorite addition was Pepper Potts’ (Gwyneth Paltrow) scene where she wears the Iron Man suit. I loved that sweet, quiet Pepper had the opportunity to suit up and get in the middle of a battle scene. Long overdue!

I also enjoyed the introduction of a new character, Harley Keener (Ty Simpkins), who is a kid genius that Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) meets when he needs him most. (though doesn’t realize it at the time) The relationship between Tony and Harley was comical, genuine and endearing. (stay tuned for an interview with Ty in the coming weeks)

Iron Man 3 movie includes a new villain, The Mandarin, who is one of the most unique superhero villains I have ever seen. I will just say that he isn’t what he seems. (vague enough for ya?)

Chest Arc Reactor (RT)

We had the chance to sit down with Russell Bobbitt, Property Master on the Iron Man 3 set, to chat about the Chest Arc Reactor, also known as the RT.

A lot of you will know the R.T. as the Arc Reactor.  If you have kids they all call it the Arc Reactor because in the toy stores it’s called the Arc Reactor.  It’s the light that’s on his [Tony Stark] chest, in the suits and both on his chest.  Since “Iron Man 1” we made all those to fit.  His [Robert Downey Jr.] body has changed over the years as many of ours do.  So we take a cast of his chest and we mold the piece right to his chest.”

“Every scene we glue the thing [RT] onto his chest with special effects makeup glue.  He has to shave his little chest area right there so it stays on.  And then by remote control I turn on and off the light for each take.  It runs on a little, basically, a cell phone battery.  And there’s ten minutes of life to that — that light that you’re seeing.  Ten minutes of running time.  And he certainly doesn’t appreciate it being torn off his chest to change the battery a whole lot.”

The Suit

We also had the opportunity to sit down the Legacy Effects on Set Coordinator Chris Swift to talk about the Iron Man suit.

“It took us about three months to work out the first prototype. [for Iron Man 1] That one had legs to it.  So, after the first movie, because Iron Man’s supposed to stand about six foot — six foot four to six foot six depending on who you ask.  Because they wanted it that tall, Robert doesn’t quite fit the bill.  He’s about ten inches too short.  So we can’t really stick Robert in a full suit with those legs.”

His feet end up right about where the ankle is, so we had stunt guys that were tall enough to fit into that suit that would utilize the legs.  But after that [after Iron Man 1] it didn’t make much sense.  They wanted to basically just make them all around Robert.  Then they would digitize the legs from waist down.”

The practicality of building a suit to make it work and functional isn’t taken in consideration. If you don’t understand what that’s all about and you don’t do it, uh, when you’re designing something.  So then we have to take the design that’s given to us that looks so great and go, ooh, wow, and how do we make this move?  You’ve got — you’ve got bars going right across where something would move.  So now we’ve gotta reengineer this and refigure it out how to make — how to maintain that look and still make it practical to where somebody can wear it and move around in it.”

We asked about Gwyneth Paltrow’s suit in the movie and found out something interesting!

“She is wearing Robert’s suit.  Believe it or not, Gwyneth fit the suit really well because Gwyneth’s actually quite tall. So, the suit actually was — I was really surprised that it fit on her. Funny story — everyone bet me that Gwyneth was not gonna get in the suit because, you know, it’s a big iron lung kinda suit. I was determined ‘cause every fan wanted to see Gwyneth in the suit.”

Appropriate Age for Viewing

Iron Man 3 is rated PG-13, and as a mother of a 13 year-old, I truly believe that 13 is a more than an appropriate age to view the movie. Like past Iron Man movies, there are some violence/fight scenes, but never crosses the line. Children younger than 13 years may be mature enough to view the movie, but parents should base that on an individual basis.

Iron Man 3 on releases in theaters on May 3, 2013 and is rated PG-13.

Disclosure: Disney sponsored my travel, accommodations and activities during my stay in Los Angeles. Thoughts are my own.