Iron Man Three (or Iron Man 3) is the seventh film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and the first movie in the franchise's "Phase 2" series. Like many of director Shane Black's movies (such as Lethal Weapon and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), it takes place around Christmas time.
This movie revolves around Tony Stark's experiences around his previous Christmastime life to Dr. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo; uncredited) in a therapy session, which will end by the post-credit scene.
At a New Year's Eve party in Bern, Switzerland, 1999, Tony Stark meets scientist Maya Hansen, the inventor of experimental regenerative treatment Extremis that allows recovery from crippling injuries. Disabled scientist Aldrich Killian offers them a place in his company Advanced Idea Mechanics, but Stark rejects him. In California, 2013, Stark is having panic attacks due to his experiences during the alien invasion and subsequent Battle of New York (as seen in The Avengers). Restless, he has built dozens of Iron Man suits, creating friction with his girlfriend Pepper Potts.
A string of bombings by a terrorist known as the Mandarin has left intelligence agencies bewildered by a lack of forensic evidence. Stark's security chief Happy Hogan is badly injured in a Mandarin attack near Grauman's Chinese Theatre, prompting Stark to issue a televised threat to the Mandarin, who responds by destroying Stark's home with gunship helicopters. Hansen, who came to warn Stark, survives the attack with Potts. Stark escapes in an Iron Man suit, which his artificial intelligence J.A.R.V.I.S. pilots to rural Tennessee, following a flight plan from Stark's investigation into the Mandarin. Stark's experimental armor, known as the Mark 42, lacks sufficient power to return to California, and the world believes him dead.
Teaming with Harley, a precocious 10-year-old boy, Stark investigates the remains of a local explosion bearing the hallmarks of a Mandarin attack. He discovers the "bombings" were triggered by soldiers subjected to Extremis whose bodies explosively rejected the treatment. These explosions were falsely attributed to a terrorist plot in order to cover up Extremis's flaws. Stark witnesses Extremis firsthand when Mandarin agents Ellen Brandt and Eric Savin attack him. Meanwhile, Killian resurfaces and kidnaps Potts and Hansen. American intelligence agencies continue to search for the Mandarin's location, with James Rhodes—the former War Machine, now re-branded as the Iron Patriot—lured into a trap to steal his Iron Man-like armor.
With Harley's help, Stark traces the Mandarin to Miami and infiltrates his headquarters using improvised weapons. Inside he discovers the Mandarin is actually an English actor named Trevor Slattery, who is oblivious to the actions carried out in his image. Killian, who appropriated Hansen's Extremis research as a cure for his own disability and expanded the program to include injured war veterans, reveals he is the real Mandarin behind Slattery's cover. After capturing Stark, Killian reveals that he has subjected Potts to Extremis in the hope that Stark will help fix Extremis's flaws while trying to save her. Killian kills Hansen when she tries to stop him.
Stark escapes and reunites with Rhodes, discovering that Killian intends to attack President Ellis aboard Air Force One, using Rhodes armor as a trojan horse. Stark saves some surviving passengers and crew but cannot stop Killian from abducting Ellis and destroying Air Force One. They trace Killian to an impounded damaged oil tanker where Killian intends to kill Ellis on live television. The Vice President will become a puppet leader, following Killian's orders in exchange for Extremis to cure his young daughter's disability. On the platform, Stark goes to save Potts, as Rhodes saves the president. Stark summons his Iron Man suits, controlled remotely by J.A.R.V.I.S., to provide air support. Rhodes secures the president and takes him to safety, while Stark discovers Potts has survived the Extremis procedure. However, before he can save her, a rig collapses around them and she falls to her apparent death. Stark confronts Killian and traps him in an Iron Man suit that self-destructs, but fails to kill him. Potts, whose Extremis powers allowed her to survive her fall, intervenes and kills Killian.
Stark orders J.A.R.V.I.S. to remotely destroy each Iron Man suit as a sign of his devotion to Potts, while the Vice President and Slattery are arrested. With Stark's help, Potts' Extremis effects are stabilized, and Stark promises to leave his life as Iron Man behind, undergoing surgery to remove the shrapnel embedded near his heart and throwing his obsolete chest arc reactor into the sea. He muses that, even without the technology, he will always be Iron Man.
|Robert Downey Jr.||Tony Stark|
|Gwyneth Paltrow||Pepper Potts|
|Don Cheadle||Colonel James Rhodes|
|Guy Pearce||Aldrich Killian|
|Rebecca Hall||Maya Hansen|
|Jon Favreau||Happy Hogan|
|Ben Kingsley||Trevor Slattery|
|James Badge Dale||Savin|
|Paul Bettany (voice)||JARVIS|
|William Sadler||President Ellis|
|Dale Dickey||Mrs. Davis|
|Ty Simpkins||Harley Keener|
|Miguel Ferrer||Vice President Rodriguez|
|Wang Xueqi||Doctor Wu|
|Shaun Toub||Ho Yinsen|
|Matthew Sterling Nye||Annoying Conference Guy|
|Bronte D'Esposito||Neptune's Net Girl|
|Noah Visconti||Neptune's Net Boy|
|Brooke Jaye Taylor||Happy's Nurse|
|Kim Dean||Hospital News Reporter|
|Glenn Foster||Pushy Tabloid Reporter|
|Tom Clark||Reporter at House Wreckage|
|Brian Schaeffer||Mandarin Studio Technician|
|John Eddins||Mandarin Look-Out|
|Rockey Dickey Jr.|| Rose Hill Deputy|
|Drew Michael Hershner||Rose Hill Christmas Tree Shopper|