Breaking Down The IRON MAN 3 Trailer

Even a cursory glance at the Iron Man 3 trailer released today shows that things are not going to be good for Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) this time around. But a deeper look reveals that many of the possible story elements are indeed happening in the threequel. Let’s dig in –

The trailer opens with the image of falling snow, reminiscent of the Christmas-time setting of writer/director Shane Black’s last collaboration with Downey, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Also note that the ARC reactor on Tony’s armor’s chest piece seems to be blinking on and off.

This is the same shot of Stark confronting the media that we saw in the trailer teaser over the weekend. I have a feeling that this takes place after the big set piece at the end of the trailer.

“Nothing’s been the same since New York.” An obvious reference to The Avengers. At once an indication that Tony might be suffering from some sort of post-traumatic stress and also a nod to the changes in regard to his relationship with his armor we are about to see.

“I’ve experienced things and then they were over.” Here we see Tony gaining some telepathic control over his armor, one of the elements from the Extremis storyline that have been appropriated for the film. This opens a number of questions about what we see throughout the rest of the trailer.

“I can’t sleep.” Tony’s bedroom. Note the armor pieces scattered on the floor in the foreground. I have a feeling that this is actually after another moment in the trailer coming up.

Don Cheadle is back as Col. James “Rhodey” Rhodes and here he looks a bit concerned.

“And when I do, I have nightmares.” Am I the only one who looks at the silhouettes on the wall and am reminded of similar silhouettes left behind by the atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki? I would hazard a guess that they may be victims of the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley).

Some helicopters whose mission will become apparent in the last part of the trailer.

“Honestly, there are a hundred people who want to kill me.” Is Guy Pierce as geneticist Aldrich Killian one of them?

“I hope I can protect the one thing that I can’t live without.” A rather naked, emotional statement from Tony to Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow).

Iron Man armor seemingly attacking Pepper while she and Tony are asleep. But is there someone in the armor or is it operating on its own somehow? Now that we have seen that Tony can animate his armor by apparent telepathy, perhaps this is a side-effect of the nightmares Tony mentioned he is having.

The destruction of Tony’s past Iron Man armors. The beginning of the Mandarin’s systematic destruction of Tony’s ability to fight back.

A minor reveal of the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley). And what’s with the Captain America shield tattoo on the back of his neck? A joke that Marvel placed in there for the trailer? Perhaps it has some connection to Tony’s father, Howard, who created the shield for Cap back during World War 2?

“Ladies…” In this case Rebecca Hall as scientist Maya Hansen, who co-designed the Extremis virus in the comics.

It looks like Rhodey’s armor has gotten a paint job, probably at the request of the military’s PR department. It looks similar to the livery of another Iron Man comics character Iron Patriot. Perhaps he’s gotten a name change from War Machine to Iron Patriot in the name of PR friendliness as well?

“Children… Sheep.” The Mandarin certainly has a inflated opinion of himself in regards to other people, doesn’t he?

I know, I know. After we saw Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) drive off with Tony at the end of The Avengers as if they are best buds, there has been speculation as to whether he will show up in the Iron Man 3. Well, despite the fact that this barefoot leg with torn pants does resemble the look we generally see Banner in post-Hulk transformation, I don’t see this as an indication that he is.

While things are looking bad for Tony in this trailer, they aren’t looking much better for his chauffeur/body guard Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau).

So maybe Killian doesn’t want to kill Tony, he just wants to steal his girl.

Tony getting ready to undergo an operation. But the question is are they going to be putting something into his body or taking something out?

This next sequence revolves around an attack on a jetliner (rumored to be Air Force One). We see that it is obviously someone in an Iron Man armor ripping a hole in the side of the plane through which some passengers are sucked out. However, since we see Iron Man show up and rescue the falling people, I have to think that the armored arm we see here could be under someone else’s control.

Probably not intentional, but this shot of Iron Man grabbing someone in mid-air echoes how the Hulk caught a falling Iron Man towards the end of The Avengers.

Pepper’s turn to not have things go well, probably as a captive of the Mandarin.

I think that this is from the aftermath of the attack that we see at the end of the trailer. This is Pepper holding the Mark IV armor helmet.

The Mandarin’s hands, adorned with an array of rings. Whether or not they are weapons as they are portrayed in the comics remains to be seen, but this does confirm that the Mandarin is the head of the Ten Rings terrorist organization who have played a part in the last two Iron Man films.

Tony versus Iron Man? Again we have to ask if there is someone else in the suit or is Tony controlling it telepathically?

It looks like War Machine/Rhodey is mad with someone.

The Iron Man armor emerging through smoke. Is Tony inside? I think this is actually a shot from the attack we are about to see.

The Mandarin with a gun. Don’t think that this is proof that his rings aren’t the weapons we see in the comics just because he has a gun here. You’ll note that he does not have any rings on in the photo.

The start of the attack on Tony’s Malibu cliff-side home.

“Lesson number one… Heroes. There is no such thing.”

And our first real look at the Mandarin.

Tony and Pepper are hurled back by the blast. But what is the fate of the poor stuffed animal over by the stairs?

It appears as if Tony is able to get to his armor…

…But it might be too late as the house slides into the ocean.

Note how the music is lost to the underwater sounds as Tony is pulled down and has chunks of debris settle on top of him. Nice touch.

The flickering out of the ARC reactor calls back to the first scene in the trailer and also adds a sense of dread.

A second callback to the opening shot in the trailer, this time with Tony pulling along his armor behind him in the snow.

Iron Man 3 opens May 3, 2013.

Avatar für Rich Drees
About Rich Drees 7179 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty-five years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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