First let me start by saying this was not a stand alone movie. This movie is a puzzle piece in the Marvel universe. If you have seen Marvel's The Avengers, then you should be well and ready to see Iron Man 3. Stark references the incidents in New York as we hoped he would. His reaction is what matters. Shane Black shares some interesting emotions from Stark as he is dealing with the aftermath of NY and the Avengers initiative.
Pepper steps up a little bit and has a stronger role in this film. I feel this isn't a spoiler as she has slowly gained more screen time and more importance as Tony's main squeeze. This is the first Marvel Movie that I know of to pass the Bechdel Test. To pass the Bechdel Test, a movie must:
1. Have at least two [named] women in it
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something besides a man
It passes - yay!
I am sad to say that Marvel's Avengers don't pass the test. There are too few named female characters and the only two that were named were not alone to have any conversations.
But I digress. Iron Man 3 explores some of Tony's fears and his strengths outside the suit. The attack on his home is no secret because it is featured heavily in the advertisements for the film. Without access to his private workshop (lovingly named Stark R&D) he uses the MacGyver skills he displayed at the birth of Iron Man.
As a lover of the comics, I was happy to see some of the themes from the graphic novels woven in to the story. Granted they integrate some things very differently than in the source material. Saying anything else will give it away, but know that Ben Kingsley gave a smashing performance.
I highly recommend the film and all others in the series. It is best enjoyed not as a stand alone, but watched with Iron Man, Iron Man 2, and Marvel's the Avengers preceding it. If you've seen it and want to talk about it, feel free to leave a comment below.