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Dumb Things In Iron Man 3 That Everyone Just Ignored

Falling in the aftermath of The Avengers, Iron Man 3 introduced us to a somewhat damaged version of Tony Stark still reeling from the alien invasion. The reviews were solid, but Iron Man 3 has become one of the most hotly debated films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe over the past few years—partly because Stark doesn't spend all that much time actually being Iron Man in it.

The film is pretty good, but far from perfect—and whether or not it's fair, its flaws stand out in (ahem) starker relief against the backdrop of the wildly entertaining blockbuster antics of the larger MCU. Director Shane Black crafted some great character moments, but like a lot of action movie filmmakers, he wasn't above letting a few gaps in logic slip in to tie the whole thing together. These are just a few of the dumb things everyone ignored in Iron Man 3.

​The Mark 42 armor is wildly inefficient

A big part of the story focuses on Stark's work to perfect his new Mark 42 Iron Man armor, which works with separately propelled components capable of flying remotely to Stark so he can suit up. The idea is exemplified in an early scene when Stark does that sweet flip and catches the face plate while the suit flies at him. But how is it actually all that useful to have a suit that works like this? Why make a suit that comes in pieces in the first place, when he's already made dozens of suits capable of flying to him pre-assembled so he can just jump right in? Wouldn't it be far less efficient to have every component flown to you separately? What if a few pieces get stuck along the way, or the rocket boosters act up? Then you're rocking an Iron Man suit without a boot, firing repulsor rounds with a Chuck Taylor showing, or with your butt (literally) hanging out.

​If Tony's so anxious, why not be more careful?

Maya Hansen shows up at Tony Stark's house and literally strolls on in, and then the Mandarin's attack catches Tony flat-footed and nearly kills him. How does he not have any security at his main house and research compound? A guy as rich as Stark would at least have some basic security gear around his house and probably a bodyguard or two. You know, especially since he literally just invited a terrorist to attack him. Then there's the fact that Tony is obviously dealing with the emotional fallout of The Avengers, having panic attacks and jumping into his armor for comfort. So ... if the guy is that worried about threats, wouldn't he at least install a decent security system?

Heading down that rabbit hole a bit further, why not activate the House Party protocol in that moment, and awaken all the suits to repel the attack and try to salvage his house before it collapses into the ocean? We've seen the proto-Hulkbuster armor step in and stabilize a foundation before. Seriously, it's called the House Party protocol. What better time to pull that trigger than when your house is under literal attack from terrorists and collapsing into the sea?

​Wait, how do the clothes not just burn off of the Extremis soldiers?

Introducing the comics tech of Extremis into the MCU worked like a charm, and there's something truly otherworldly about seeing someone light up their hand and just melt through metal like it's hot butter. But, umm, how are all these Extremis soldiers not stark naked all the time? We see Killian and his goons use their melting abilities to take down everything from stainless steel beams to entire buildings (even punching through a dude at one point). But their clothes seem completely unaffected by this immense heat. Even when Killian literally melts his way through the floor in the final battle, his shirt looks no worse for the wear. Where does Killian get these magical suits for his soldiers? Because he needs to share that fabric with firefighters, pronto.

​So they trapped the president in a full-functional Iron Man suit?

Killian's big plan is to kidnap the president and execute him in a public display, blaming it all on the Mandarin. So, he traps the Commander in Chief in the Iron Patriot armor they stole from Rhodey ... and they leave it fully functional after dropping the president inside. How do we know it's functioning? Rhodey rescues the president by triggering the repulser to escape, and then just hops into the suit to join the fight. Which means the suit was fully functional the entire time the president was inside. For all the thoughts and attention Killian put into this plan, how does leaving your star hostage inside a billion-dollar weapon seem like a good idea? Even if the president hadn't been trained on how to use the armor, those suits have AI assistants to help out—and if faced with certain death, it stands to reason the prez would probably just start pushing buttons and give it a shot, right?

​How did no one realize the greatest terrorist in the world is actually a C-list actor?

We have to assume U.S. and worldwide intelligence agencies have been working overtime to learn as much as possible about the Mandarin in the time since he surfaced. So how did facial recognition software never connect him to any of his previous acting gigs? Sure, Trevor is obviously not an accomplished actor, but he's worked for years on the stage. You're telling us none of his previous co-stars, managers, or directors recognized him when his face is literally everywhere as Public Enemy No. 1? This is the age of the internet—no one could hide their old, public identity that well.

​How did S.H.I.E.L.D. not step in when the president was taken hostage?

These are standalone stories, and you can forgive a lot when heroes don't show up in every movie to help one another out with their problems. They're solo movies for a reason. But how on Earth do you explain S.H.I.E.L.D.'s absence when the president of the United States is literally kidnapped by a sci-fi terrorist with superpowers? That's, like, on the S.H.I.E.L.D. mandate, right? This insane national event didn't bleep onto Nick Fury or Captain America's radar? It wouldn't be so bad if they at least threw a line or two in there to explain why S.H.I.E.L.D. wasn't on the case, but no. We get Tony Stark without a super suit, using exploding Christmas tree ornaments and a super garden glove to save the day.

How does this crime scene simulation work?

When Stark boots up his awesome crime scene system, we're largely distracted because it's so shiny and cool—but how did he get an exact virtual scan of the crime scene in the first place? It's 1,000 times more detailed than crime scene photos could ever be, to the point it's so granular Tony pulls out charred dog tags and finds an ID from a virtual scan of the scene. That's not just impossible, it's absurd. How does this thing even exist? Where did it come from? Does the local police department have a billion-dollar sci-fi VR scanner now? Do they just drop a McGuffin 3.0 scanner on every crime scene now?

So what about the Extremis tech?

The entire film is focused on the Extremis tech, and the basic idea is a legit game changer—the stuff can regrow limbs and heal catastrophic injuries, and the fact that it was in Pepper Potts' system helped save her life during the climactic final battle (and gives her the super powers necessary to save the day). But, when it's all over, Pepper still has Extremis in her system. She's understandably freaked out, but Tony just shrugs and says he'll figure out how to cure her. And he does, off-screen, and it's super easy because he's a genius and stuff. But, umm, this is world-changing technology that could heal diseases and save lives, and Tony just...tosses it on a shelf after healing Pepper? That's a crap move, bro.