Given what happens, and where it leaves off, I’d guess the sequence we saw comes at the tail end of the first act, comprising the attack on his Malibu playhouse that we saw in the trailer, followed by Tony waking up a long way from home with a malfunctioning suit and a kid sidekick. There was also a nice introduction to The Mandarin, but I’ll come to that in a moment.
It would seem, at least from this footage at least, that Marvel are continuing to trust the creative teams on their movies; they’ve definitely let Shane Black stamp his mark onto this one. Apart from the fact that it’s set at Christmas (at this point I’m genuinely curious whether Black is even aware of other seasons), it has the same sharp, cutting wit that runs through all of Black’s work.
Which, with the presence of a Harley, a smart ass twelve year old moppet who shares at least one scene with Stark, is a relief. Instead of being an annoying distraction, he actually plays well against Tony’ s bruised ego, and their banter works well. As does the comic timing in the interaction between Tony, Pepper and Rebecca Hall’s Maya Hansen
I’m going to avoid giving any specifics, to keep this spoiler-free, except to clarify that the destruction of Stark’s mansion is absolute. everything goes, or at least seems to go, including the armour. It’s also worth clearing up speculation about the blue helmet in the Mandarin poster: in the footage it’s one of many scattered about the place, seemingly property of UN peace keepers rather than World War Two era Steve Rogers.
And as for the Mandarin himself? Probably the best analogy, from the limited footage we saw of him would be the Marvel Universe’s Osama Bin Laden: a media savvy terrorist leader with a long beard, a bizarre grudge and a fearsome reputation.
Iron Man 3 is out in the UK on the 26th of April and in the US on the 3rd of May.