Other than the procession of well-equipped villains attempting to take him out, and the whole "piece of shrapnel constantly trying to kill him" thing, Tony Stark has had it pretty good thus far. He's had hip parties, hot- and cold-running women, his own personal hard-rock soundtrack, all the advanced technology and robot butlers he wants, and—as pointed out in The Avengers—even if you take away his suit, what you're left with is a genius billionaire playboy philanthropist. "But is that really enough?" Shane Black's pointedly dark third installment seems to ask. To which most people would reply that, yes, of course it is. Don't be stupid.
And yet, Robert Downey Jr. looks pretty empty here, losing his home, his armory, and even his Gwyneth Paltrow in quick succession to Ben Kingsley's The Mandarin, a villain who lays on the hurt as thick as his gaudy rings and accents. The film's full synopsis is still somewhat vague—this time it's apparently personal, or something—but it's all encapsulated in the closing image of RDJ hauling his broken suit while trudging through the snow, his genius billionaire playboy philanthropy failing to keep him warm at night. If only he had a team of fellow superpowered individuals whose lives he just helped to save who could come give him a lift.