Tony Stark has made a career out of making the rest of us jealous. Sure, in Iron Man 3 he's suffering a bit more than usual, experiencing PTSD after the battle of New York seen in The Avengers and up against a terrifying foe in The Mandarin, who responds to threats by blowing up Tony's cliffside Malibu manor. But as Tony says himself in one of the film's trailers, "I'm Tony Stark. I build neat stuff, I've got a great girl, and occasionally I save the world."
It's that neat stuff that we're focused on today, still excited about Iron Man 3 this weekend and focused on some of the amazing gadgets and inventions we got a look at when we saw the film. Tony didn't create all of it-- he's up against another inventor, Aldrich Killian, this time-- but when it comes to gadgets that make us furious with envy, the more the merrier. We've ranked the film's most eye-popping gadgets below. Let us know your favorites in the comments, and to discuss all of Iron Man 3 with spoilers, click here.
MILD SPOILERS AHEAD
10. Tony's magically expanding iPhone-thing. While Jon Favreau's Happy Hogan is at the Stark Industries headquarters trying to get the hang of Face Time-chatting on his iPad, Tony is back at home making the iPad look like a rotary telephone. We don't get a great look at his handheld tablet, but it's about the size of an iPhone, with the bonus of a extra screen he can flip up into empty space. I can't even get Verizon to let me use Google Maps while talking on the phone, and Tony can do that? No fair.
9. The kid's potato gun. Sure, it's nothing compare to the Iron Man suit that's crash-landed in his garage. But Harley Keener (Ty Simpkins) is definitely a Tony Stark-in-training, and that potato gun-- which seems to be built out of the tubes you'd use to create a maze for your hamsters-- is impressive stuff, especially when Tony steals the design for one of his own homemade gadgets later on.
8. The suit that comes when you call it. The Iron Man movies have worked very carefully to ramp up the eye-popping effects that Tony Stark supposedly invented, but now that he has a suit that will come to him with just a flick of the wrist, it's hard to imagine how he ever lived without it. Essentially he's transferred Harry Potter's zccio spell to the Marvel universe-- maybe inspired by the way Thor can summon his mighty hammer, come to think of it. That Tony, always trying to one-up the competition.
7. The world's most advanced voice mail system. We see Tony step into a dingy phone booth to let her know he's OK after the attack on his Malibu mansion. But instead of her cell phone lighting up, she only gets the message when she peers into the abandoned mask of one of the Iron Man suits left behind, and sees a flashing light waiting for her. Suddenly the 4-digit PIN you use to access your voicemail feels pretty worthless, right?
6. The electric glove made from Home Depot. We won't go into too much detail on this since it's worth seeing for yourself, but when Tony finds himself without a suit or his lab, he does what any self-respecting billionaire industrialist playboy philanthropist would do: he goes to Home Depot and builds one himself. Being engineering rubes we have no idea what he's building until he uses it-- and his handmade replacement for the zapping Iron Man suit glove is so amazing we're going to be spending the weekend looking up guides to how to build it ourselves.
5. The zapper thing, to be used on bullies only.. Essentially a can of mace, but with extra Iron Man powers, this is a little lipstick-sized piece of metal that Tony hands to his new kid friend to use against playground bullies, but which comes in handy at exactly the right moment to help Tony and the kid both save their own skins. You'll want one for the next time someone takes too long in front of you in line at the post office.
4. The virtual crime scene re-enactment. When Tony tries to piece together the mystery behind an explosion in Los Angeles that's tied to The Mandarin, he uses the kind of technology the Law & Order cops can only dream of. Using a satellite image, or some other kind of super-detailed photo pulled up by Jarvis, he creates a three-dimensional virtual version of the crime scene inside his lab, where he can walk around, measure distances between victims, and even zoom in on details nobody else could see. It's like when people scream "enhance!" at grainy images in spy movies, but cranked up to 11.
3. Extremis. OK, we're stretching here, since Extremis isn't exactly a gadget, but an injection that alters the human brain. But it is an invention, and it's something that becomes the best foe Tony Stark has had in a movie yet-- way more interesting than watching him fight another guy in a suit. Just think of all the parts of your brain you're not using that Extremis could help you tap into… while also make you superpowered and mildly homicidal too.
2. Aldrich Killian's rolling ball projector. This isn't a weapon or an injection or anything that will make you a better human, but it's so damn cool. Killian (Guy Pearce) seems like he's just rolling some marbles out onto the table, and then boom! They light up into a 3D projection of whatever he wants to show you, whether it's a map of the human brain (his brain, in fact) or a photo of someone far away. Think of every boring PowerPoint slide presentatio you've ever sat through, and how much this would improve it.
1. The remote-controlled Iron Man suit. Not only is it a crime-fighting, flying, missile-shooting weapon that you can control from the comfort of your own home. If you're Tony Stark, it's also a reasonable facsimile of you, meaning that if you can get away with never taking off your mask, you can send the robo-Iron Man off to rescue the hostages-- or go meet with your accountant, depending on what day it is. The fact that Tony has invented a ton of these remote-controlled suits is a major part of what makes Iron Man 3 feel bigger than the other two, but it also makes us more jealous than ever of the billionaire superhero-- which we didn't even really think was possible.
Which was your favorite Iron Man 3 gadget?