The Big Picture: The Big Spoiler: Iron Man 3

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I don't always agree with MovieBob, but damn is he on the money this time.

Well, I suppose I'm the only one who figured out the big twist right away. The moment I heard "defense contractor" and saw a rich white guy in a suit, my friend and I just left because we immediately knew how it was going to end. I mean...how else would it? Like Bob said, "The Mandarin" was a perfect amalgamation of real-world actually dangerous people and ideologies, so how on Earth could he be the villain? And Bob of all people being surprised that Guy Pierce's character was the bad guy? Have you watched any movies or played any games in the last eight years before today?

I loved the Mandarin twist. It was totally unexpected and hilarious. And I get the angry fanboy reaction, but Bob is right--Iron Man's rogue's gallery is dull.

Almost all the villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far have been dull or predictable. Loki's the only one with any layers to him, which is why I'm glad he's still around. It's partly because the rights to most of Marvel's most interesting villains are currently locked up by other studios, but also because Marvel is about making the hero and their own personal issues interesting, not the weirdos they beat up. The purpose of villains in a good Marvel story is to force the hero to confront their problems.

rickynumber24:

Xelien:
Conveniently cuts before we can really hear your british accent impression, good editing.

FYI, that's a pretty typical Boston accent from anyone who grew up somewhere other than the couple of suburbs populated largely by people who moved in from elsewhere. It's not British, and he's not putting it on, either. Rather, he cuts the accent once he actually goes into his radio voice.

?_? I'm not talking about his Boston accent.... I've heard that plenty times before.

I'm talking about the end, where he's talking over the credits and begins to impersonate Trevor Slattery.

If Marvel had not kept the twist under wraps I don't know if I would have liked it. But the movie plays the twist really well. They don't telegraph it so it's one of those rare movie twists that catch you off guard. It also feels like a natural part of the story instead of being one of those twists that films throw in just to say they had a twist.

It's not how I want to see the Mandarin forever or even in a cartoon series, but for what the film was doing it's one of the best movie twists in a very long time.

In my experience from what other people have said, there seems to be two reasons why people didn't like this version of the Mandarin: The comic purists that wanted The Mandarin from the comics as is and the people that didn't like it because they felt tricked.

I can understand the people interested in keeping the integrity of such a serious, realistic character, they just want the comics on the big screen, to quote Stephen Fry about the Hitchhiker's movie: "there are those that won't be happy unless the movie is just a camera focused on the book with somebody turning the pages every forty seconds."
I understand where they're coming from, I just think that they're wrong. If an alteration to an established character works within the context of the story being told then it's fine by me. Execution is almost always King.

The second group mystifies me. I don't understand people that don't like feeling tricked or lied to by a film. My best guess is that in this age of every single piece of information being made available on the internet beforehand, people have gotten used to walking into a cinema knowing exactly what they were going to get and any big surprises shake that feeling. It's why I've weaned myself off reading movie spoilers, I'd rather go in not knowing.

As someone who enjoys the comic book stories but never got into reading them obsessively (i.e. I never read an Iron Man comic) I really enjoyed the Mandarin in Iron Man 3. I don't see why there's an issue, apart from the old "Change is sin!" complaint.

Also, Bob, your fake English accent is hilarious. Few people can do one well.

Best ending of any Big Picture episode lol I laughed my ass off.

I had a similar idea, and that's that I was trying to think if there were any Marvel heroes that Ben Kingley's character could actually end up becoming.

Your idea is better though.

Hyper-space:

aba1:
I actually prefer the realism and I hate when comics just drop all pretense of any kinda good story just to do something that will sell. You and me Bob have very different tastes, you just like to see shit happen I like development.

Though I agree on the Mandarin thing for this movie since it makes more sense from a logical perspective.

Are you equating realism with great story-telling? If so, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPE.

Fiction is a boundless ocean where execution is king. Anything can be made into a good story and "development" isn't exclusive to realism (or whatever idea you have of realism).

I didn't say that I said I PREFER realism then went on to say I hate when comics just do what ever despite not making sense with the rest of the story to just to sell more as a separate but related thought.

You combined my two thoughts into one.

If you heard that in Iron Man 3 Tony Stark would get a precocious kid side kick for part of the movie and that the Mandarin would be a washed up actor then it sounds terrible. But both are played so well that they become two of the best parts of the film.

The Mandarin twist was a nice surprise. You know how you go to the movies and you can almost predict what's going to happen next. This one came out of left field and I enjoyed the shift.

I'd pay to see Drunken Mandarin might show up again. The infinity Gems could land on earth and a certain drunk on parol/community service could find them. The man does like his Bling; booze and bimbos too. He's looking for a good time or a good football match and no one is going to stop him!

Orekoya:

aba1:
I actually prefer the realism and I hate when comics just drop all pretense of any kinda good story just to do something that will sell.

What?

Wait...

What?

So, in your mind, a story won't be good if they deviate from realism?

This isn't to be a dick, I just don't understand the logic behind what you just said. Please explain this.

Again didn't say that I said I prefer realism or at least the more realistic takes on things and then in a related but separate note that I hate when comics will drop all pretense of logical progression to create something illogical because it will sell more.

You combined my two thoughts into one.

The reveal was funny but afterwards I was honestly waiting for a "usual suspect" moment when Sir Ben Kingsley's character was revealed to be the true mastermind but that didn't happen and yeah I was disappointed but I could live with that.

The real problems to me were the slapstick moments when putting on the armour which I felt, fell flat the other problem is that the entire final battle was boring, really boring. No one should lose interest in the big battle scene in a blockbuster.

But I will fully support your idea Bob of the fake Mandarin reappearing with the rings in a sequal that would rock.

The only thing that kinda disappointed me about Iron Man 3 was I kept waiting for Rescue to show up.

I mean Avengers Alliance is currently giving away Rescue as a reward for a mission based around Iron Man 3, and I kept seeing interviews with Paltrow and stuff where people are like "So, I hear you get to wear one of those suits for a while in this one." and yeah...she does, but for like 5 minutes.

For some reason I was expecting a great big final showdown of Iron Man, Iron Patriot and Rescue all kicking ass (though I did love the great big multi-suit battle that we did get)

I'm also a little sad that in 3 movies we never got to see Crimson Dynamo. I know he wouldn't have really been all that interesting or anything but...what can I say? I liked him.

I enjoyed the twist, but was disappointed with not being able to see more of Kingsley/Trevor's Mandarin. His odd Elocution in the trailers had me intrigued, I was wondering how they'd play his sorcerer/alien origin, and I was looking forward to an Iron Man vs Magic Rings epic battle finale. It was hilarious though, so I'll give it that.

As for Manderin in the future, I was kinda hoping they'd tease an actual Mandarin behind it all, and what with it being mentioned that Trevor had plastic surgery they had the perfect excuse just to reuse Kingsley as a villain with many decoys.

Related note Bob, are you going to do a "what's what/here's all the easter eggs you missed" for this one? I didn't see any Infinity Gauntlets lying in the background or references to a M.O.D.O.K. project, but I reckon you've got a better eye for such things!

My only disappointment is that the villain was such a let down after the build up of the Mandarin. I loved the twist, it helped me appreciate the movie a lot more, but the fire breathing arms dealer was weak-sauce compared to the Mandarin build up. All of the emotional impact was spent when the hostage was killed, when Tony explored the back alley, and when Pepper thought he was dead.

And, while it was cool to have all the Iron Man suits in the final battle, I was surprised at how mighty the un-manned, un-guided suits could be.

In all though, I really enjoyed both the movie and Bob's spoiler of it.

Therumancer:
Spoilers Below:

I'm not surprised Bob liked this twist because it pretty much matched his liberal sensibilities, moving away from a real enemy that would be especially relevent today given rising tensions with China, their racism, military build up, and the way that they have a rich ruling class living in huge, modern, cities while the rest of the population labours in sweatshops, shares beds with other people, and lives alongside it's livestock (which is how SARS got started). The stereotype of something like "Fu Manchu" or "The Mandarin" has become increasingly relevent today in a way it hasn't been for decades, as it pretty much epitomizes everything wrong with China, which is actually extremely antagonistic towards the USA (note an article right here on The Escapist about Chinese cyber espionage). The change in Iron Man being largely a "hey, let's not antagonize The Chinese and pretend there isn't a problem" fueled desician, while they re-directed the villainy onto something a bit more liberally appropriate, namely American military arms manufacturers.

I understand the political gesture in turning "The Mandarin" into a giant gag, but in doing so they ruined a potential for much needed social commentary, as well as pretty much destroying one of the all time great super-villains, more or less ensuring we won't see a proper version of a character just begging for some major FX treatment for a while to come.

I'm going to have to disagree with you there. The Mandarin is a caricature, but of old 60's Chinese stereotypes. The very idea that the could-have-been Mandarin would be in any way, shape or form commentary towards China now is quote silly. The Mandarin wasn't Chinese in any stretch of the imagination. He was just another Dark Knight Joker who I'm quite frankly sick of as a villain.

You see, the movie Mandarin, isn't some grand interesting villain. He's just another evil for EVIL ANARCHIST sakes villain. And I'm glad the movie shows us just how rediculous such a character is. Who could possibly follow such a madman? No one! It's all just a front man.

I had mixed feelings about the twixt. I mean, overall I liked it and thought it was hilarious. I was very annoyed with the whitewashing in Kingsley's casting - I mean, yeah, the Mandarin was a shallow racist caricature, but having a shallow racist caricature played by a white dude doesn't make it any better. I'm still slightly annoyed that a role that could have been written for an asian actor instead was written for a white dude, but then again it kind of works as an added layer of commentary since the character was a white dude pretending to be asian to play to slack jawed western audiences, as is so typically the case for whitewashed roles.

I especially liked the hints in the 'Mandarin's' terror videos. "You will never see me coming", the entire fortune cookie thing about a white, western invention masquerading as something Eastern, I mean that was great stuff. And, once exposed, he was hilarious.

On the other hand, the kinds of things 'the Mandarin' was attacking the united states for are all things the West and the US in particular is guilty of. The White West has systematically abused and oppressed and exploited and manipulated and murdered its way to power in the world stage, even while pretending to positions of moral superiority - morals which never once fail to evaporate in the face of whatever is convenient for 'national interest'. That's what makes the terrorist caricature such a frightening bogey-man for Western audiences, the fact that on some level they know their success has come at the suffering of millions, and that if they were in the place of the oppressed they'd be out for revenge. Turning the mandarin into a joke symbolically invalidated all of the complaints and accusations he represented, replacing a potentially challenging criticism of Western imperialism in general with a much tamer and less challenging criticism of 'easy target' defense industry profiteers.

I mean, yes, there was the second level of western audiences letting their reactionary fears of terrorist bogey-men justify handing power over to those profiteers, but I just don't feel that level of criticism hit as hard, what with the obvious scapegoat profiteer villain distracting attention from it.

Again, overall, liked the twist, very funny, far better handled then any of the similar 'twists' in Nolan's Batman trilogy. But still.

I think its a shame that we missed out on a big, iconic bad guy and just got another wanker in a suit pulling the strings but im not gonna lie, Kingsley was soooooooo funny.

Give and take I suppose.

I think he was an interesting enough character in the film, but I would love to see him acquire a taste for power and try to be a genuine super-villain in a later film (possibly as part of whatever they'll call the master of evil in the film 'verse)

Sidney Buit:
"Oh no, not the hammer!"

Hah, yes! This definitely needs to happen. Someone get Marvel on the phone right this instant, because whatever they've shot of Avengers 2 has now become garbage.

I would LOVE to see that happen for one of the movies, Hell he even seemed to like the attention, and with how drunk and coked up he is I am sure he wouldnt have that hard of a time turning to evil!

xaszatm:

I'm going to have to disagree with you there. The Mandarin is a caricature, but of old 60's Chinese stereotypes. The very idea that the could-have-been Mandarin would be in any way, shape or form commentary towards China now is quote silly. The Mandarin wasn't Chinese in any stretch of the imagination. He was just another Dark Knight Joker who I'm quite frankly sick of as a villain.

You see, the movie Mandarin, isn't some grand interesting villain. He's just another evil for EVIL ANARCHIST sakes villain. And I'm glad the movie shows us just how rediculous such a character is. Who could possibly follow such a madman? No one! It's all just a front man.

[Spoiler Warning of a sort continues]

Then you apparently do not know "The Mandarin". Basically what The Mandarin is, is the Chinese version of Hitler, out to see Asia dominate the world. He's kind of like Captain America to racist chinese ideals and militarism, which is why he's "The Mandarin". In a lot of respects doing what Fu Manchu was up to, though being a super villain he wasn't quite as subtle as Fu Manchu was at times.

Back during the whole "Majripoor" arc in the 1990s you had this bit with Wolverine and Jubilee running into him. The last "free" members of the X-men if I remember, the rest having been overcome by the mechnitions of Cameron Hodge (then a head reanimated by mephisto's magic and placed on a giant cyborg body if I remember). They wind up escaping him largely because he winds up trying to recruit Jubilee because she's ethnically Chinese. Around this same basic time period he was running an alliance with "The Hand" and they kidnapped Psylocke and brain washed her, physically turning her into an Asian because The Mandarin couldn't stand having a caucasian minion even via The Hand alliance (The Hand was a bit less racist, but a natural ally).

While at one time there was a bit of racism inherant in this, largely having to do with the communist takeover of China, it wasn't paticularly relevent because as a whole China wasn't really doing much to anyone, and was actually an ally of a sort against Russia despite similar philsophies. However recently that has changed, the chinese who are incredibly xenophobic, especially nowadays, are building up a huge, offensive military force, and developing technologies they hope will force a conventional war, while engaging in cyber-espionage (along with the old fashioned kind) against nations like the US. They are also rattling their sabers about colonizing other nations by force, and gaining revent against the western world for the "trivialization of their culture" and not bowing down to whom should be the true masters of the world. This propaganda is in part how China's elite, the well educated people who live in some of the largest and most modern cities in the world, keep their slaves who work in the sweatshops, and live alongside their own livestock (which is how SARS got started) in line. It's a lot like what you saw with the USSR. It might be something that could be ignored, if China wasn't actually trying to develop this technology, and actually building a navy capable of projecting it's huge military into other countries. When a nation like China wants an offensive weapon like an Aircraft Carrier, you have to wonder who they are planning on attacking with it, that's not a defensive weapon.

Right now we seem to mostly be burying our heads in the sand when it comes to China, and trying to pretend they aren't a problem. We're worrying about being offensive and antagonistic, when really we should be both of those things to an increased degree in response to their own behavior. Seeing vilains representing the belligerance of China, rather than trying to dance around the subject for the purposes of political correctness is not a good idea.

See, 20-30 years ago, when some of those vintage Iron Man comics were written, I might actually kind of agree with you or Bob about what The Mandarin represents. Today on the other hand I feel he's a bit more relevent than he was then.

For the record though, the idea of the "face" of the Mandarin in the movie being laugable in it's agenda is kind of a nice piece of liberal propaganda in of itself. You say that you couldn't see his actual "motive" making sense when there is nothing else behind it, yet to be honest that's exactly the kind of behavior real terrorists engage in, and is part of any real war as part of psychological warfare. They made the guy seem more sypathetic to The Middle East than anything that should be called "The Mandarin" (got knows why they even used the name with this version), but at the end of the day his reasons for apparently blowing stuff up, were pretty much the same reasons as Al Queda... to hurt the US, force compromises, and scare the people, while making the US seem weak and ineffective.

Of course I'll be honest in saying that this is probably being over-analyzed in what wasn't that good a movie. For example even as far as the twist goes it has a major WTF moment in terms of Ben Kingsly claiming it was all fake and he was totally innocent, when the dude blew an oil executive's head off on national TV. Given that it worked I'd imagine they couldn't have faked it since the guy could have been IDed otherwise, and the whole thing would have been blown when Shield's recognition software said "it's Joe-Bob the actor, not a real Roxxon oil executive" or whatever. Of course like a lot of things in this movie we're not supposed to really think about it that hard, we're suppose to accept that he faked this and everyone fell for it, because well... the script demands it.

Ugh, I really disliked the twist. I mean, from the first 5 minutes you know Killian is going to be the bad guy, and then this Mandarin guy shows up and kills this oil CEO, he's not to be fucked with.

I mean, yeah he was just a sort of terrorist amalgamation, but he was unknown.

But then nope, it was Killian all along. And I didn't found it funny when it was discovered, I was just thinking really? This is the great villian, they wasted this for this stupid shock twist?

To be fair the scenes leading to that was awful as well, Tony Stark just waltzing through his "secure" place.

I loved the Mandarin twist because honestly, I think that Killian makes a far, far better foil to Tony, especially in the MCU. Also, the fact that 'The Mandarin' is essentially a villain tailored to the West's bogeymen.

Strain42:

I'm also a little sad that in 3 movies we never got to see Crimson Dynamo. I know he wouldn't have really been all that interesting or anything but...what can I say? I liked him.

Vanko in Iron Man 2 was essentially an amalgamation of Crimson Dynamo and Whiplash.

Stormtyrant:

Also, Bob, your fake English accent is hilarious. Few people can do one well.

If you can still say that after watching his review of Black Swan, you truly have more formidable ears than me. His accent in that was cringeworthy, but here it seemed a lot better (probably because he said like 4 words).

On topic, I really liked this twist. 'Twas the second twist this year to take me completely by surprise. Even though I kinda guessed that the Mandarin didn't really shoot that oil CEO guy (we never saw his body on screen), I still didn't see that twist coming at all. And I've also been thinking that Trevor could stumble on some alien technology, get his ten rings, go completely batshit bonkers (he seemed half-mad already) and don the Mandarin role for real.

Kataskopo:
Ugh, I really disliked the twist. I mean, from the first 5 minutes you know Killian is going to be the bad guy, and then this Mandarin guy shows up and kills this oil CEO, he's not to be fucked with.

I mean, yeah he was just a sort of terrorist amalgamation, but he was unknown.

But then nope, it was Killian all along. And I didn't found it funny when it was discovered, I was just thinking really? This is the great villian, they wasted this for this stupid shock twist?

To be fair the scenes leading to that was awful as well, Tony Stark just waltzing through his "secure" place.

I think for those who read the Extremis comic the twist was way harder to guess, since we didn't know how closely the movie would follow its plotline and Killian's character is completely different in the comic, since


And after Captain America sneaking into a heavily guarded Nazi base in his outfit I found Tony's James Bond antics way easier to swallow. It was one of those moments took me out of the movie, but I let it slide.

I honestly found Ben Kingsley one of the best parts of the movie he was fun to and interesting to watch "Killian" whom ever played him well not so interesting, and well most of the cast were just well boring... If anyone don't know good acting well watch Kingsley he made the movie specially at the twist part...

I would not mind seeing more of him, specially with the same character traits of this "mandarin"...

Bob, I was sort of hoping to hear your opinion about the future of Iron Man. If Iron Man 3 was the last of the films, it would work well as a conclusion, as you said in your Escape to the Movies episode. But since we know there's at least one more Iron Man appearance in Robert Downey Jr.'s future, what form do you think it'll take? Tony Stark rather definitively destroys his suits at the end of IM3, and doesn't seem interested in building any more. I mean, obviously he's capable of building a new suit or ten if Nick Fury calls him up and says that Thanos is making trouble, but that seems like it'd cheapen the ending of IM3.

Is it possible that we'll see a new version of Iron Man in Avengers 2?

The thing I disliked is that it didn't make any sense to keep him themed as the comic version of the Mandarin beyond the whole rug, out, under you, effect it had on people who knew the character.

There is no logical reason for Killian to dress him up in Oriental Robes and call him "Mandarin". Especially when his ties to terrorism are clearly portrayed as Middle Easter.

You can try and wish wash it away with claims of embodying a Cultural Zeitgeist of fears, but it doesn't.

If he was called the Jong and was a short pudgy looking Korean guy... maybe.

But 70's themed, ultra Chinaman is not part of out current fear punchingbag.

So it makes no sense for Killian to go for that angle. So the big reveal just ends up feeling cheap. You're sat there going, "ye, it tricked me. But so would most cheap Red Herrings. That's what they're there for." There's no authenticity to it's own plot.

Although I will fully admit to really enjoying Kingsly as Trevor. He was hilarious.

Just a shame they squandered the Extremis' importance to Stark's transhuman evolution, in favour of a much more mundane emotional maturation.

Sorry Bob but you are rationalizing. If you have to create external story elements to make the internal ones okay, the movie failed.

But more significantly, the issue is that they didn't need to use the Mandarin to make this plot point work. There is very little upside to this decision. For the people who didn't know the character, they weren't going to be bothered one way or the other with whoever the enemy was so long as it worked to facilitate the story. For the people who do know who the character is and were excited to see him, at best you get people willing to excuse the transgression and at worst you get people who are pissed because they feel lied to.

Why alienate all those people that were really excited to see a movie version of the Mandarin just to preserve a twist that isn't all that great to begin with? Killian's motivation is weak, the metaphor is well trodden ground, and the twist, while surprising to most, wasn't anything thought provoking. It was just a "really...?" moment for most of those that didn't see it coming and a letdown that they actually went through with it for those that did.

It also didn't help that several of the other aspects of the movie were disappointing as well. Perhaps if they had delivered on some good action that involved Iron Man, you know, in a suit that actually worked for more than 5 seconds, people might have been more forgiving of other disappointments. But there really wasn't much to distract you from the rest of the muck. Even the end battle, which should have been fucking epic given the set up, was pretty bland.

To contrast, I think its worth looking at how well the Avengers worked. The premise was ridiculously simple and the plot pretty weak, but it was unapologetically comic book. It embraced who the characters were, threw in some campy one liners, and then just let them be. This movie seemed afraid of its source material and that is why it just isn't very good.

Therumancer:
As a result, Iron Man coming to the realization that in order to stop this guy and save everyone was going to have to augment himself as the pilot rather than just improve his armour was kind of the point of the story.

The entire point of Extremis was that it doesn't matter how much you upgrade the armour, if the pilot doesn't become more than he was before you'll still lose, correct?

....They did that in IM3. It might not have been replacing body parts with augmentations or injecting himself with nanites but we see Tony go through a journey and improve all the same.

The Tony Stark of IM1/2 and maybe even Avengers wouldn't have did what he did in IM3. After his house was destroyed and the suit got disabled he'd probably have said fuck it and gone for a drink and let someone else handle it. Outside the suit he's just a "billionaire playboy philanthropist", not a fighter.

We see him broken and scared, hiding in his bunker with dozens of new suits, using them as a crutch to avoid dealing with what happened. Being stripped of that crutch we see him panic and realise that he's defenceless and weak but he picks himself up and fights, even though his power is gone. He's grown to realise that Iron Man is more than just the tech involved but the guy inside it.

Sure they didn't go down the route of physically changing Tony - that wouldn't work because at it's core the IM films are about an ordinary guy who uses technology to fight rather than being a superhuman - but they followed the idea of 'improve the pilot to improve the machine' quite well.

speccy4i:
In my experience from what other people have said, there seems to be two reasons why people didn't like this version of the Mandarin: The comic purists that wanted The Mandarin from the comics as is and the people that didn't like it because they felt tricked.

I can understand the people interested in keeping the integrity of such a serious, realistic character, they just want the comics on the big screen, to quote Stephen Fry about the Hitchhiker's movie: "there are those that won't be happy unless the movie is just a camera focused on the book with somebody turning the pages every forty seconds."
I understand where they're coming from, I just think that they're wrong. If an alteration to an established character works within the context of the story being told then it's fine by me. Execution is almost always King.

The second group mystifies me. I don't understand people that don't like feeling tricked or lied to by a film. My best guess is that in this age of every single piece of information being made available on the internet beforehand, people have gotten used to walking into a cinema knowing exactly what they were going to get and any big surprises shake that feeling. It's why I've weaned myself off reading movie spoilers, I'd rather go in not knowing.

There's a third very vocal group in the form of the conservative wanks that want a racist amalgamation of Al Qaeda, North Korea, China and all that stuff as an easy villain to hate on. They say it's some liberal peace-nick bias in movies but in reality it's that they got denied an additional popular opinion approved xenophobic figurehead for their fiction. I guess they'll have to stick to watching the Dark Knight Rises, Stallone movies and both versions of Red Dawn to get their anti liberal fix for the time being.

I had no problems with the twist at all and actually enjoyed it as well. All in all that was a nice summation of how I felt about it MovieBob. However I have a different thought on how the twist could be used for a future Iron Man movie.

I can't be the only one who sees this version of the Mandarin as a great launching point for the real one? Looking at this movie as a part of the Marvel universe instead of a singular movie one could grasp a greater story in the works or at least a possibility of one.

The Mandarin name has been tarnished; and I could see a descendant of the ancient Chinese Emperor adviser take this to heart. He sees not only this false Mandarin but also Tony Stark as aggressors in need of punishment. It seems a bit cliche but with the set-up in Iron Man 3 it could turn out great. It gives an actual reason for their to be Chinese Mandarin and also a good reason to fight Tony Stark. I would even have the New Mandarin, kill Ben Kingsley's Mandarin within maybe the first 30mins of the movie.

Well anyways that's at least what I could see being done; but it's probably very unlikely to happen.

Why is a racist caricature a problem? We are talking about a country where this stuff is actually still believed in and things we consider ridiculous are reality. Having erection problems? Visit this 93 year old fu-man-chu moustached sage who will rub your dick with rhinoceros horn paste. Now get back to your sweat shop and work for the next 14 hours of remaining daylight.

A caricature can work if it is an actual threat. Mandarin wants to go back to the glory days of Emperor Dynasty-era China, having lost everything because of the communist revolt. He also is in the habit of turning the weapons of nations on their own and is a grand puppeteer of sorts. The plot of "put foreign guy in front of camera to be a villain" is clever and says quite allot on it's own about the attitude to foreign "threats".

However this twist hinges on one thing and only one thing. The Mandarin shown is not the actual Mandarin. Meaning that this twist could all still be done... with the Mandarin, rather than evil business guy. They could literally have had the Mandarin pulling the strings and some other guy playing a fake version as a diversion for a much bigger scheme, rather than the cliche Metal Gear Solid war for war's sake thing.

What if the Mandarin was trying to provoke an all out world war by setting up terrorist groups coaxing the US into attacking other nations, the actions of the US souring diplomatic relationships causing international tensions leading to all out war? It could be even his intent to draw the US into destroying China where he would eventually assume power as a new figure head in the government.

There could even be a sideplot about the Mandarin tricking Iron Man into becoming a war criminal when the attacks and terrorist threat becomes so huge that he has to resort to drastic measures whilst going after the false decoys, all the while dealing with the events from Avengers basically making Stark a PTSD wreck. This to keep him from getting to close to the actual plan.

Yes it's on the nose but it's not like the current commentary is subtle.

Not to mention all the little details they just forget about. For example the suit being powered by the reactor in Starks chest in the first movie and now it's just not anymore? Now he has like 30 individual armours that all have their own power-sources and can be destroyed with a wireless signal? Which is really stupid because anyone could hack into that and basically blow up the suit with Stark in it! Why is Iron man beaten by 3 helicopters? He fought fucking aliens in the last movie!

But these are all nit picks in an otherwise good movie that I didn't much care for. I get why people like it, I just didn't care much for it after I started thinking too much about it.

i'm normally not affected by spoilers but damn this one kinda hit me pretty hard. i'm the kind of guy that prefers the journey over the destination.

But having seen this before actually seeing the movie, i can at least sit back and thoroughly enjoy the ride instead of trying to figure out what is going on while watching the movie.

So thanks Bob.

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