The Big Picture: The Big Spoiler: Iron Man 3

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Danial:
I had my issues with some other parts of the film, but the Twist was actually really well done, I just wish they'd developed Pierce a bit more, since he suffers from the same Green lantern "weak man gets power goes evil" BS.

You haven't paying attention to the movie have you? Pierce was weak yes but he didn't go evil because he got power, he went evil because of tony stark. He even said it himself, that it was desperation, it was when tony stark blew him off and send him to the roof top to wait (and ignored) that he realized how fucked up and unfair the world is. He even thought of jumping off but instead went and blew shit up! AND GET PAID FOR IT! And I loved it!!

It wasn't bullshit at all and it was very well done. It is something alot of us working class(especially salesman) and dreamers can relate to. Pierce was a very well done character.

MovieBob:
The Big Spoiler: Iron Man 3

Massive spoilers concerning Iron Man 3 ahead so consider yourself warned.

Watch Video

I love the Big Picture no matter the topic, and your movie reviews are good even when I don't agree with your opinion, but when you talk about comics (and the things based on them) you really shine. That may just come from my love of comic books and everything about them, but your comic book themed Big Pictures are my favorites.

Best twist in a LOT of years!!!
I LOVED THE SHIT out of this movie!!!!!!!!

So good, just... damn!

I thought the Mandarin twist was fine.
I had far more trouble with the magic plant powers than anything else.

Maybe I'm sick of the terrorist hype(and having been influenced by the shit ton of security measures that were suddenly enforced all over the world as well as my job), but the Osama version of the Mandarin did not sit well with me.
I won't pretend to be an Iron Man fan or even a Marvel fan, I just remember the guy from cartoons I saw as a kid and it was fairly clear what Mandarin was all about. At least something that didn't happen in this movie, so when the twist came I gave up on the movie. The rest was just CG and special effects to make up for the rest of the movie where we saw Tony trudge around without a suit.

I'm surprised so many liked the twist or thought it was clever. I assumed from the beginning that it would ultimately come down to Killian and not the Mandarin which was just a tease at something that in my opinion would've made a more entertaining movie.

I specifically went to see something strange and crazy, especially after Avengers, but ended up seeing another suit being the bad guy, something that I could see in any other action thriller or Bond movie.
It's not a far jump from magic rings to a half-hearted attempt at making "realistic" magic in the form of genemanipulation. Should've stuck with the rings. Yup.

I could go either way on the Mandarin. I'm glad they went the direction they did with him though, which acknowledges the role of such racial caricatures in society, and it was really well done. On the other hand I think they missed out on an opportunity to capitalize on a modern "yellow peril" thing. I mean what better time than now, what with China growing economically, and now with this hacker business to play on some of those fears. Of course you wouldn't have a Fu Manchu, you'd modernize it: businessman who's maneuvering against Stark Industries on the surface while maybe dabbling in a few less than acceptable ventures. In my head I even imagined a whole thing where Tony would try to flaunt himself by speaking Cantonese or something and the guy would respond I only know Mandarin to keep with the name dropping of their comic book names instead of outright stating them (Iron Monger, Warmachine, etc).

Also while bob acknowledges that the Marvel universe has a lot of the "chessmaster" type villains, since Dr. Doom is still with Fox, there's a void that the Mandarin could fill, and you'd give each of the main three a big villain for a possible villain team up (Red Skull, Loki, and... Justin Hammer? Just doesn't seem right).

unacomn:
Am I the only one that saw Killian more as Fin Fang Fum? The fire breathing, the dragon tattoos, the him "making" the Mandarin. (because his rings were from Fin Fang Fum's crashed ship)

It's my understanding that fire breathing is a power of Extremis in the comics, but yeah you still have the dragon tattoos.

I genuinely thought of this as well; they can have their cake and eat it if they then have Kingsley's character become the actual Mandarin. Or, heck, even have someone inspired by him and become a copycat terrorist, only for real this time. They've done it in such a way that they could create a great and genuinely interesting twist, but at the same time not weld the door shut.

Favorite part of the video was the giddy rambling about how awesome it'd be to have the Avengers fight a drunken low-life super villian. xD

JarinArenos:

WanderingFool:

Sometimes you scare me Bob. I had that exact same thought process.

sleeky01:

JarinArenos:

WanderingFool:

I kind of saw the possibility of the Mandarin being just a spokesperson to the real villain from how the movie was advertise, and in some ways its good that they push this idea to its logical extreme -even if it kind trashes the current attempts to improve this villain in the comics from its original stereotype target. There is a meta-logic to the whole thing.

However, what I wanted to see going into this movie was for the Mandarin to be a spokes person, but also have been one of Killian's brain trust geniuses, who was using Killian as much as he was being used as being the scapegoat for the attacks. With this setup, you could actually have the Mandarin eventually reveal he had been hiding the alien tech he has studied, and had just been working with Killian to steal the perfected Extremis formula. They could have pulled that off even with the funny twist, with one good magic blast to escape from Iron Man. I wish it was just implied.

Oh well, there could always be some genius kung fu guy studying alien tech, who saw all these terrorist videos. Maybe they would be inspired to take on the image, especially if they want to annoy Tony Stark. We could still see the real deal some day, and this explanation for the image actually fits the reason for the imagine in the comics perfectly.

super powered drunken Ben Kinsley!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

unacomn:
Am I the only one that saw Killian more as Fin Fang Fum? The fire breathing, the dragon tattoos, the him "making" the Mandarin. (because his rings were from Fin Fang Fum's crashed ship)

No, there was another guy at the AV Club spoiler section for Iron Man 3 who thought the same thing. Had to break the news to him that fire-breathing is part of the canon powerset of Extremis, as per Warren Ellis' book.

Unless you're that guy too, in which case, sorry bro.

I didn't mind the Mandarin twist at all... I never actually liked Mandarin as a character anyway.

What I didn't like about Ironman 3 was Killian. He was a mundane character with nothing to make him interesting.

I loved the parts with Tony Stark... but the rest of the movie was just... a huge let down for me. I thought it was over all disappointing.

And I hated the montage of "I'm not Ironman anymore... except I am... but not really" at the end.

Given the Avengers ending stinger and the knowledge that a Guardians of the Galaxy movie is coming down the line I was really expecting more from The Mandarin. Specifically that one or more of his rings were going to be revealed to be Infinity gems.

Imagine my surprise when I couldn't have been more wrong if it was wrong o'clock on the feast of St. Wrongsworth.

On the topic at hand though...I actually like the twist quite a bit.
Not so much the Trevor character, I can take or leave him, but more the idea that The Mandarin doesn't exist.
Or more to the point that The Mandarin was an image created to prey on the Xenophobic fears of a post 9-11 America.

I like it because every conversation I had about this movie prior to it's release could be boiled down to "How the fuck are you going to update the Mandarin? He's a racist cartoon character meant to prey on the Xenopobic fears of a cold war era America. And you can't just swap him out to turn him into Osama Bin Mandarin and expect that to go over well either."

So their ultimate decision to go balls out and just out the character by defining him as exactly what he is was a bold move that I think paid off really well.

My view- the mandarin is real, Killian admitting that he is the real mandarin is just another scapegoat. He's out there somewhere. And he is watching, and waiting, and you will never see him coming.

Also, Killian as a villain was rather dull in my mind. There's no grandeur, no sense of "Oh wow." I want a magneto to my professor xavier, a Horus to my emperor. Instead I get a lab technician who's on fire. Brilliant. With the exception of Loki, I have this issue with all the Marvel villains so far. Even the red skull.

Calling it: Iron Man dies in Avengers 2. Like, ACTUALLY dies and not like Coulson. The ripples of his death are felt throughout Phase 3.

I'm now wanting John Favreau to do a Big Trouble in Little China reboot...

But yeah, Sir Ben, playing the actor stumbling across superpowers, wearing magical rings in a temple surrounded by used Bud cans... I would watch that movie

aba1:

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.

Thanks for clarifying that but the combination was not my doing but your sentence structure. You have absolutely no segue between the two thoughts - you just say you prefer realism then immediately follow it up with saying you hate it when comics drop all pretense of any kinda good story. Since I have nothing further to read from than that, it carries the implication that you were saying that deviating from realism is dropping said pretense.

The only thing I really had with the twist was that I did see it coming before the rest of the audience. Drop one hint that Killian and the Mandarin were in it together and all ideas that Mandarin was in charge went out the window. In hindsight, it should have been obvious. As you said, Iron Man's rogues list is a joke, and Even Mandarin wasn't that serious a villain until the late 90s, until then his largest claim to fame had involved Psylocke from the X-Men. Iron Man's true worst enemies lists (at least since the armor wars) would be topped by the Justin Hammers, the Roxons, and other businessmen that put lives beneath profits, so the bait and switch might be a low blow, but given the political climate, I really have no issues with a cheap metaphoric shot that the military industrial complex and its need for a boogeyman to keep us buyins everything form fighter jets to private arsenals.

I don't see a serious Mandarin as something to look forward to, unless the Avengers wants to go the Masters of Evil route. Granted, given some of the larger ideas I've had with the Infinity Gems for Thanos, there is something to work with there.

Bob this is the second video I cannot watch bc of the spoilers. I look forward to your videos Bob, but I can't watch them if you're going to pull these stunts.

PS I'm just giving you a hard time. I'm not really mad. I'll watch this after I've seen the movie.

I for one loved the twist

I actually kinda liked the twist. Though I'm kinda sick of the "villain-isn't-the-villain-at-all" trope and EVIL BUSINESSMEN MAKING WAAAAAR, I oddly liked it. It was absurd. I mean, plenty of people guessed it *coughbullshitcough* but I didn't really expect THAT.

And At first I figured, "Tony found a decoy whose making porno of the Mandarin, didn't he?" But nope, this guy's the Mandarin! I especially like the scene where Rodey finds out because it looks like he's going to cry for a few seconds. But then things got kinda meh...they really underused the Extremis plot-line and Tony's new armor. Especially Tony's armor.

I thought when Tony's armor sent him to Tennessee without his permission and when he was sitting next to it or talking about Iron Man as if the suit was a literal person; I figured they were foreshadowing that the suit was a bit more than a suit. I thought back to the trailers with Tony's suit flying in, and it suddenly seemed more badass. But nope, regular ole suit. He rarely uses it...or shows it off...actually, it's damaged for a good chunk of the movie.

Also, Extremis could've been better. When the henchman survives the explosions, it made you think "wow, this stuff is badass!" But nope, just melty people. Seriously, Extremis could've been done so much better and really didn't need to be watered down like this. Super strength? Sure. Enhanced regeneration? Go for it. Hell, even a few more outlandish things could've worked, but I don't think melty people do. Could've tied in some super soldier stuff if they wanted too.

Overall, a lot of the main selling point of this movie were oddly undersold. It's an alright movie, but most Hollywood movies are "all right."

This one honestly could've been better.

I just came back from the movie, and I went there knowing there was a big twist.

When I left the movie, I was left wondering what the twist was. I'm starting to know too much about writing stories. :(

The way Killian was introduced in the flashback clearly identified him as a big deal. When he came to Stark Industries all fit and suave, with a suspicious henchman, I immediately realized this was the main antagonist. To make a good antagonist, a writer needs to make it personal between the antagonist and protagonist. When it showed Killian arriving, smirking after Potts, it rang that little bell. The link between Killian's henchman and the terrorists attack sealed the deal for me, so the big twist wasn't really a surprise to me, so much so I was expecting something utterly different. One does not waste that much time developing the second in command to the antagonist.

The Mandarin was too detached, too different and out there to strike me as the primary antagonist. I admit I was not expecting him to be a drunken druggie however, so I guess they got me there?

I regret ignoring the spoiler warning...

Dammit, I was told that the twist was that The Mandarin was Tony Stark's father so I refused to see the movie...

Thanks for the spoiler warning, I clicked the Big Picture link without reading the description, then you said stop and go see iron man 3, so i did and now im back i more or less agree to what you are saying. The only thing in the entire movie that kept breaking me out of it was the fact that the iron man suits would melt but hardly any clothes were burned.

That twist caught me COMPLETELY off guard!

I was quite impressed that they actually went ahead and did this. It is rare that we even get a twist like this nowadays and rarer still that it wasn't on ANY of the trailers or promotional material. I guess that they did this so that going into the movie we would be seeing things as the people in the movie itself are seeing things and that is AWESOME!

considering the inherent "goofyness" of the comic mandarin, i think what they did with the character in this movie was a good call. While the Twist was telegraphed miles ahead (yeah... another defense contractor suddenly appears in the movie, gosh i wonder if he might be evil...).

Great video Bob!

You had me laughing at the end. I also felt the movie left open the possibility for The Mandarin's return. If there is an Iron Man 4, having Trevor stumble upon the rings would be great.

I accept that The Mandarin had to be changed to suit the movie. However, I feel they did that prior to the big reveal, not after. It wasn't bad, it was just disappointing.

I liked the movie a lot. As an adaptation of the "Extremis" storyline... it is horrible.

LysanderNemoinis:
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?

TheNaut131:
I actually kinda liked the twist. Though I'm kinda sick of the "villain-isn't-the-villain-at-all" trope and EVIL BUSINESSMEN MAKING WAAAAAR, I oddly liked it. It was absurd. I mean, plenty of people guessed it *coughbullshitcough* but I didn't really expect THAT.

Credossuck:
considering the inherent "goofyness" of the comic mandarin, i think what they did with the character in this movie was a good call. While the Twist was telegraphed miles ahead (yeah... another defense contractor suddenly appears in the movie, gosh i wonder if he might be evil...).

So... None of you expected a rich white villain in an Iron Man movie?

ironpatriot:

LysanderNemoinis:
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?

TheNaut131:
I actually kinda liked the twist. Though I'm kinda sick of the "villain-isn't-the-villain-at-all" trope and EVIL BUSINESSMEN MAKING WAAAAAR, I oddly liked it. It was absurd. I mean, plenty of people guessed it *coughbullshitcough* but I didn't really expect THAT.

Credossuck:
considering the inherent "goofyness" of the comic mandarin, i think what they did with the character in this movie was a good call. While the Twist was telegraphed miles ahead (yeah... another defense contractor suddenly appears in the movie, gosh i wonder if he might be evil...).

So... None of you expected a rich white villain in an Iron Man movie?

Obadiah was white and rich, Justin Hammer was white and rich, vankov was white and rich in bodily odours i presume.

So yes. Seeing another white and rich guy prattle about in an iron man movie gave it away.

Trinab:
I just came back from the movie, and I went there knowing there was a big twist.

When I left the movie, I was left wondering what the twist was. I'm starting to know too much about writing stories. :(

The way Killian was introduced in the flashback clearly identified him as a big deal. When he came to Stark Industries all fit and suave, with a suspicious henchman, I immediately realized this was the main antagonist. To make a good antagonist, a writer needs to make it personal between the antagonist and protagonist. When it showed Killian arriving, smirking after Potts, it rang that little bell. The link between Killian's henchman and the terrorists attack sealed the deal for me, so the big twist wasn't really a surprise to me, so much so I was expecting something utterly different. One does not waste that much time developing the second in command to the antagonist.

The Mandarin was too detached, too different and out there to strike me as the primary antagonist. I admit I was not expecting him to be a drunken druggie however, so I guess they got me there?

After IM2, the balance of antagonist did surprise me. Of course Killian was going to be *an* antagonist, but I figured him to be on some level subservient to the Mandarin, after the whole Vankov / Hammer dynamic. Maybe I'm just too simple minded...

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