The Big Picture: The Big Spoiler: Iron Man 3

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aba1:

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.

It would probably help people differentiate between your thoughts if you learned to properly punctuate your sentences.

While I could get behind the idea of Mandarin being redesigned as a political and philosophical nemesis to Tony Stark, I absolutely hated what they did with him in the end. It wasn't that it was a bad idea, it's that they did this, already, TWICE.

The formula for Superhero movies seems to often concentrate on the 'two bad guys' mechanic, and this is what we've seen in each of the Iron Man movies. In the first movie, we got a terrorist organization who may or may not have had actual grievances, and the REAL power behind them, which was a rich white guy trying to control the military industrial complex. In the second movie, we got a brilliant Russian inventor who may or may not have had actual grievances, and a rich white guy trying to control the military industrial complex... And now, in the third movie we get what at first appears to be another terrorist who may have an actual grievance, but it turns out that the REAL bad guy is... a rich white guy trying to control the military industrial complex.

Seriously, I have no issue with using corporate warmongers as villains, but isn't the stereotype of the rich white capitalist with no moral compass growing just as stale as any other? I would have been far happier with Mandarin having been re-imagined as a thoughtful philosopher who has decided to use the same force the West does to achieve social change. Instead we get a retread of, "Tony atones for being a part of war-based capitalism by taking down another guy who's trying to do the same thing." There's nothing wrong with that plot, we've just done it to death!

So, here's the thing about the Tony Stark side of the Extremis storyline as I understand it. Note: I haven't read... well, really ANY comics... as I understand it, Tony kind of implants the suit into himself to become the true Iron Man? So, he basically becomes Wolverine, minus the claws? And who says that's not what they have planned for the not so subtly implied fourth Iron Man? You know what really bothers me about the trilogy as a whole? Why did it take three movies before Tony Stark got that sliver of shrapnel removed? It's not like he couldn't have continued to wear the arc reactor afterwards, he's got a chest cavity specifically designed for the thing.

Since we're doing spoilers around here, I will probably just to with warnings and not tags.

First of all, the first thing I said to my husband when we were introduced to Killian was "Syndrome", as in "The Incredibles".

You don't dress up Guy Pierce as a complete dork and expect the audience to not anticipate some sort of radical turnaround.

This movie did a lot with telegraphing. The thing with Pepper at the end? I mean, duh. How could it have ended any other way, really?

That said, I LOVED the twist. I was in the theater going "hell yeah, that's how you pull this stuff off". Because I think a lot of the movie was about masks people wear. I've read a lot of objections to Tony not wearing the Mk42 a lot in the movie but it thought it was not only a beautiful contrast to the villain (with his declaration that he was the Mandarin), but also a sublime but of character growth for Tony: he could finally be Iron Man without the suit and that's what all of his taking action without the sur on was about. Tony ISN'T the suit. The suit is an extension of him that he was finally able to distance himself from. The ending to me felt really earned in that regard. The PTSD stuff was overwrought, sure, but it was part of the overall Hero's Struggle.

Plot holes and silliness aside, this was a fine movie and a decent series ending.

Daria.Morgendorffer:
Since we're doing spoilers around here, I will probably just to with warnings and not tags.

First of all, the first thing I said to my husband when we were introduced to Killian was "Syndrome", as in "The Incredibles".

You don't dress up Guy Pierce as a complete dork and expect the audience to not anticipate some sort of radical turnaround.

This movie did a lot with telegraphing. The thing with Pepper at the end? I mean, duh. How could it have ended any other way, really?

That said, I LOVED the twist. I was in the theater going "hell yeah, that's how you pull this stuff off". Because I think a lot of the movie was about masks people wear. I've read a lot of objections to Tony not wearing the Mk42 a lot in the movie but it thought it was not only a beautiful contrast to the villain (with his declaration that he was the Mandarin), but also a sublime but of character growth for Tony: he could finally be Iron Man without the suit and that's what all of his taking action without the sur on was about. Tony ISN'T the suit. The suit is an extension of him that he was finally able to distance himself from. The ending to me felt really earned in that regard. The PTSD stuff was overwrought, sure, but it was part of the overall Hero's Struggle.

Plot holes and silliness aside, this was a fine movie and a decent series ending.

I agree with you about the theme of Tony being Iron Man without the suit. It was certainly a piece of character growth that demanded to be shown by the third movie. While Aldrich identified with his new powers, Tony was learning to identify himself without the suit, and bravo for that. Honestly the Aldrich bad guy was fine, it's just that the Mandarin plot actually made Aldrich less interesting. Having Aldrich struggling with self-identity the same way Tony was would have been a perfect thing to focus on and explore more deeply instead of making his plot all about a fake terror war.

Imagine how great it would have been to have Aldrich, who desperately needed financing for his think tank, going to an actual Mandarin who could provide that backing. Then imagine him and his new powers causing him an identity crisis and playing it off Tony's own similar crisis, comparing the two men's struggles and contrasting their reactions to that crisis. Aldrich would have been a pawn of Mandarin instead of the other way around, and we wouldn't have needed this non-nonsensical military industrial plot to muddle the whole thing up.

Personally I loved the twist, and i loved this episode. That ending had me cracking up because I could see it clear as day, and It. Would. Be. AWESOME! lol

CelestDaer:
So, here's the thing about the Tony Stark side of the Extremis storyline as I understand it. Note: I haven't read... well, really ANY comics... as I understand it, Tony kind of implants the suit into himself to become the true Iron Man? So, he basically becomes Wolverine, minus the claws? And who says that's not what they have planned for the not so subtly implied fourth Iron Man? You know what really bothers me about the trilogy as a whole? Why did it take three movies before Tony Stark got that sliver of shrapnel removed? It's not like he couldn't have continued to wear the arc reactor afterwards, he's got a chest cavity specifically designed for the thing.

that shrapnel was just the first piece they pulled out, it was said i the first iron man when his chest was hooked up to a car battery that the bomb that hit him had put a bunch of fragments into his chest that would get into the blood stream and tear up his heart, so the arc reactor in his chest was to work as an electron magnet and pull the shrapnel and hold it in place, since it was close to his heart they couldn't operate with out the extremis to keep him alive during the operation. when they pulled the first shard out it got pulled up to where they had his arc reactor hanging above him to keep the shrapnel in place.

Awesome ending! (And kudos for mentioning David Lo Pan.)

Of the Iron Man villains, I would like to see Ghost. I know he would be a hireling, but he could be one of the few guys to challenge Tony with cunning and gadgets.

PS: I was kinda waiting Iron Man 3 to make a double con, and Trevor Slattery actually just fooling Tony. Alas, that was not the case, but I would like to see him with magic powers.

I went into the movie knowing nothing about the comics, so I didn't know the Mandarin was supposed to be such a big deal. Maybe if I had known more about his original character, the twist would have bothered me, but as it was, I loved the twist! :)

When the movie started and the Mandarin was broadcasting his threats to people, the parallels with Osama Bin Laden were quite obvious and all I could think was, "Didn't we have Arab terrorists as the bad guys in the first film?" The character just felt tiresome, overdone, and uninteresting, so when the twist was revealed, it worked really well. Throughout the Iron Man movies, we've gone from Arab terrorists, to an evil Russian, to a pseudo-Chinese guy and it's like we've been conditioned to expect the foreign guy to be the Big Bad. The twist is effective because not only does it play on the expectations of the characters and the audience, but it makes fun of those expectations and kind of says, "Don't you feel stupid that it was so easy to convince you that this clown was a serious threat?"

(I could go on about how it could be interpreted as an allegory for mass media stirring up public support for dubious political decisions, but I digress...)

And Guy Pearce did have Oriental Dragon tattoos. He could totally pick up the mantle and go like "I'm the true Mandarin, I don't need a double any more. And cue Loki giving him magic rings."

Why did he shoot the guy though? Like did he actually shoot the guy? Did he think it was blanks?

ha, the fanboy just oozed out of this one XD

Speaking as a member of the annoyed group, and having had some time to think about it, I don't hate the twist--it was a good twist, it just belonged in a different set of movies. Had it shown up in the Nolan Batman movies that some ultimate criminal was just an actor, I'd have loved the hell out of it. My problem is that they teased The Mandarin, which meant I thought it was the beginning of seeing all the space magic/science/superpowers actually start to intermingle, instead of stay mostly in their respective films, with their respective characters. I was hoping to see Iron Man learn to deal with nonterrestrial things that were super effective against his armor that he'd have to learn to work around (or, see a named Thorbuster or Hulkbuster make an appearance for a Tony Stark having a massive identity crisis where he's panicking that without the suit he's nothing, so he's overcompensating by building an army, or say an Iron Legion to help him specifically deal with the idea by being more than just a man in a suit). Yeah, it was a good twist, but it was an unwanted twist, and instead of giving me something fun and exciting, it took something fun and exciting away.

I was okay with most of it being him outside the armor, to remind him that it's not *just* the armor, but the whole combination that was important. He told Romanov in the Avengers that he was something even without the suit, so that he had to convince or remind himself felt appropriate. I could deal with the kid as a time passer and comic relief, and was even kind of excited by the Fin Fang Foom imagery of Killian's character, but I still wanted the Mandarin, dammit, and instead I got yet another crappy, annoying EVIL CORPORATE MOOK who wanted nothing but more money. Great. Like I don't already have thousands of those. You know what I don't have thousands of? Idealistic evil bastards with superpowers or space weapons that want to achieve a goal, but have a superhero in the way. Guess which of those I wanted to see.

Oh, and that most of my annoyance comes from the really, really annoying last 15 minutes or so doesn't help things. I liked the twist, but was disappointed that there wasn't a "lol no really, I am the Mandarin, thanks for turning your back and buying my charade of being an actor"; I hated the ending that made everything into another pointlessly overdone and heavy handed metaphor that robbed me of all my enjoyment.

Xaszatm:

You wrote a message to me in response to me, and I'm guessing you deleted it or something because I can't find it (I could also not be very observant at the moment). I just wanted to say that everything I've said about China is pretty well documented actually, if you do searches for things like a combination of "China, Satellites, Lasers" you'll find articles going back to around 2006 dealing with ground based systems intended to interfere with military satellites and enforce conventional warfare. What's more China's militay build up has included things like a naval force sufficient to project it's troops into other countries en-masse, aircraft carriers, and other assorted things. Very much a conventional invasion force under construction, there is no need for any of this in a defensive capacity, only if you want to bring your forces to attack other nations. Things like the Yuan class submarine are also matters of public record at this point, as well as China's increasing belligerance in trying to force Japan to cede control of parts of it's territory to China in combination with it's rising military power, territory which is incidently of key strategic value within the region. Likewise things from behind the Bamboo Curtain *DO* indeed get out including what a lot of Chinese politicians are saying internally, for internal consumpsion, which has been incredibly militeristic over the years, even if the nature of it has not played well with the mainstream press.

I hate to be this direct, but there has been enough shown about China to also make it pretty clear that the typical Chinese is pretty much forced into a life of borderline slavery, being forced to share sleeping mats with multiple other people in shifts, working for a pittiance in sweatshops which is how the Chinese economy is maintained, and even in many cases made to live alongside their own livestock which is how diseases like SARS got started. In counterpart to this however there is a relative minority of people who live quite well in some of the hugest, most modern cities in the world, and act as a sort of ruling class. While it's from Hong Kong this is one of many articles that kind of summarizes the issues.

http://news.yahoo.com/poor-cages-show-dark-side-hong-kong-boom-142635066--finance.html

Not to mention the well documented antics of the Beijing Olympics with the police pretty much forcing people out of their homes to make space, and keeping "unsightly" people confined to their homes during the olympics themselves. For the most part whenever someone wants to bring up truely atrocious human rights violations and the majority of a people living in horrendous squalor, China is the target, and has gotten interntaional attention for this in the past.

By the accounts I'm getting China's saber rattling is pretty much used similarly to what the USSR did to help keep it's underclass focused and in line, as well as military invasion "in the future" being the promised solution to a lot of the problems going on. After all if you live in say a dog crate in between going to work at some sweatshop, the idea of this military your goverment is building being used to conquer the "decadent" western world your told is responsible for your problems represents a ray of hope, it will be worth it because if you colonize other nations there will be living space, and one day people won't have to share the same mat with a dozen other people, live in dog crates, or whatever else.

At any rate, while not "nice" I have to take anything I hear coming from China via a computer with a grain of salt if your to be believed, because really, only a fairly small percentage of the population have computers. A point made in some articles on asian gaming (just to back it up) talking about the use of cafes and such in countries where even the middle class are unlikely to have PCs. It doesn't seem likely that you'd agree with me, even overseas, if your in that class and plan to live and work in China at any given point.

Apologies for the length, but the bottom line is I don't believe you, especially seeing as there is a preponderance of evidence that presents things as being very differant from the tone of your post. Likewise when I am reading articles about how China has just launched it's first Aircraft carrier, which is hardly a defensive weapon, around the same time when it's trying to get it's hand on territory held by Japan which is of strategic value to the US, your not convincing me China isn't planning military aggression. You don't build Aircraft carriers for any other reason but to project power and spearhead attacks (so you can launch planes into other countries). I suppose you can argue it's not true, but it's kind of right there if you catch my meaning.

At any rate as this applies to the Mandarin, my point is that he's actually a pretty understandable character, and really one of the more realistic villains out there. At the end of the day he's out to conquer the world for his own people (with himself in charge), believing in their inherant superiority over all others and right to rule. There have been many men like him throughout history, and China has had plenty of conquerors through it's own history. It's relevent because even if the trappings are differant, this is pretty much what China is building up to do.

Let me be honest about one final thing in closing though, I don't hate China or the Chinese people in any absolute sense. To be totally blunt with you, I'd have few if any issues if China simply agreed to start respecting copyright and IP laws, and ending it's knockoffs, and pretty much disarming it's offensive military forces. I mean I don't care if China wants to have a coast guard, some airforce bases to intercept jets someone might send after it, and a huge conventional military and a buttload of tanks if someone is to land troops or whatever. Hell, to be honest I didn't
even care that much about China being a nuclear power. All of my attitudes are entirely reactive. I get angry over the human rights stuff, but as others have pointed out, we can't really force that to stop without wrecking the rest of the country, I mostly simply see that as something important to attach to any kind of surrender if we were to ever beat China in a war, rather than the motivation for a war in general. It's just like my sentiments on The Middle East, I make total war arguements about breaking the culture, however to be honest if they just decided to generally knock it off on their own, I really wouldn't give a crap, keep the Islam to their own borders and be respecful of those who disagree (by say not expecting visiting women to act submissive to men and dress in body tents), for the most part we're more than happy to pay for their oil, and the leaders are more than willing to sell it so they can buy their fleets of gold plated cars and crap (disputes between them and the people over that should largely be an internal matter, to be fair, I think most Muslims are pointing their guns at the wrong people and would improve their lot in life if they whacked their own leadership and put the money into general govermental coffers, but that's another entire discussion).

At the end of the day though we're going to have to agree to disagree about The Mandarin, and I doubt we'll ever agree on any of these issues. To me I see "The Mandarin" as being oddly appropriate, much like say "Red Guardian" representing Russia when things were even less friendly between us. Is he 100% accurate to reality, of course not, he's a bloody super villain, he does however make the point while fitting in within his own universe. China chills out, then your likely to see the media follow suit, and characters like this lose their relevence (as I see it).

I also still maintain that "Iron Man 3" was just okay as a movie, and what it did with this character was crap. Just because you call something by a name doesn't mean that's what it is. You can call that character the Mandarin and it's false advertising and an insult to the premise as far as comics and the franchise goes. It's sort of like the guy who fed a bunch of ferrets steroids and sold them as poodles.... sure it might be entertaining on some level (a lot of the world Loled at that) but it's still not a poodle nor will a 'roid Ferret ever likely be accepted as a pet of equal value. "Iron Man 3" pretty much freaked us all out for a bit with it's twist (which I won't spoiler here) but at the end of the day it's a 'Roid Ferret when we should have gotten a poodle, and those who are disappointed have every right to be.

The twist just didn't work... not at all. I mean, it could have! But no, it did not have any payoff.

Instead of seeing Iron man fight something cool and fun like a wizard with space rings, we got to see him fight a guy who literally 'gets hot'. ...Come on Bob, you know they went that route because it was a lot more 'down to earth' in comparison. Yeah, it isn't real, but they did it because it was more real then the alternative. And if anything, the Iron Man movies always play it pathetically safe in this regard. I thought after the Avengers they'd finally grow some balls with Iron Man and bring in the weirdness. Boy, was I wrong. What a snore-fest that movie was.

I also found Guy Pearce boring and obnoxious in this movie, he made a terrible main villain.

Therumancer:
Spoilers Below:

I'm not surprised Bob liked this twist because it pretty much matched his liberal sensibilities

Stopped reading at this point.

The change was made for two reasons:

1) Because the original Mandarin was a borderline-racist caricature that honestly isn't that well-developed as a villain in the comics. His entire gimmick is his magic rings, and as Bob accurately points out, the stereotypical Chinese guy with magic powers thing has already been done and it would be nigh-impossible to top the bar placed by other movies.

2) Because the movie's producers wanted to be able to sell the movie in more than just one country, and having a stereotype of a Chinese man as the villain would essentially ruin any chances of an Eastern audience ever getting to see it. And while you may be okay with that because MURRICA is the only important audience in your mind, that doesn't change the reality that movies are marketed to a global audience nowadays and that the US isn't the only place where movies make money. They have to create their movies with this in mind.

It was NOT done as a bloody political statement against conservative policies. And the fact that you felt the need to boil it down to merely a matter of politics is quite frankly both offensive and pathetic. It's not actually addressing his points, it's setting up a straw-man and turning an argument over the movie into a political debate, which is entirely stupid. It's a movie. A summer blockbuster meant to give people something fun to watch, and that's what it does. If you can't shut off the politics in your brain and just try to enjoy a film, then I feel sorry for you.

Damn it bob i was all prepared to hate on you...

and you went all reasonable LOL. I have absolutely nothing to argue with you about. And your right how many die hard iron man comic fans are their really?

And your idea of bring back the coked up actor as the manderan.... LOL shhhh they might do that. They got a fairly crazy idea to work,
don't encourage them to push their luck.
Great view bob.
Thank you. After watching the movie was peaked at both your pieces at this cause i was worried about spoilers and Thank you for chopping up this and the other piece. Mad respect.

Henkie36:
The main reason I don't like this twist is because they do such a good job at building up this character of the Mandarin, they surround him in a lot of mystery, and then when he just turns out to be some drunken douchebag playing the Mandarin, it felt like an enormous let down. I guess Killian's reasonnig makes sense: rule the world from behind the scenes, because otherwise you'll make yourself a target, and just create a face that doesn't exist. Sure, but I still feel like they could have done something more interesting with this.

I agree with this.

The twist surprised me, and while it wasn't bad... I just feel like it should have been an alternate movie/ending thing. Killian was just a boring antagonist. They spent all this time building up this evil menacing 'terrorist' only to suddenly go, "lol no"

I guess it's all opinion, and at least the execution was good. Still I can't help but feel they just changed it up so they could have a twist.

Kind of like every single M. Night Shyamalan movie.

While I appreciate the need to move the Mandarin away from the the Dr. Fu-Manchu stereotype (one I'm sure the Chinese probably laugh at now) I still think there was potential to still create a great villain out of him.

I mean it would have tickled me pink that in the middle of Killian's monologue, he was stabbed in the back by the Mandarin with a witty line along the lines of 'Thank God, I thought I'd have to put up with him forever' and then sucker punches Iron Man in his armor. What ensues is a Kung Fu battle (allowing RDJ to show off his Wing Chun) between the Ring empowered Mandarin and Iron Man which could end with the Mandarin using one of his rings to get the perfected Extremis formula from Tony and promptly legging it. Or something.

I'll touch on a different subject here: Tony and the kid.
I am surprised people dismissing it as a "comic relief" or "teen sidekick" or "audience surrogate"

I loved that part, because in my mind it was more psychological then the rest of the movie combined.
See, Tony IS the kid. When Tony meets the child (by now you probably noticed, that I did not remember his name), they do not develop a usual "competent adult / helpless child" dynamic. They communicate as equals. They trade stuff, they share secrets, they play jokes on each other.
This is the part where two boys interact, just one of them is 40+ years old and is filthy rich.
And that's great, because it touches on the psychology of Tony's reflection. He experiences another bout of growing up. "Aren't you a mechanic? Can't you just ... make something? - Okay."
If you look into this period, Tony never teaches the kid anything (contrary to the usual "adult / child" trope in the movies) but he learns.

And that's essential, basically all 3 Iron Man movies are about Tony growing up.

Iron man 1 is just pure "exit the sandbox and enter the grown-ups world" movie. Tony learns that pain, suffering and death exist in the world. Safety blanket is off and the big boy pants are on.
Iron man 2 has the subplot of Tony accepting his father, resolving his daddy issues. The subplot reveals to Tony, that whatever perceived slights your parents conducted against you (in his case - neglect from his father) - you have to let it go and embrace the biggest gift parents can give: adamant trust in you growing up better and greater then they have been.
And Iron man 3 puts a cap on this, by teaching Tony not to be defined by his immediate successes or singular deeds (because, taken individually they can paint him as either a saint or a devil). Tony learns to define himself by his strengths and weaknesses.
What you can and what you can't defines you.
"A suit was just a shell. A cocoon" Things inside of the cocoon made the suit possible - not the other way around.

Iron man 3 ends with Tony growing up to be a man. With all of his mannerism, he still did grow up - and suit or not, he is a force for good in this world, not an oblivious child as in the beginning of IM1, not a emotional loose cannon as in the beginning of IM2, not a self-centered and self-absorbed maverick as in the beginning of Avengers.

He has his vices and has his virtues, but he is a force for good and a grown man.

I loved the twist mainly because when I saw the trailer i thought "oh, here we go again with the war on the terror...". I loved this movie, I think it's the best of the 3, and I really don't think you could bring the comics mandarin to a movie today, and be serious about it.
Also I think Big Trouble in Little China was the major influence from the 80s, aside from Mandarin we also got the best rendition of Raiden.

Bob, thank you for this video. Ignore the haters, I loved the twist! It was a real big surprise that blew my mind and upped the stakes. What doesn't jibe with me was how the Vice President was in on it. As soon word got out that The Mandarin was going to be the Big Bad of IM3, my friends (most of whom are Asian) were nervous about how he would be portrayed, knowing full well his roots in the '60's. My best friend, after the movie, pointed out they pulled a similar trick with The Mandarin in the Ultimate Universe, making him an A.I. or something.
Speaking of the Ultimate Universe, I never got into it. It looked like some hack writer's idea of a "realistic" (pfffft HAHAHAHAHAHA!) universe, but every hero who's not Spider-Man comes off as an unlikeable toolbag, whose flaws and dysfunctions make those of their main Universe counterparts look tame in comparison. Which is why, in the context of comic books, I refer to "realism" as the "R" word. And I don't need the R word to get in the way of my movie fun!

Just got back from watching it tonight and I looooooved the twist. Kingsley was great. I'd love to see that character return; If not as a villain, then maybe in some other bumbling helpful or harmful capacity.

I also thought the kid was a nice touch in this one.

I'll be very interested to see how they go forward with Stark/Iron Man in subsequent films.

Oh God, that ending, I so want to see that, as well! More Mandarin, please!

OK, I just had a thought related to the true-villain twist: Killian is a member of A.I.M., which in the comics had a history of working with HYDRA, who were the bad guys under the Red Skull in Captain America's movie. Would it sound too far fetched to say that A.I.M. is a modern-day offshoot of HYDRA?

I cant believe so many people liked the twist, I saw it as a huge disappointment.

I'm not one of those guys who demands the movies be like the comic, but when you promote that your movie will have an iconic villain that the fans have been waiting to see for years, then not actually feature said villain, that's false advertising and lying to your audience.

Imagine if you went to see the Dark Knight and learned that all that promotional material and trailer footage for the Joker was a scam, he isn't in the film, there is just a 5 minute scene of some crazy guy pretending to be him. The real villain is Black Mask or something. Even if it was still a good movie, wouldn't you be outraged?

cthulhuspawn82:
I cant believe so many people liked the twist, I saw it as a huge disappointment.

I'm not one of those guys who demands the movies be like the comic, but when you promote that your movie will have an iconic villain that the fans have been waiting to see for years, then not actually feature said villain, that's false advertising and lying to your audience.

Imagine if you went to see the Dark Knight and learned that all that promotional material and trailer footage for the Joker was a scam, he isn't in the film, there is just a 5 minute scene of some crazy guy pretending to be him. The real villain is Black Mask or something. Even if it was still a good movie, wouldn't you be outraged?

Nope, provided that the movie was still executed well.

And Iron Man 3 executes both this twist and the rest of the storyline extremely well.

I liked the movie a lot. More than the first, even.

Looking back, though, I cottoned onto some implications I really liked. For example, the way the guards said "don't look him in the eye if you don't want to get shot in the face" implied that that had actually happened at some point, something that doesn't quite fit into the twist. My theory is that "The Mandarin" was a double-bluff; the Trevor identity was an invention of the real Mandarin to keep Tony on Killian's trail and duck any suspicion.

Also, the mention of getting Pepper "fixed" is nicely ambiguous as to whether Tony found a way to undo the Extremis changes (in keeping with the no-suit theme in the end of the movie), or whether he fixed the Extremis stuff so Pepper doesn't have to worry about exploding.

I saw the twist coming from a mile away. I guess I'm just savvy

The way everything was done was too suspicious. They never showed you "the Mandarin" outside of the broadcasts, the broadcasts were cliche as fuck (which of course was intentional, but it was too cliche even if you wanted it in the mere context of the film), you actually saw Killian doing things by himself as opposed to taking orders, and you saw more henchmen associated with Killian than with "the Mandarin."

cthulhuspawn82:
I cant believe so many people liked the twist, I saw it as a huge disappointment.

I didn't think it was good or bad, it was just there.

cthulhuspawn82:

I'm not one of those guys who demands the movies be like the comic, but when you promote that your movie will have an iconic villain that the fans have been waiting to see for years, then not actually feature said villain, that's false advertising and lying to your audience.

Hmm. Well I personally have always found trailers misleading (not that it makes it ok), but aside from that I mean "the Mandarin" is still a character in the film. The implication that he's a villain doesn't mean it's the truth.

cthulhuspawn82:

Imagine if you went to see the Dark Knight and learned that all that promotional material and trailer footage for the Joker was a scam, he isn't in the film, there is just a 5 minute scene of some crazy guy pretending to be him. The real villain is Black Mask or something. Even if it was still a good movie, wouldn't you be outraged?

Maybe if it had happened two decades a go. Media (not just movies, games and books) have been heavily pulling meta-twists since the late 90s, coupled with trailers usually being bullshit, it just comes off on how you receive it.

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.

Damn it someone beat me to it! Pretty much ^^^ ALL THIS ^^^, i saw the switcharoo twist coming a mile away the minute pearce stepped on scene. Oh but did i have alot of gripes with this movie, not saying it's bad but considering the standard that's now set, i expected better. let's run down the list shall we?

1) very melee heavy oriented fights: aside from stark using an uzi for about a few seconds and the missles that blew up his house, can anyone actually recall projectiles or guns being used all that much? Remember in the avengers the iron man suit had a stockpile of missles that he launched at the scooter aliens coming in from the portal? What happened to all those? I mean i kind of half expected all those iron man suits to do this:

(@ 0:13)

2)The "Other" Twists: pepper surviving the 500 ft. fall into a pit of fire and the botanist chicks betrayal. i like how everyone just kind of glossed over that. Because they were both stupid and predictable.

3)This kind of goes back to the first one: The typical corporate villian. You know where else we saw this? DMC and GI Joe. Destro and that bald dude. No i don't remember what his name was and no i don't care either. Anyway, we've seen this type of villian done before and frankly I myself am sick of it because it's just been done sooooooooo much and we get it, corporate ceo's are scum, stop drilling it into our heads!

i mean i could write more but i think ya'll get the picture

I knew the twist beforehand, my father did not. We went to see the movie together. He loved the twist, and I did too.

I don't think the movie eschewed the sillier elements of the Marvel universe; a fire-breathing regenerating lava man is as silly as you can get. What it did was take something that is frankly rather offensive to me (as somebody who has dealt with xenophobic racism before) and shown it for what it really is: A racist caricature figurehead that is easy to hate and smokescreens anything else involved. The Mandarin is built up as a villain, but he's not a suitable arch-nemesis; he lacks any real personal connection with Tony like Vanko from Iron Man 2 did. Killian isn't a great villain, but he fulfills his role; I think Iron Man doesn't really need an arch-nemesis because the character is so strong on his own.

And I just have to say, Iron Man 3 blows the Dark Knight Rises out of the water when it comes to twists. Bane actually was built up as main villain material, so seeing him shafted like that honestly hurt. The Mandarin wasn't, and that's what let the twist with him feel natural and not disappointing.

Edit: It's funny that so many people are calling Killian a typical corporate villain, when he's actually another well-played archetype: The power hungry mad scientist. Seriously, he asks Stark to see his idea, Stark doesn't want to, Killian gets angry at the rejection of his ideas, injects himself with extremis, and begins doing crazy stuff like breathing fire. You'll recall at the beginning of the movie, he was asking Pepper to have Stark Enterprises help with his think tank.

Just because he wears a suit and doesn't have frizzy hair doesn't make him any less of a mad scientist for me.

Well heres another one of those weird days when I completely disagree with Moviebob. I did not enjoy Ironman 3. It was boring and overly long for a story that just wasn't that interesting. I would rather they just gone with Ezekiel Stane's storyline http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeke_Stane instead of just nodding to it. They also did that classic hollywood move of screwing up a character so we don't get to see him as he is in the comics unless they reboot it.

See I actually read Iron man and at least lately Mandarin is totally doable and is not stereotyping anything. Yes in some ways he's an Asian Doctor Doom and that's fine. I wouldn't have been bothered if the movie was better I just thought it was "Ok". Watchable. I can't see myself watching it again even when it come out on BR. It was just kinda meh. It was just disjointed. The whole thing with Tonys just weird semi pointless panic attacks just bored me. The sideplot in Tennessee was blah. They already went through this with Tony being sick in Ironman 2 just kinda rehashing it with a different name. I get that a big part of Tony's life is learning to do things different but I just didn't get much from it this time. The new tech they introduced wasn't interesting either. I liked the way it was done better in Zekes story as well.

I too liked the plot twist. But that still doesn't make the movie good. It's bad. It's very bad. The entire second act makes no sense whatsoever. Why did Tony need to fix Mark 42 when he had an underground base full of Iron Man suits? Why did he have to travel to Miami in the car? The entire second act should not exist.

With all of the things they could have done with Iron Man 3, I have to ask why did they even bother with Mandarin if the best they could do is make the entire character fake?

In this day and age, spoilers are fine. You give warning and "Snape kills Dumbledore."
So, yeah. About that Mandarin, that would be an awesome idea. I also like Guy Pearce and he does make a badass villain or an anti-hero. Great actor, underrated in a lot of ways.

I honestly liked the twist too (though it took a few minutes to process) and Kingsly was amazing. What I didn't like was that Killian's ultimate motivation was something I'm pretty sure has been done to death. I get there was an overarching theme and that the Mandarin twist actually fits into it, but I really wish the villain payoff was a bit more substantial.

Maybe it's because I'm new to the whole comic book thing, but I didn't even realize this was a twist. I just assumed the real villain was going to end up being Killian after the first few minutes of the movie. I walked out of the theater confused because I couldn't recall any big unexpected twists like everyone was making a big fuss over.

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