Movie Title: Iron Man 3
Director: Shane Black
Date Released: May 3rd, 2013
Date Seen: May 3rd, 2013
Part 1 – Spoiler Free Quickie Review
I’m so frustrated with this movie. I really enjoyed it, and had a good time watching it, but one thing pissed me off SO much that I have been fuming since I saw it last night. So, I’m going to try and put the one thing that pissed me off aside (I will talk about it in part 2, however, as it is very spoilery), and review this.
This movie took a dark turn from the beginning, but still has the typical Iron Man movie feel – ie elements of humor thrown in, typical Tony Stark being cocky-ness, and lots of explosions and fight scenes. I thought a couple of the fight scenes were super cool – notably the one where the house is destroyed (oh hush, it’s in the trailer!) and the “final” battle. That’s not surprising though, considering these fights are always pretty cool. The best part about the “final” battle is that Tony keeps switching suits, so not only do you get to SEE the other suits, you get to see them in action and the “special” ability that each one has (for example one has huge guns, one does heavy lifting, etc.). It was pretty cool. Pepper gets to be even more of a bad ass in this movie, which is great.
The problem with this movie (again, trying to avoid spoilers) is the villains. It’s not the acting, as Ben Kingsley and Guy Pearce are AMAZING. The problem is that the writers and the studio took a chance with something, that in my opinion didn’t work. If you don’t know the comic Iron Man story, you probably won’t even notice and actually won’t mind the villains. But, knowing a bit about the Iron Man story, I was annoyed. Very. Very annoyed. Again, trying not to spoil anything but will elaborate more below.
Overall, it was still a great movie. The plot I found overall much better than Iron Man 2, the explosions and fight scenes were better, and we had the typical Iron Man fun that we wanted.
Part 2 – In Depth Spoiler Ridden Review
So, here’s my problem with the movie. It wasted the Mandarin and made him a throw away character. The “twist” about halfway through is that the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) is actually just a hired actor, named Trevor, who was paid to portray this man. He thinks that it’s a role, and not that anyone was ever actually getting hurt. Now you’re thinking, oh but in the end he comes back out and is like “HAHA SUCKERS I AM THE MANDARIN” right? Nope. He is seriously just this dude Trevor. I have a problem with this for multiple reasons.
1. It was a waste of Ben Kingsley. Yes, he acted the part of both the insanely maniacal fucked up villain well, and the drugged up Trevor very well, but COME ON. You had the potential for an amazing villain and you just wasted it so easily?
2. The Mandarin has such a cool back story, with his rings and how they give him power, and he has that kind of Ras Al-Ghul type attitude (that of a respectful teacher) that you just can’t help but kind of like him for that. But on, again, you just threw that all away. I think this post on imdb says it best: “…they thought having a guy with magical alien rings is too-fetched in a world that has a green monster, magical artifacts, Asgard, a Thunder God, Alien Invasions, Thanos and a super solider that is over 80 years old. Probably the most criminal portrayal of a villain I have ever seen. Disney and Shane Black destroyed an iconic character and turn it into one big, fat joke.” A response to that also comments on how they didn’t like the Mandarin since he was such a racial stereotype, but um, hello, the whole first movie is pretty much stereotyping middle easterners as terrorists.
3. This movie threw away the whole buildup in the other Iron Man movies as well as the trailer. The nice subtle little hints in the other movies referring to the Mandarin are ruined. You get excited to see more of this villain and you don’t.
4. But wait, Maria, what about Guy Pearce’s character, Killian? He says that he was always the Mandarin and that poor Trevor (Ben Kingsley) was just their pawn who was going to be blamed for everything. Well, ugh, I have a problem with this too because in the comics Killian is an actual character, not someone the movie made up. The movie actually follows a fair amount of his storyline correctly. So why the movie chose to throw these two into one person, I don’t know. It’s stupid, because again, it disregards all the awesome and potential that there was in the real Mandarin story.
5. Read this article. It feels like Shane Black is like “haha, well I just HAD to do this because they got rid of me on the first movie… and so I was bitter… and thus decided to take it out on the audiences rather than make a better script.”
Trevor did mention something about how they “gave [him] plastic surgery”, which could mean that there is a REAL Mandarin out there, that they made Trevor look like, but that’s kind of shot in the foot, since Killian says that he was “always” the Mandarin. So, I don’t know…. I’ve also come to accept the fact that the movie was smart, in that it tricked us, the viewers, into thinking that the Mandarin = Ben Kingsley = villain. So just like Tony Stark and all the others, it was hard to believe that he was just some hired guy named Trevor. While I kind of like this facade that they put on – it still pisses me off because I just wanted Ben Kingsley so bad, that villain had amazing potential and they just wasted it all.
Alright so moving on, one thing I did like about this movie, besides the fight scenes, was any scene with Harley. That kid was hysterical. I did feel bad for him at the end though, because you know Harley would have much rather had Tony there and get to see him than all that nice stuff. Yeah, those toys were nice, but I thought it was clear Harley really just needed a friend.
The villain thing really bothered me, but other than that, good explosions, fight scenes, and Pepper gets to be a badass.