“…a great movie that was ruined by a stupid story decision.”
Yesterday I watched Iron Man 3, and I remember not really liking it after the first time I saw it. So obviously, I went into the movie with very low expectations. Iron Man 3 finds Tony Stark going toe to toe with the terrorist mastermind, the Mandarin (played wonderfully by Ben Kingsley). Of course, to make the movie interesting Tony has finally met his match, and must use every bit of strength to fight (and hopefully defeat) his foe. You know, the basic copy and paste bullshit.
Watching Iron Man 3 I couldn’t for the life of me remember why I don’t like the film (actually, I could perfectly remember why I think the film is stupid, but to build a narrative in this review I will play the fool), it had everything; It was funny, it had great action, it had (in my opinion) the best Iron Man villain to date, and more importantly it had a very mature feel to it. The film is co-written, and directed by Shane Black who has an impressive resume to say the least. No offense to Jon Favreau, but I think what Iron Man needed was to be taken control of by someone who wasn’t so close to the character. I’m sure that Jon Favreau sees Iron Man as a pseudo-child of his, because he is the man that brought the character to life, but sometimes it is better to let your child go to school during the day and have someone else look after his little bratty ass. That metaphor kind of got away from me, but I digress; Shane Black did a great job with the character of Tony Stark, and allowed us to see a darker side of him then we were shown previously. That’s not to say that this movie was perfect, because I still felt that, much like Iron Man 2, it glossed over a lot of the issues that Tony Stark has and instead made them kind of ‘non-issues’. I would have enjoyed seeing a little bit more of a progression of the character instead of him just suddenly having a panic attack after speaking to a child. The story did allow us to see more of Tony when he is completely on his own. Sure, Iron Man (the first movie) started off with vulnerable Tony, but then he is surrounded by help when he is saved. This movie even strips him of his most basic power, the Iron Man suit. It was nice to see more of the character of Tony Stark who, after all, is a genius. The movie also offered us a personal look at Tony by providing voice over narration by Stark himself. I would be lying if I didn’t say that this was a little out of place, but by the end it makes sense. And also, it seemed a little on the nose for a Shane Black movie but, oh well. The movie stays true to the previous films by being absolutely hilarious, and the action is very well done. I’m impressed that each of the Marvel Movies seems to top the last one in terms of action, I can’t wait until Iron Man 7 where they will literally have to blow up a planet to keep up. All jokes aside, the action was very well done, and again the effects are great. One problem I noticed with the effects occurs when Tony is walking around in the Iron Man suit, but his face is exposed. I am aware that the way Robert Downey Jr. films these scenes is by just having his face showing, but that leads to some super shitty effects glitches in this movie. It is almost as if it would be more worth it to have the actor in a physical suit and then touch it up with effects. But what do I know, I’m just some guy on the internet. I also enjoyed the camerawork in this movie, Shane Black really incorporates some great shots to add some flavour. And the score was also amazing. I didn’t notice it until a certain scene at Tony’s House (you know the one), but that score just comes out of nowhere and kicks the shit out of your eardrums. It was amazing, being both intense and uplifting (for lack of a better term). So as you can tell, I had a great time watching Iron Man 3, and it’s weird that I remember the movie poorly.
I gave Iron Man 3 a —
But then it hits me. It hits me like a fucking truckload of bricks that just fell from the top of a skyscraper. If you haven’t already assumed so, the remaining portion of this review contains spoilers for Iron Man 3.
The fucking Mandarin.
I really shouldn’t have to continue, but I will. They once again, fucked up a character that many people love. I’m going to make it abundantly clear that I have not read a comic book that features the Mandarin, nor have I ever read an Iron Man comic book to be honest. But from a movie perspective, Iron Man 3 has the fucking worst bait and switch in the world of film. We start off the movie being conditioned to fear this man, sitting in a chair, spouting nonsense while taking credit for bombings that have killed lots of people. We were conditioned to fear a terrorist. “Finally,” I thought, “this character looks really interesting and I can’t wait to see what his motivation is and how he has so many cool weapons.” Tony Stark finally arrives at the mansion of the Mandarin, which is in Miami to make it even scarier. He incapacitates guards, hops over walls, and finally gets to a bedroom to find Trevor Slattery, the man who single handedly ruined Iron Man 3. Trevor Slattery (still played by Ben Kingsley) is a stage actor hired by none other than Aldrich Killian, a man who is mad at Tony Stark for two reasons: 1. Tony Stark stood him up when he offered to meet Aldrich on the roof of a hotel; and 2. Tony Stark is in a relationship with Pepper Potts (who previously described Aldrich as “some creepy guy I used to work with who was always hitting on me”. So let’s break this down. Aldrich becomes the Mandarin, killing a lot of people, because a drunk billionaire weapons manufacturer stood him up, and then later hooked up with a woman that he had no chance with anyway? What the fucking fuck! And I’m sure people will tell me that everything is okay because of the Marvel One Shot ‘All Hail the King’ wherein it is implied that Trevor Slattery (while in jail) decides to become the Mandarin. Some people even stating that Trevor Slattery was the Mandarin the entire time and he played Aldrich into hiring him. I don’t believe any of that bullshit, but I hope that when Iron Man 4 happens, something is done to rectify the fact that a perfectly good character was replaced with one that is the average “nice guy” who wears a fedora and comments on their facebook about how all of the good women go out with assholes. Maybe when the Mandarine said “I consider myself a teacher”, he meant it in the sense that the filmmakers would learn a hard lesson about fucking over an audience with a bait and switch.
Overall, Iron Man 3 was a great movie that was ruined by a stupid story decision.
I give Iron Man 3 a B