Originally Posted by jmc
I don't deny some people take it as a personal insult whenever changes are made in order for something to work in the medium at hand, that said I think the majority of people have a legitimate gripe due to the expectations the film was drumming up. First off there's the marketing, then there's the good reviews, then there's the build up within the film itself - you can't not expect people to get excited with what they were seeing/hearing/reading. Thing about expectations is that it's easy to say curb them, but when it looks like the film is living up to them you can't help but feel a sense of being robbed when the bomb drops so unexpectedly. I think in this case the vast majority of fans aren't liking the change because they're discovering the downside of what it means.
Thing is everyone seems to agree it works in context of the film, I'm seeing very few people actually say it flat out sucks because it isn't like the comics or whatever, it's just the epic showdown that was on the horizons never eventuates. The formula of hero verses villain has been around since we came down from the trees and there's a reason, because there's something inherently uplifting about seeing the good guy defy the odds against someone who in many ways is usually superior to him/her either physically, mentally or both. The question is is this the type of movie to be deconstructing the formula? I can appreciate them attempting it, but at the same time it's obvious doing so comes at a cost. If it's one thing Iron Man needed above anything else it was a memorable villain in this series, he hasn't even had a Loki level bad guy let alone a Joker or Lex Luthor one, and I think that's at the heart of the problem, the series is robbed of a nemesis that will etch itself in peoples brains when everything was pointing toward getting one, and I think deep down that's what everyone wanted. I know there this tendency on the IM boards to downplay the importance of villains but the truth is they are so important to the legacy of the character and everyone knows it. The Joker, Darth Vader, T-800, Gollum, Blofeld, Wicked Witch of the West, Moriarty, Sheriff of Nottingham, Grendel, you can go all the way back to ancient Greece with Poseidon, just a handful of the great villains in all of history, the list goes on, those antagonists helped cement the stories of their heroes for years, in some cases centuries after they were first told. And I think that is what people were hoping, maybe even longing for without knowing until after the fact, they wanted a new name etched into the stone alongside those other names.