The Mandarin's twist is just the same twist used in "Batman Begins" with Ken Watanabe's Ra's Al Ghul, but trying to be funny and failing miserably.
Ben Kingsley's Mandarin was hyped as "the best cbm villain performance since Heath Ledger's Joker" by many fans that expected a memorable battle between Iron Man and his archinemesis. Most of pics, trailers and tv spots made fans dream about how badass Kingsley's Mandarin was going to be... X-D
I just loved these comments I read somewhere else:
Guy Pearce's character is just a copy/paste of Jim Carrey's Edward Nigma from "Batman Forever" (even the haircut is the same):
Just watch IM3 again and then watch "Batman Forever", then tell me it's not the same f**king character (without Carrey's funny faces and the drag queen looks).
Ugly nutty professor is ignored by billonaire, he is mad about it, he uses his inventions to become a playboy billonaire as well, then flirts with the protagonist's redhead girlfriend (Kidman, Paltrow), and ultimately goes insane until he is stopped by our hero. Same story arc, same character. I expected that he would scream at the end: "I'm The Riddler!!!" instead of "I'm The Mandarin!!!". XD
Maya Hansen is Sylar: "I'm good. Now I'm bad. Now I'm good again. Now I'm dead." Unnecessary and ridiculous character, and a real shame becaise Rebecca Hall deserved a much better role.
-"How can we make this movie more appealing for kids?"
-"Let's add an unnecesary little sidekick."
-"Yes, every kid in the world will dream about being Iron Man's pal, tons of toys and merchandising will be sold. Cheers."
Do you remember that Batman TAS's episode where Batman is knocked out and a kid finds him unconscious on his batmobile and takes him to his basement? I'm sure some of the writers of this movie has watched that episode and thought that it could be great to use a similar plotline for this film... But in that episode, it made sense because Batman was KO, however in IM3, Tony Stark chooses the help of a kid over calling SHIELD, Captain America, the FBI, the army or any of his thousands of employees...
He is going to face The Mandarin and all of his soldiers with a couple of plastic guns that he has made with the stuff that he has found in a supermarket... This guy is a former arms dealer, a billonaire, an avenger, SHIELD has been behind his ass for 3 consecutive films (but is nowhere to be found on this particular one), he has armors in the Stark Tower, and he has a secret protocol to remotely call dozens of armors from below his recently destroyed beach house (and he could have used said protocol to save his house, his girl and himself when they were attacked before, but he didn't, he rather risks Pepper's life and die under Mandarin's attack), but he goes to the place where The Mandarin is hidden with just a couple of lame tricks, all by himself... What a genius (as he called himself in The Avengers). XD
He finally remembers that he has a collection of armors waiting to be used at the end of the movie, which is the biggest toy commercial ever made. XD
Said armors seem to be useless against the extremis guys and is ultimately Pepper the one who has to kick the villain's ass to save Tony's, who then decides to destroy all the remaining armors even before he has checked out if Killian is finally dead and won't come back in a question of seconds like he has done just a moment before.
Also who cares how many billions all those armors have cost, he could have used them to save world (or his ass) in "The Avengers 2" or "Iron Man 4", but he will rather just waste many other billions building new armors when he could have used that same money to feed african kids instead.
I could go on forever, but my point is that the movie is just a huge disappointment and a failure of epic proportions.