I usually don't dump on films but this one deserves it. Listed in semi-chronological order.
1. The film should have led with "Mandarin" saying something about a heroes life in a TV spot...then into the flashback. Voiceovers suck.
2. The musical choices. I hated Blue
when it came out and I can safely say I still hate that song. Jingle Bells remix was bad. The rock music was noticeably absent.
3. Christmas. How is this relevant to anything?
4. Why does the Mk. 42 fall apart so easily? Why is it even in pieces? Most pieces are simply armor, so what is the point of having them separate from other pieces?
5. The suit runs out of batteries
. How does that work when all the pieces must have their own power source to fly around and **** but whatever.
6. The film tries to deal with too much social BS. The bully thing doesn't fit and should have been cut out completely. The only reason it is in is to show Tony giving the flash thing too Harley. This whole bit seemed forced.
7. Tony meets up with the soldier's mom who happens to have a file. What's in the file? Names and Pictures and the name AIM. Why does AIM want it? I have no idea. AIM has had presumably weeks if not months since this soldier exploded, why have they waited till now to go after this file? Are they just tie up potentially loose ends?Why did one of the test subjects have any information linking him to AIM? The file seems too convenient and I don't understand the actual point of it other than to make Tony fight without the suit.
8. Tony has a little hand held repulser blaster thingy he used on Savin. So you make Tony fight without his suit and then give him a trick from his suit to get out of trouble. Dumb.
9. Flame retardant clothing on Brandt. Charred and healing skin with strips of burnt clothing would have been cool and not shown actual skin but nope. Her clothing looked too clean after walking through fire.
10. War Machine getting owned. This was a good opportunity to show off the Extremis soldiers getting shot up and healing. It would have given Rhodey a real fight scene. I would rather have scene War Machine v an Extremis soldier than Tony without a suit v Brandt.
11. "The dungeon" scene. Tony tied to the bed frame trying to be funny waiting for his suit to show up...which shows up in pieces. The comedy was forced and the following fight scene had too many inept thugs who can't shoot. Give Tony the full armor and have him go nuts. Maybe even have him fight an Extremis soldier among the group.
12. Why did Killian give Pepper Extremis? He is trying to motivate Tony, right? If Pepper dies Tony won't play ball. If Pepper lives, she has Extremis. Neither of these outcomes are good for Killian. If Killian wants to simply inflict pain then he should just torture her like normal people would. Giving super powers to prisoners is like handing them a gun. Don't be stupid.
13. Rhodey is forced out of the Iron Patriot suit. Killian breathes fire and misses. Savin pushes Rhodey to the ground and knocks him out. And then they just leave Rhodey there to regain consciousness and come back for the final fight. What should have happened: Rhodey jumps out of the suit and attempts to run from the Extremis soldier who captured him. Rhodey is cornered but gets lucky during the fight and gets away. Maybe he uses some bit of knowledge he gained during the previous fight to escape. Savin just leaving him there unconscious without killing him was weak.
14. The Vice President conspiracy. I can't see a VP selling out because his granddaughter is missing a leg. The President is going to lose his life so your granddaughter can have a leg. This is treason and punishable by death.
15. The Savin v Iron Man fight could have been so cool but it was over in a flash of a unibeam. I loved Savin's cocky attitude and his strength and regeneration abilities means he could back it up. This fight would have been cool to show Iron Man beating up an Extremis soldier showing him as a clearly superior fighter to Rhodey and Extremis soldiers. Opportunity missed.
16. The Iron Patriot armor just doing whatever. I thought the suit would be pattered to only Rhodey. Instead, we see Savin pilot the suit and the President be transported and held hostage inside of it. What? Why can't the President use the suit? Why can Savin? Why is it as soon as Rhodey gets the President down he can walk around like the suit works just fine? Inconsistencies.
17. So you know where I said Rhodey should have fought an Extremis soldier in the suit and lose (10). Then he would fight the same soldier and get away (13). As Rhodey is trying to get to the President, this is where he should finally get to kill that bastard Extremis soldier who has been his nemesis all film. Instead, Rhodey has no real story arc. IM3 is probably an easier film to write and a better film without Rhodey.
18. Mandarin not dying the first time. This should have been Tony's kill.
19. Pepper killing Killian. "Oh my God! That was really violent." Yeah, we know this is out of character and just a dumb idea. Giving Extremis to Pepper was dumb and then having her be the hero was dumber still. At most, Pepper should have only destroyed an armor or two before Tony disables them, taking out Killian was too much.
The Mandarin twist works fine. It is a bit jarring but it makes sense. I wanted Kingsley to be the Mandarin but the think tank out-thinked us. The twist fell flat but at least it makes good sense.
SHIELD doesn't show up because the film takes place over the course of a couple days and Tony is supposed to be dead from the attack on his house through the end of the film. I'm sure SHIELD was tracking down the Mandarin and that's probably how Tony got such a detailed layout of the theatre attack scene. You can't just get that information unless someone scans the scene before it's cleaned up. SHIELD could do that. I think JARVIS even says he checked SHIELD database for information meaning they probably have tabs on him.
Yeah, I didn't like it.