The Mandarin in Iron Man 3...Love it or hate it? - Part 1

Discussion in 'Iron Man 3' started by Thread Manager, May 6, 2013.

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  1. BatLobsterRises

    BatLobsterRises Lobsterized

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    I definitely relate to the deflating feeling of going from that sense of dread whenever Mandarin's videos popped up and feeling like the movie was leading towards an epic confrontation between him and Iron Man, to the sudden realization that it wasn't going to happen. It does feel like the twist was more at the service of a sociopolitical message than it was the characters and the story. I think there were ways they could have reduced the importance of Kingsley's character and made Killian the central villain without making him into a walking punchline. I don't mind Killian being the main villain because he was great, I just kind of wish Kingsley's character wasn't reduced to a one-note joke.

    I mean, don't get me wrong, I think Kingsley was hilarious post-twist, it was just hard to shake the feeling that the movie was denying you payoff for something it had set up really well and laughing about it. I completely get what they were going for, but I completely get the backlash too. Marvel had to know there would be some blowback for this. So yeah, I think my issue is not so much that Killian was the true main villain, just that they really went the extra mile to make a joke out of "The Mandarin".

    Also, does anybody know what scene the "Do you want an empty life or a meaningful death?" line was cut from? I don't remember hearing it in the movie.
     
    #51
  2. nogap87

    nogap87 Well-Known Member

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    Anyone else curious on how Marvel is going to advertise the Blu ray release? I can't see the Mandarin hype being used again.
     
    #52
  3. cherokeesam

    cherokeesam SHIELD Director Coulson

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    I dunno....all the trailers and hype I saw leading up to this were about Iron Man/RDJ, not Mandarin/Ben Kingsley.

    Apparently a lot of people went to this movie *just* to see Ben Kingsley, because nobody seems to want to talk about the title character at all. :huh:
     
    #53
  4. nogap87

    nogap87 Well-Known Member

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    Strange. Mandarin/Ben Kingsley looked to be a major selling point from the trailers I saw.

    It's not like the marketing focused on the title character constantly breaking his billion dollar toy.
     
    #54
  5. Destructus86

    Destructus86 Well-Known Member

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    I thought it was a great way to handle things. Tony fighting his way to the Mandarin expecting an epic battle...and then realizing that all this time what he was fighting was just an illusion. That the "real" Mandarin had outsmarted him.
     
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  6. signifyingmnky

    signifyingmnky Active Member

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    Once you consider the fact that thematically they were using the stereotyped image of an America hating, Middle Eastern terrorist to turn the stereotype on its head (Everyone looks for the scary Middle Easterner while the slick looking White Guy schemes his way into directing the leader of the free world...literally), it makes perfect sense.

    And in the process makes both Shane Black and the Mandarin character he put on the screen brilliant. That people were shocked, angered, some in actual denial proves that.

    Some people are having problems accepting that the image we've culturally accepted to equal a terrorist threat, wasn't. And that was the intent.
     
    #56
  7. Colossal Spoons

    Colossal Spoons Paper boi

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    It was all part of this "clever" and "artistic" bait&switch :rolleyes:

    They had a chance to use a good one; Crimson Dynamo in IM2. They chose to merge CD with Whiplash to give us that thing played by Mickey Rourke.
     
    #57
  8. Destructus86

    Destructus86 Well-Known Member

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    Exactly, Killian used the peoples own fear and perceptions of middle easterners against them. Everyone had focused all their fear and/or hate on the "Mandarin" because of this. He used the peoples own prejudice against them as a weapon and that's far more deadly than some energy rings.

    Just look at all the stuff he did to Tony alone without ever raising a finger himself.

    And THAT is why Killian is my second favorite Marvel villain.
     
    #58
  9. ctsketch

    ctsketch Well-Known Member

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    Who is your fave?
     
    #59
  10. Destructus86

    Destructus86 Well-Known Member

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    Loki =D

    Which funny enough is similiar...he makes deals and uses deception rather than brute force to accomplish his goals. I guess I just prefer smart villains over physical force.

    (all though they both uses brute force when it's required)
     
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    Last edited: May 7, 2013
  11. nogap87

    nogap87 Well-Known Member

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    Iron Man: Armored Adventures did a good job at updating his rogues. Their version of Ghost and Whiplash could make for memorable live-action villains.
     
    #61
  12. ThePhantasm

    ThePhantasm 2 sexy 4 a stormtrooper

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    I wish we had seen this actual villain.

    [YT]_XsifkexrbE[/YT]

    Seemed so interesting and promising. Unfortunately this video is nothing more than misleading in hindsight.
     
    #62
  13. Dagenspear

    Dagenspear Well-Known Member

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    No. "Some people" are pissed that they went to a movie for a badass gritty back to basics villain with a twisted morality, and got another loser *****ebag with a stick up his ass for Tony Stark. And maybe you should stop with the generalisations before someone calls you out on you doing exactly what you're accusing others of. BK's Manderin looked white to me, spoke perfect english too, so I don't know where this "scary middle easterner" prejudiced ******** comes from. But it's nice that you and Shane Black know enough about us to make that judgement about our beliefs so that you can protect us from those scawy middle easterner stereotypes that have clearly and blatantly dominated this franchise. 'Cause, ya know, the slick white guy manipulator isn't a tired and annoying stereotype at all.
     
    #63
  14. signifyingmnky

    signifyingmnky Active Member

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    I agree to disagree and stand by my point. SOME people are upset that the actual villian didn't fit the stereotypical imagery that we were all fed. SOME people are also upset that they didn't get an alien magic ring wielding megalomanic with an obsession with Genghis Khan. I'm not picking on any one.

    I'm a diehard Iron Man fan. Have been for years. Read the comics as a kid, followed the cartoons, went nuts when the first IM film came out and I got to see Shellhead on the big screen. I was hoping that after Avengers, maybe we'd get an adapted Mandarin with the rings. Instead, I got a Mandarin who took the stereotypes that have run unchecked in American culture since 9/11, used it to nearly pocket the President, seriously challenge Iron Man as a privatized deterrent, and do it in a way that breaks the fourth wall leaving the audience just as stunned as the characters they're watching to find out they've been trolled by their own subconcious.

    THAT Mandarin was better than I had hoped for. And my point wasn't to antagonize anyone, just to say that I think the reactions I've seen since the movie released bear out the success of what was intended in the character.

    Love it or hate it, that's your perrogative. I'm just sharing an opinion...
     
    #64
    Last edited: May 7, 2013
  15. DarthSkywalker

    DarthSkywalker May the Force Be With You

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    I like the twist. It is a good idea and I think it worked for the most part. But the execution could have been better. One of the problems with this movie is that they don't quite know when to stop telling a joke.
     
    #65
  16. Chris B

    Chris B Well-Known Member

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    The thing that strikes me as unnessary about doing this twist was that considering they went for another evil businessman in the form of the Aldrich Killian, they could've just as easily used the Knauf's take on the Mandarin from the 'Haunted' storyline a few years back.

    Pretty much all the same elements are there for that take on the Mandarin that they wound up incorporating into Killian.

    It was a good update on the character and I think its a shame that they only reason why they probably didn't do it was because they were that it would somehow hurt the Chinese box office.
     
    #66
  17. TheFantasticJoe

    TheFantasticJoe Well-Known Member

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    It's not misleading, they just aren't talking about the character Ben Kingsley played. :cwink:

    I brought up this point in the previous thread, but I'll say it again: I was wondering if people would be taking this plot development better if they hadn't looked at all the trailers and promotional materials beforehand. We all got this idea in our heads that Ben Kingsley WAS the Mandarin that the concept of anyone else in the role was absurd. If someone went into the movie completely blind, not knowing anything about the story or the characters, would they react as negatively? Everyone was so comfortable with the misdirection that the trailers planted in our heads that many are still refusing to accept anything otherwise. I'm wondering if people would be this opposed to accepting [blackout]Guy Pearce[/blackout] as the Mandarin if they didn't get used to Ben Kingsley as the character months beforehand.
     
    #67
  18. Destructus86

    Destructus86 Well-Known Member

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    So they wanted a cartoony bad guy instead?

    "Bwahahaa! I shall get you next time, Iron Man! You cannot hope to defeat my amazing ring powers! You. Shall be. DEFEATED!" *shakes fist and twirls robe as he walks away.
     
    #68
  19. Olan

    Olan Well-Known Member

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    I am not a comics expert so I have limited knowledge of the Mandarin so how he was portrayed was secondary to me. I was more troubled by the implication of the government 'creating' villians. In this day and age of the likes of Alex Jones and his ilk always claiming the government is behind everything: 9/11, Boston and Shadyhook, I just did not like that in the movie
     
    #69
  20. nogap87

    nogap87 Well-Known Member

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    Speaking for myself, if I didn't see the trailers I probably would have been mildly amused by the twist at first. The problem is that it didn't change the outcome of the plot. Like IM2, everything worked out in the end.

    Kingsley's Mandarin wasn't advertised like that so I'm not sure where you're coming from.
     
    #70
  21. ElMariachi

    ElMariachi Bald to the Bone

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    Governments almost always create villains though. We played a big role in the creation of Osama bin Laden & modern terrorism by supporting the mujahideen against the Soviets in Afghanistan. We have supported and propped up various dictators and bad guys around the globe. So has every other major power---Russia, China, UK, France, etc.
     
    #71
  22. jmc

    jmc away for a while

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    Biggest issue I have with the twist is not the film itself, but the promotion of the film itself. There's no doubt in my mind had the promotional work not been built around The Mandarin people would have been more accepting.
     
    #72
  23. jmc

    jmc away for a while

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    That's an unintentional outcome, not a creation.
     
    #73
  24. ElMariachi

    ElMariachi Bald to the Bone

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    The funny thing about this 'Mandarin outrage' is that we never were going to get the Mandarin anyways. When was the Mandarin a sunglass wearing Osama bin Laden? He obviously was never going to have the Makulan Rings. He obviously was never going to be a physical threat to Iron Man given that they cast a 70 year old.

    The argument has been made again and again that Killian was more 'Mandarin-esque' than Kingsley. He was young, charming, physically powerful, wore cool suits, brilliant, had a grand scheme, was menacing, and in some ways even looked more like the comic Mandarin. The fact that the character trolled the audience with a fake, colorful Mandarin made the writing all that much better.

    Also, I didn't get a chance to reply to some comments people made yesterday. Just because there are aliens and spaceships in the MCU doesn't mean they should stuff it in all the movies. Putting a full powered Mandarin in this movie undermines the Infinity Gauntlet. It makes a relatively grounded Iron Man franchise into Thor. Now you would have to explain why another alien species crashed on the planet, why the Mandarin got the rings, and how they are supposedly technology (good luck with that). Now, you will say that Extremis looked comic booky but at least they could explain this with film science. Heat is apart of the human body. Extremis just made that heat alot hotter. Shooting blackholes, white light, 100 mph winds, and all that crap would have came across as pure camp. Save that stuff for the Avengers 2, Thor 2, and Guardians of the Galaxy. Iron Man and Captain America should deal with these types of threats. Comic Mandarin is almost an Avengers level villain. Killian with just the fire power was more than enough for a full powered Iron Man. Imagine if they gave him his full arsenal.
     
    #74
  25. jmc

    jmc away for a while

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    Just because a film has a surprise doesn't mean it's a good one.
     
    #75
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