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. Bruce Malone

    Bruce Malone Well-Known Member

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    That's a pretty funny analogy actually.

    Iron Man 3 did take place during christmas as well...
     
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  2. Brother Jack

    Brother Jack Believer

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    I have no real attachment to the character in the comics and didn't mind that he didn't have the magic rings or a dragon. The reason why I didn't like the role reversal is that I really dug the version that Kingsley had come up with and so I was disappointed that the character was barely in the film and, in fact, not actually in it at all.
     
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  3. Ms. Marvel

    Ms. Marvel Screwed up Avenger

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    If Killian is the Mandarin then the movie didn't execute it well enough. A lot of people left thinking it was a metaphor. I do believe the director and writers have the final say but for some reason I really can not buy it. I'm actually ok about the twist, if it was a metaphor the execution was done well but if they actually meant for him to be the Mandarin it wasn't done well at all (IMO).
     
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  4. Steamteck

    Steamteck Well-Known Member

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    I think it reveals something not good when someone calls all a heroes villains crappy.
     
    #829
  5. cherokeesam

    cherokeesam SHIELD Director Coulson

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    Yeah: it reveals that some heroes have notoriously crappy rogues' galleries. This is not something out of left field; Iron Man's villains have been the butt of comic-book fandom jokes for decades. Even by Stan the Man himself. So has Hulk's. So has Wonder Woman's. So has a lot of major heroes' villain rosters. It's just the nature of comic book writing, and it in no way undermines the heroes themselves. Everybody still loves Iron Man, Hulk, Wonder Woman and anybody else; but they're not judged on the quality (or lack thereof) of their villains.

    And in case anybody missed it, that last sentence is one of the major themes of IM3, and exactly what Shane Black was trying to say.
     
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  6. TheWallCrawler

    TheWallCrawler hero or a menace?

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    my opinion exactly
     
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  7. Nathan

    Nathan ...

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    I think I would have been ok with the twist, if instead of Kilian, it would have been Tem Borjigin, Gene Kahn, Zhang Tong or whatever the real Mandarin's name is. Same basic concept, use the image of Mandarin to give evil a face, but instead of some former nerd, who got his feelings hurt on a roof, the real Mastermind would be this guy.

    [​IMG]

    Also, don't play it up as a joke, once it's revealed the Mandarin is a fake. I can't believe how the Movie started out so strong and promising, and then pretty much went down the drain after Tony met the kid and Mandarin turned out to be fake.
     
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  8. jaqua99

    jaqua99 ....I need a horse!

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    I think that the "mandarin" is beyond killian still..I think that the mandarin is a sort of biological ai created by killians mind when he first created himself. Neither Killian or Trevor is the mandarin, but yet they both are as well. The Mandarin is this biological ai, that can control all things extremis, simultaneously. So trevor wasn't "acting", it was a vessel of "the mandarin" same with Killian. I've explained my reasons for thinking this a while back, too much to type, but I still stand by it, and that the mandarin has allied itself with whoever is the head of hydra at the moment, and it is part of hydra's attempt to overthrow the globe, however, given what we've seen from ironman 3, I think this mandarin will return for avengers 2, more will come to light about what went down in ironman 3 in cap 2...and mandarin will sort of lead a team of masters of evil, with a struggle for power with zemo after a breakout in avengers 2...tony won't believe this conspiracy, that cap and fury discover in cap 2 after going "rogue", which leads to a bit of a civil war aspect, "twisting the knife"...before they all have to join together to drive off thanos.

    that's my little theory lol I still stand by it
     
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  9. Lord

    Lord All Mighty

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    What i also didn't like about the reveal was how it didn't make that sence for him to be a decoy, he's an english actor, well, in today's age hat would be found out very easily, and he said he didn't know what was going on, yet he watched tv all day, how wouldn't he know about the terrorista Mandarin using his face?
     
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  10. Visualiza

    Visualiza Jimmy Scrambles

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    He also said that they gave him plastic surgery.
     
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  11. Lord

    Lord All Mighty

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    Whay about him watching tv all day yet not knowing a thing of what was going on? And what about killing that guy direct on tv? Things like that can't be pulled off the way they were, if the guy didn't die by then he would still be screaming.
     
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  12. Visualiza

    Visualiza Jimmy Scrambles

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    Based upon the type of person he was, I don't think this aspect deserves much thought. Maybe he was lying, maybe he was too stoned to concentrate on anything aside from football, who knows?


    It wouldn't be that difficult to fake, especially considering the money A.I.M. was working with. I doubt that the feed was live anyway, which would make it even easier to fake that entire scenario.
     
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  13. Human Torch

    Human Torch Well-Known Member

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    I was left wondering did Trevor kill that guy unknowingly,or was that faked,and the guy supposed to be in on it?(Like the VP)
     
    #838
  14. Victarion

    Victarion Iron Captain

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    You're putting for more importance on the rings than I am. They're just an obstacle to overcome; a weapon to be mastered and applied to the Mandarin's philosophy. That doesn't make him Ring-Man.
     
    #839
  15. cherokeesam

    cherokeesam SHIELD Director Coulson

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    There's really only two scenarios for the onscreen murder of the Roxxon Oil exec:

    1) The exec was an actor, too (or a real Roxxon exec who was in the employ of AIM, and was pretending to be a hostage), and Trevor knew that, and was shooting blanks.
    2) The exec was real, and the murder was real, and Trevor (...if that's his real name after all....) had no qualms about blowing his brains out. In which case, the whole drunken actor charade he put on for Tony (and, apparently, the courts) was just a ruse.


    There's simply no way in hell that Trevor the Actor wouldn't have been shocked out of his act if the bullets in his gun were real. He would've freaked the hell out (on live television) and tried to bail on Killian.
     
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  16. Lord

    Lord All Mighty

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    How wasn't it live? The presidente called him and he didn't take the call, considering the events and the timing that had to be live
     
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  17. The Overlord

    The Overlord Well-Known Member

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    But again, why is Mandarin Tony's arch nemesis? People keep on saying that, but they don't really back it up. Tony and Mandarin's rivalry seems really thin and shallow compared to other major Marvel heroes and villains. Also why is Mandarin a villain in the first place? They often stick Mandarin into the role of generic villain and his personality changes from writer to writer.

    Not mention, Mandarin is more of a plot device then a character, he's a archetype that constantly whenever someone new writes him. It seems like Mandarin is only Iron Man's arch nemesis because he appeared more then other villains back in the Silver age. It seems like Justin Hammer, Obadiah Stane and Zeke Stane have managed to hurt Tony more personally then Mandarin has and Mandarin has been given long hiatuses in the comics.

    I can see why Mandarin's appealing, he gives Tony an excuse to travel to exotic locations and fight a different type of villain, but Mandarin's lack of consistent characterization makes him ill suited to be Tony's arch nemesis.

    So I am kinda torn on this twist, on one hand it might be fun to see Tony fight a different kind of villain in an exotic setting, rather then another jealous billionaire in Miami, on the other hand Mandarin has a lot of baggage (his Yellow peril origins) and doesn't have much in the way of interesting personality to make up for that.
     
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  18. MichaelChen

    MichaelChen Well-Known Member

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    Except Stark has huge goals, so his enemy is naturally someone who has huge goals as well. The Mandarin is the smartest, most skilled, most ferocious, richest, most influential, and most powerful villain Stark faces on a routine basis when not in a team-setting. He has murdered a couple of Stark father-figures, tortured Rhodey, kidnapped Stark's friends, and done some personal things, but generally he's the big summer blockbuster action villain. When he shows up, it's to cause World War III, or purge 97% of the world's population in the name of social darwinism, or caste spell to turn the world into a jungle. He doesn't attack Stark personally much because Stark is technically beneath him.
     
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  19. The Overlord

    The Overlord Well-Known Member

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    Which father figures has Mandarin killed though? It doesn't seem like anyone that important, it doesn't seem like Mandarin killed someone as close to Iron Man as say Gwen Stacy was to Spidey, Iron Man is in his 30s or 40s at this point, killing a father figure doesn't mean as much at this point, especially when its not a character that seems as iconic as say Gwen Stacy. You can make an argument that Justin Hammer or Obadiah Stane or Zeke Stane managed to inflict more personal damage on Tony then Mandarin has.

    Most arch nemesis have a personal connection to the hero, that's what makes them a nemesis, its supposed to different from a villain wanting to take over the world and the hero wanting to stop him, but that seems to be the extent of Tony's and Mandarin's rivalry and its just not as other major heroes and their arch enemies, in both DC and Marvel.

    I have heard Mandarin be compared to Grodd (though Grodd gets more consistent characterization), but Grodd is not Flash's arch nemesis, Reverse Flash is, Grodd is more like this fun side villain who gives Flash a different type of enemy to fight and an excuse to go different locations. That's what Mandarin is, an excuse for Tony to go different locations and fight a different type of villain. If Mandarin is so above Tony stark and doesn't really care about him, why is Tony his arch nemesis in the first place? Again it seems like Mandarin is just this kinda fun side villain who lets Tony go on different types of adventures, rather than a true nemesis.

    Look at Iron Man's really iconic stories: Demon in a Bottle, Extremist, Doomsquest, Armor Wars, the Iron Man vs. Obadiah Stane story, none of those stories involve the Mandarin. The writers often sideline Mandarin for long stretches of time. Mandarin has a few good stories and a lot of mediocre ones and most of the really great Iron Man stories don't even involve him. I mean what is better something like Armor Wars or Extremist or Demon in a bottle or that kind of generic super villain plot where Mandarin tried to use a giant robot dragon to conquer Russia? Besides that story written Knauf, how many truly great Mandarin stories have there been?

    And really Mandarin is not very consistently written, one day is extremely anti technology and the next day that is just forgotten. The problem is Mandarin is more like an archetype then an actual character and its hard to make someone who is just an archetype an arch nemesis.
     
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  20. The Question

    The Question Objectivism doesn't work.

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    I honestly think they handled The Mandarin about as perfectly as one possibly could.

    Here's the thing: The Mandarin in the comics is undeniably a racial caricature. He's probably the worst example of the Yellow Peril archetype that I've ever seen. He's worse than Fu Manchu, Fu Manchu actually has more heroic and likable qualities than The Mandarin. So if you have to adapt The Mandarin into a modern film and not be mind destroyingly racist, you have to address that. And the way they changed the character not only fixed that problem, but it also commented on the problem itself.

    Think for a moment about who The Mandarin is as a person. He's the child of a former noble family in China who lost everything in the cultural revolution before he was born. He grew up bitter, believing that the Chines Government had denied him what he was entitled to by birthright. He became a loser and a bumb, and then entirely by accident stumbled across an alien spacecraft with ten magic rings inside. He used the rings' power to bring together his own guerrilla army and take back what he believed he was owed from the people who took it from him and from the world at large, and along the way adopted social darwinist philosophies that he used to justify his rise to power.

    Think about that for a second. Remove his nationality, remove all of the details, and just think of the narrative and the story beats.

    He was a bitter, down on his luck loser who believed he had been denied what he was entitled to by people in positions of power. Through sheer dumb luck, he stumbled across a source of enormous power. He did not create this power or earn it in any way, but he still took it for himself. He then used this power to create a criminal and terrorist organization with which he worked to amass political power and take back what he believed was owed to him, developing a philosophy of Social Darwinism along the way. His power source also gives him the ability to, when coupled with his martial arts skills, take on Iron Man in hand to hand combat without a suit of armor.

    That describes Aldrich Killian perfectly. He calls himself The Mandarin, he has those dragon tattoos that evoke the imagery of The Mandarin, and he even fits the title of Mandarin, which means "advisor to the king," much better than the comics Mandarin as part of his MO is putting himself in such an advisory capacity where he can leverage political power and run things from behind the scenes.

    Literally the only things he doesn't have in common with the comics Mandarin are his birth name, his nationality, his ethnicity, and the exact details of how his powers work. Everything about the character that defines the character is the same. Even his being a corporate CEO who secretly runs a terrorist organization is the same, as The Mandarin was doing that when he was revived in the Iron Man comics a few years ago.

    They including all of the defining characteristics of who The Mandarin is as a person while removing the racist elements of the character. Not only did they remove them, but through the decoy character they actually commented on them. The decoy character was a mish mash of racist enemy "other" stereotypes used by the now Caucasian and American Mandarin to prey on white America's fears while also covering his tracks. They were able to keep everything that was good and interesting about the character while simultaneously criticize everything that was racist about the original version. It's pretty brilliant.

    The notion that "Killian is the Mandarin like my dad was santa clause when I was a child" is total bunk. It only holds water if you think that The Mandarin's defining characteristic is being an east asian stereotype.

    No one said Henri Ducard wasn't really Ra's Al Ghul when they did the exact same thing in Batman Begins.
     
    #845
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013
  21. OcStat

    OcStat Well-Known Member

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  22. kaijunexus

    kaijunexus Marvel Cinematic Universe

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    This x1000. Beautifully explained. Thank you for that.
     
    #847
  23. Green Goblin

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    Or they could have put faith in the source material and give us the actual mandarin. Tony is afraid of "what's out there" and The Mandarin with his alien rings would have been a great way for Tony to face his fears instead of him getting panic attacks at every mention of the word New York or Aliens. O found this film a massive disappointment considering Iron Man 1 is my favourite superhero film. I'm surprised that it's the 2nd best IM film on the polls and I wonder if they get the pass simply because it's made by Marvel Studios...
     
    #848
  24. giveyourself12%

    giveyourself12% Team Walt

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    Long time lurker. The Question inspired me to finally post this.

    I really just wanted the guy I saw in the trailer.

    I never cared for Iron Man comics back in the day (was more of an X-men guy) but I fell in love with the first two films and loved the villain we were presented in the trailer as well as the backstory Feige fed us about him being a former CIA or former military idealist who, in my head canon at least, was a scholar of warfare, collected related iconography(the poster with the UN helmet...etc), and founded the Ten Rings to misguidedly “teach”(read: get revenge upon) the country he felt had betrayed him.

    I was really excited that we were going to get a true threatening villain that wasn’t another evil smart guy in a business suit. Oh well.
     
    #849
  25. The Question

    The Question Objectivism doesn't work.

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    What is it wasn't a lack of faith in the source material? What if it was that in the process of adapting it, making it all be Extremis just kept the story from being more complicated than it needed to be? I mean, The Rings still would have taken a lot of explaining and that could have made the film very clunky and unwieldy. Extremis streamlined everything while also serving multiple story purposes instead of just one.

    The details of what The Mandarin's power source don't really matter, the fact that they're ten alien rings isn't really what's important about them. What's important about them is that they're something that he didn't earn or create, but he still took for himself, in contrast to Tony and his armor.

    I mean, heck, they di the exact same thing in Iron Man 2 when they gave Whiplash's powers to The Crimson Dynamo.
     
    #850
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2013
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