Let's be honest, the Mandarin isn't that iconic of a villain

Let's be honest people, most, not all, but most people didn't give a damn about the Mandarin until they saw the first trailers for IM3 then everyone went on Wikipedia, read his bio, found out he's considered Iron Man's greatest foe and now, he's, all of a sudden, a Joker, Venom, or Lex Luthor tier villain? He's not, he's an outdated caricature of Asian stereotypes. And if you were a Mandarin-fan before the trailers, there's a damn good chance you became a fan after seeing the first Iron Man and got yourself invested in the Iron Man universe because you fell in love with RDJ's portrayal of Tony Stark. And then there's the true purist who have been die-hard fans before the first Iron Man movie who may have a legitimate beef. But please don't bring comic book accuracy into your argument. This is the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it's not intended to be 100% comic book accurate, hell no superhero movie is. I personally applaud the writers and producers for making this bold move (remember Joss frikken Whedon has to sign off on the movie meaning he approved the twist, you wanna argue with this guy? I repeat, you wanna argue with Joss frikken Whedon about superheroes-related topics?!)If you're gonna nit-pick certain inaccuracies and twists, while ignoring others, like Jarvis being an AI rather than a butler (hell I think Jarvis is as iconic a comic book character as the Mandarin) then go look at grass, there's never any huge surprises with grass. It's always constant and just grows, no twists no turns, grass will always do what grass is suppose to do. Kevin Feige, Shane Black, and Joss Whedon won't, they like to shake thing up. And be honest people, Mandarin's not that iconic of a villain. Tony Stark/Iron Man has become perhaps the most popular superhero today because he's one cocky S.O.B. who'd tell Batman to get over his dead parents and stop being such a little pussy, not because of his 'amazing' rogues gallery.
Joe Xiong
05-6-2013 07:47 AM

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John Weber

John Weber

Iron Man while a pretty major player in the Marvel Universe before the film, was not cared about nearly at all by the general audience before the first film back in 2008. It stands to reason, that his archenemy wouldn't be either unlike the arch-rivals to more popular heroes like Superman and Batman. Also consider how popular a villain like Loki is now, and compare that to his popularity in the past before his move debut and since the film's its exploded.

The racism thing is always a touchy subject, but I will just put forth this notion. Yeah, it's hard to argue against the fact that Mandarin's original design was pretty un-PC. (Though honestly, the set up of his character being a tyrannical master scientist who also has a knack for mysticism and surrounds himslef in the comic book ultra stylized versions of trappings of an old culture from his home nation in spite of his use of modern technology is really not that much different than the set up for Dr. Doom as a supervillain. Both just came from different regions of the world. And he even made a point of trying to put himself on a pedestal above everyone else in China and thus separated himself from the general populance and also not only separated himself from the Chinese government but was even seen as a rival to them. And thus really wasn't really being used to represent anyone as a whole in any way. Now I won't go as far as to say Mandarin was completely PC back then, but I do wonder if the notion is a tad exaggerated) But besides that, I wish to put forth this comparison. Consider the fact that Pepper Potts started out as just a secretary whose almost sole obsession seemed to be getting together with her wealthy debonair boss. By todays standards, I don't think people would be in favor on her original characterization that much either, that some may even call sexist. But look what she's become since then, and how reasonably popular she is with audiences now. But that's the thing I'm trying to get at. Characters evolve over time, and writers such as the Kanufs and Matt Fraction have done good jobs with updating the Mandarin since his original incarnation in the 1960's. The character in the Knauf run (Pariticularly "Haunted" comes to mine) for instance I think is great, and that's probably what I'd consider to be his best story that also features his best showdown with Iron Man and shows the potential he has as a villain. (For instance I really liked things like how they showed him not only fight for his ideals in trying to improve the stae of humanity to something greater with realsing Extremis on the world, but was even willing to die for it because he said his body wouldn't be able to accept the virus. Stuff like that is very interesting to me characterwise, and even if people want to argue that he hasn't been so consistent over his entire run with stuff like that at least shows great potential)

That being said, I do agree that a film doesn't have to stay 100% true to its source material. For instance I could accept Ra's Al Ghul being a mentor to Bruce Wayne before he was Batman, and Robin being a cop. My main problem with Aldrich Killian is the fact that they turned a character who could have potentially been more intersting if portrayed right, and watered him down into something heavily generic in spite of Guy Pearce's best efforts in the role. It's the type of villain we've seen in every Iron Man film so far. The corrupt double dealing American businessman/military contractor who has a grudge against Tony Stark and is out for his own profits. We saw that with Obadiah Stane in the first film, and Justin Hammer in the second. Even the moral they tried getting across with him was the same one they did with Stane but just from a somewhat different vantage point. The whole idea about the war on terror not being nearly as black and white as its often presented to be, and that people have to be more careful at looking for dangers within their own borders for those who help perpetuate and profiteer off of it. Not to mention that the somewhat "nerdy" rival who is jealous of and aspires to be like Tony Stark is akin to Justin Hammer. Guy Pearce does what he can, but he just feels like a retread in my opinion. And when they tried throwing on some Mandarin stuff like the martial arts and dragon tattoos, it was stuff slapped on at the last second as an attempt at fanservice that almost literally comes at the last second and without any build up or explnation whatsoever and thus comes off as being too little too late. I could perhaps get into the changes more if they had created something more interesting then what we got out of Killian. But as it stands he just doesn't stand out at all. Sure his plan was bigger in scope, but the character himself felt same old same old. (Again, just in my opinion) And that's the big difference between him and Jarvis in these films. At the very least when they changed Jarvis, he essentially kept his role at being Tony's

Jun 2 - 02:38 AM

John Weber

John Weber

For some reason it cut off:

...loyal helpter. The change was a lot more creative and innovative than what they did with Killian as Mandarin.

Naturally, this is all just in my opinion and anyone's free to disagree, I just thought I'd add my 2 cents. But, I want it known that this didn't totally ruin the movie for me like it has other poeple. As there were things I genuinely loved about it like what they did with Tony and Rhodey character-wise. I just really hope that Marvel doesn't take this film's suceess as the green light to so loosely adapt a lot more characters in future films.

Jun 2 - 02:41 AM

John Weber

John Weber

For some reason it cut off:

...all around loyal helper. Changing him into the computer system who ran his house and helped him build his tech was a lot more creative and innovative than what they did with Killian as Mandarin.

Naturally, this is all just in my opinion and anyone's free to disagree, I just thought I'd add my 2 cents. But, I want it known that this didn't totally ruin the movie for me like it has other poeple. As there were things I genuinely loved about it like what they did with Tony and Rhodey character-wise. I just really hope that Marvel doesn't take this film's suceess as the green light to so loosely adapt a lot more characters in future films.

Jun 2 - 02:55 AM

John Weber

John Weber

Iron Man while a pretty major player in the Marvel Universe before the film, was not cared about nearly at all by the general audience before the first film back in 2008. It stands to reason, that his archenemy wouldn't be either unlike the arch-rivals to more popular heroes like Superman and Batman. Also consider how popular a villain like Loki is now, and compare that to his popularity in the past before his move debut and since the film's its exploded.

The racism thing is always a touchy subject, but I will just put forth this notion. Yeah, it's hard to argue against the fact that Mandarin's original design was pretty un-PC. (Though honestly, the set up of his character being a tyrannical master scientist who also has a knack for mysticism and surrounds himslef in the comic book ultra stylized versions of trappings of an old culture from his home nation in spite of his use of modern technology is really not that much different than the set up for Dr. Doom as a supervillain. Both just came from different regions of the world. And he even made a point of trying to put himself on a pedestal above everyone else in China and thus separated himself from the general populance and also not only separated himself from the Chinese government but was even seen as a rival to them. And thus really wasn't really being used to represent anyone as a whole in any way. Now I won't go as far as to say Mandarin was completely PC back then, but I do wonder if the notion is a tad exaggerated) But besides that, I wish to put forth this comparison. Consider the fact that Pepper Potts started out as just a secretary whose almost sole obsession seemed to be getting together with her wealthy debonair boss. By todays standards, I don't think people would be in favor on her original characterization that much either, that some may even call sexist. But look what she's become since then, and how reasonably popular she is with audiences now. But that's the thing I'm trying to get at. Characters evolve over time, and writers such as the Kanufs and Matt Fraction have done good jobs with updating the Mandarin since his original incarnation in the 1960's. The character in the Knauf run (Pariticularly "Haunted" comes to mine) for instance I think is great, and that's probably what I'd consider to be his best story that also features his best showdown with Iron Man and shows the potential he has as a villain. (For instance I really liked things like how they showed him not only fight for his ideals in trying to improve the stae of humanity to something greater with realsing Extremis on the world, but was even willing to die for it because he said his body wouldn't be able to accept the virus. Stuff like that is very interesting to me, and I do think shows at least how potentially intersting the character as a whole can be)

That being said, I do agree that a film doesn't have to stay 100% true to its source material. For instance I could accept Ra's Al Ghul being a mentor to Bruce Wayne before he was Batman, and Robin being a cop. My main problem with Aldrich Killian is the fact that they turned a character who could have potentially been more intersting if portrayed right, and watered him down into something heavily generic in spite of Guy Pearce's best efforts in the role. It's the type of villain we've seen in every Iron Man film so far. The corrupt double dealing American businessman/military contractor who has a grudge against Tony Stark and is out for his own profits. We saw that with Obadiah Stane in the first film, and Justin Hammer in the second. Even the moral they tried getting across with him was the same one they did with Stane but just from a somewhat different vantage point. The whole idea about the war on terror not being nearly as black and white as its often presented to be, and that people have to be more careful at looking for dangers within their own borders for those who help perpetuate and profiteer off of it. Not to mention that the somewhat "nerdy" rival who is jealous of and aspires to be like Tony Stark is akin to Justin Hammer. Guy Pearce does what he can, but he just feels like a retread in my opinion. And when they tried throwing on some Mandarin stuff like the martial arts and dragon tattoos, it was stuff slapped on at the last second as an attempt at fanservice that almost literally comes at the last second and without any build up or explnation whatsoever and thus comes off as being too little too late. I could perhaps get into the changes more if they had created something more interesting then what we got out of Killian. But as it stands he just doesn't stand out at all. Sure his plan was bigger in scope, but the character himself felt same old same old. (Again, just in my opinion) And that's the big difference between him and Jarvis in these films. At the very least when they changed Jarvis, he essentially kept his role at being Tony's loyal helper and all that, and the change felt more creative a

Jun 2 - 02:35 AM

John Weber

John Weber

Iron Man while a pretty major player in the Marvel Universe before the film, was not cared about nearly at all by the general audience before the first film back in 2008. It stands to reason, that his archenemy wouldn't be either unlike the arch-rivals to more popular heroes like Superman and Batman. Also consider how popular a villain like Loki is now, and compare that to his popularity in the past before his move debut and since the film's its exploded.

The racism thing is always a touchy subject, but I will just put forth this notion. Yeah, it's hard to argue against the fact that Mandarin's original design was pretty un-PC. (Though honestly, the set up of his character being a tyrannical master scientist who also has a knack for mysticism and surrounds himslef in the comic book ultra stylized versions of trappings of an old culture from his home nation in spite of his use of modern technology is really not that much different than the set up for Dr. Doom as a supervillain. Both just came from different regions of the world. And he even made a point of trying to put himself on a pedestal above everyone else in China and thus separated himself from the general populance and also not only separated himself from the Chinese government but was even seen as a rival to them. And thus really wasn't really being used to represent anyone as a whole in any way. Now I won't go as far as to say Mandarin was completely PC back then, but I do wonder if the notion is a tad exaggerated) But besides that, I wish to put forth this comparison. Consider the fact that Pepper Potts started out as just a secretary whose almost sole obsession seemed to be getting together with her wealthy debonair boss. By todays standards, I don't think people would be in favor on her original characterization that much either, that some may even call sexist. But look what she's become since then, and how reasonably popular she is with audiences now. But that's the thing I'm trying to get at. Characters evolve over time, and writers such as the Kanufs and Matt Fraction have done good jobs with updating the Mandarin since his original incarnation in the 1960's. The character in the Knauf run (Pariticularly "Haunted" comes to mine) for instance I think is great, and that's probably what I'd consider to be his best story that also features his best showdown with Iron Man and shows the potential he has as a villain.

That being said, I do agree that a film doesn't have to stay 100% true to its source material. For instance I could accept Ra's Al Ghul being a mentor to Bruce Wayne before he was Batman, and Robin being a cop. My main problem with Aldrich Killian is the fact that they turned a character who could have potentially been more intersting if portrayed right, and watered him down into something heavily generic in spite of Guy Pearce's best efforts in the role. It's the type of villain we've seen in every Iron Man film so far. The corrupt double dealing American businessman/military contractor who has a grudge against Tony Stark and is out for his own profits. We saw that with Obadiah Stane in the first film, and Justin Hammer in the second. Even the moral they tried getting across with him was the same one they did with Stane but just from a somewhat different vantage point. The whole idea about the war on terror not being nearly as black and white as its often presented to be, and that people have to be more careful at looking for dangers within their own borders for those who help perpetuate and profiteer off of it. Not to mention that the somewhat "nerdy" rival who is jealous of and aspires to be like Tony Stark is akin to Justin Hammer. Guy Pearce does what he can, but he just feels like a retread in my opinion. And when they tried throwing on some Mandarin stuff like the martial arts and dragon tattoos, it was stuff slapped on at the last second as an attempt at fanservice that almost literally comes at the last second and without any build up or explnation whatsoever and thus comes off as being too little too late. I could perhaps get into the changes more if they had created something more interesting then what we got out of Killian. But as it stands he just doesn't stand out at all. Sure his plan was bigger in scope, but the character himself felt same old same old. (Again, just in my opinion) And that's the big difference between him and Jarvis in these films. At the very least when they changed Jarvis, he essentially kept his role at being Tony's helper and all that, and the change felt more creative and innovative. I felt Killian was not.

None of that stuff ruined "Iron Man 3" for me, I thought it was still a pretty darn good movie. I just thought that the villain side of things was pretty disappointing. Though naturally, this is all just in my opinion. Anyone can feel free to disagree, I just thought I'd throw in my 2 cents into the discussion.

Jun 2 - 02:31 AM

John Weber

John Weber

Iron Man while a pretty major player in the Marvel Universe before the film, was not cared about nearly at all by the general audience before the first film back in 2008. It stands to reason, that his archenemy wouldn't be either unlike the arch-rivals to more popular heroes like Superman and Batman. Also consider how popular a villain like Loki is now, and compare that to his popularity in the past before his move debut and since the film's its exploded.

The racism thing is always a touchy subject, but I will just put forth this notion. Yeah, it's hard to argue against the fact that Mandarin's original design was pretty un-PC. (Though honestly, the set up of his character being a tyrannical master scientist who also has a knack for mysticism and surrounds himslef in the comic book ultra stylized versions of trappings of an old culture from his home nation in spite of his use of modern technology is really not that much different than the set up for Dr. Doom as a supervillain. Both just came from different regions of the world. And he even made a point of trying to put himself on a pedestal above everyone else in China and thus separated himself from the general populance and also not only separated himself from the Chinese government but was even seen as a rival to them. And thus really wasn't really being used to represent anyone as a whole in any way. I won't go as far as to say Mandarin was completely PC back then, but I do wonder if the notion is a tad exaggerated) But besides that, I wish to put forth this comparison. Consider the fact that Pepper Potts started out as just a secretary whose almost sole obsession seemed to be getting together with her wealthy debonair boss. By todays standards, I don't think people would be in favor on her original characterization that much either, that some may even call sexist. But look what she's become since then, and how reasonably popular she is with audiences now. But that's the thing I'm trying to get at. Characters evolve over time, and writers such as the Kanufs and Matt Fraction have done good jobs with updating the Mandarin since his original incarnation in the 1960's. The character in "Haunted" for instance I think is great, and that's probably what I'd consider to be his best story that also features his best showdown with Iron Man.

That being said, I do agree that a film doesn't have to stay 100% true to its source material. For instance I could accept Ra's Al Ghul being a mentor to Bruce Wayne before he was Batman, and Robin being a cop. My main problem with Aldrich Killian is the fact that they turned a character who could have potentially been more intersting if portrayed right, and watered him down into something heavily generic in spite of Guy Pearce's best efforts in the role. It's the type of villain we've seen in every Iron Man film so far. The corrupt double dealing American businessman/military contractor who has a grudge against Tony Stark and is out for his own profits. We saw that with Obadiah Stane in the first film, and Justin Hammer in the second. Even the moral they tried getting across with him was the same one they did with Stane but just from a somewhat different vantage point. The whole idea about the war on terror not being nearly as black and white as its often presented to be, and that people have to be more careful at looking for dangers within their own borders for those who help perpetuate and profiteer off of it. Not to mention that the somewhat "nerdy" rival who is jealous of and aspires to be like Tony Stark is akin to Justin Hammer. Guy Pearce does what he can, but he just feels like a retread in my opinion. And when they tried throwing on some Mandarin stuff like the martial arts and dragon tattoos, it was stuff slapped on at the last second as an attempt at fanservice that almost literally comes at the last second and without any build up or explnation whatsoever and thus comes off as being too little too late. I could perhaps get into the changes more if they had created something more interesting then what we got out of Killian. But as it stands he just doesn't stand out at all. Sure his plan was bigger in scope, but the character himself felt same old same old. (Again, just in my opinion) And that's the big difference between him and Jarvis in these films. At the very least when they changed Jarvis, he essentially kept his role at being Tony's helper and all that, and the change felt more creative and innovative. I felt Killian was not.

None of that stuff ruined "Iron Man 3" for me, I thought it was still a pretty darn good movie. I just thought that the villain side of things was pretty disappointing. Though naturally, this is all just in my opinion. Anyone can feel free to disagree, I just thought I'd throw in my 2 cents into the discussion.

Jun 2 - 02:09 AM

John Weber

John Weber

Iron Man while a pretty major player in the Marvel Universe before the film, was not cared about nearly at all by the general audience before the first film back in 2008. It stands to reason, that his archenemy wouldn't be either unlike the arch-rivals to more popular heroes like Superman and Batman. Also consider how popular a villain like Loki is now, and compare that to his popularity in the past before his move debut and since the film's its exploded.

The racism thing is always a touchy subject, but I will just put forth this notion. Yeah, it's hard to argue against the fact that Mandarin's original design was pretty un-PC. (Though honestly, the set up of his character being a tyrannical master scientist who also has a knack for mysticism and surrounds himslef in the comic book ultra stylized versions of trappings of an old culture from his home nation in spite of his use of modern technology is really not that much different than the set up for Dr. Doom as a supervillain. Both just came from different regions of the world. And he even made a point of trying to put himself on a pedestal above everyone else in China and thus separated himself from the general populance and also not only separated himself from the Chinese government but was even seen as a rival to them. And thus really wasn't really being used to represent anyone as a whole in any way. I won't go as far as to say Mandarin was completely PC back then, but I wonder if the notion is a tad exaggerated) But besides that, I wish to put forth this comparison. Consider the fact that Pepper Potts started out as just a secretary whose almost sole obsession seemed to be getting together with her wealthy debonair boss. By todays standards, I don't think people would be in favor on her original characterization that much either, that some may even call sexist. But look what she's become since then, and how reasonably popular she is with audiences now. But that's the thing I'm trying to get at. Characters evolve over time, and writers such as the Kanufs and Matt Fraction have done good jobs with updating the Mandarin since his original incarnation in the 1960's. The character in "Haunted" for instance I think is great, and that's probably what I'd consider to be his best story that also features his best showdown with Iron Man.

That being said, I do agree that a film doesn't have to stay 100% true to its source material. For instance I could accept Ra's Al Ghul being a mentor to Bruce Wayne before he was Batman, and Robin being a cop. My main problem with Aldrich Killian is the fact that they turned a character who could have potentially been more intersting if portrayed right, and watered him down into something heavily generic in spite of Guy Pearce's best efforts in the role. It's the type of villain we've seen in every Iron Man film so far. The corrupt double dealing American businessman/military contractor who has a grudge against Tony Stark and is out for his own profits. We saw that with Obadiah Stane in the first film, and Justin Hammer in the second. Even the moral they tried getting across with him was the same one they did with Stane but just from a somewhat different vantage point. The whole idea about the war on terror not being nearly as black and white as its often presented to be, and that people have to be more careful at looking for dangers within their own borders for those who perpetuate and profiteer off of it. Not to mention that the somewhat "nerdy" rival who is jealous of and aspires to be like Tony Stark is akin to Justin Hammer. Guy Pearce does what he can, but he just feels like a retread in my opinion. And when they tried throwing on some Mandarin stuff like the martial arts and dragon tattoos, it was stuff slapped on at the last second as an attempt at fanservice that almost literally comes at the last second and without any build up or explnation whatsoever and thus comes off as being too little too late. I could perhaps get into the changes more if they had created something more interesting then what we got out of Killian. But as it stands he just doesn't stand out at all. Sure his plan was bigger in scope, but the character himself felt same old same old. (Again, just in my opinion) And that's the big difference between him and Jarvis in these films. At the very least when they changed Jarvis, he essentially kept his role at being Tony's helper and all that, and the change felt more creative and innovative. I felt Killian was not.

None of that stuff ruined "Iron Man 3" for me, I thought it was still a pretty darn good movie. I just thought that the villain side of things was pretty disappointing. Though naturally, this is all just in my opinion. Anyone can feel free to disagree, I just thought I'd throw in my 2 cents into the discussion.

Jun 2 - 02:08 AM

John Weber

John Weber

Iron Man while a pretty major player in the Marvel Universe before the film, was not cared about nearly at all by the general audience before the first film back in 2008. It stands to reason, that his archenemy wouldn't be either unlike the arch-rivals to more popular heroes like Superman and Batman. Also consider how popular a villain like Loki is now, and compare that to his popularity in the past before his move debut and since the film's its exploded.

The racism thing is always a touchy subject, but I will just put forth this notion. Yeah, it's hard to argue against the fact that Mandarin's original design was pretty un-PC. (Though honestly, the set up of his character being a tyrannical master scientist who also has a knack for mysticism and surrounds himslef in the comic book ultra stylized versions of trappings of an old culture from his home nation in spite of his use of modern technology is really not that much different than the set up for Dr. Doom as a supervillain. Both just came from different regions of the world. And he even made a point of trying to put himself on a pedestal above everyone else in China and thus separated himself from the general populance and also not only separated himself from the Chinese government but was even seen as a rival to them. And thus really wasn't really being used to represent anyone as a whole in any way. I won't go as far as to say Mandarin was completely PC back then, but I wonder if the notion is a tad exaggerated) But besides that, I wish to put forth this comparison. Consider the fact that Pepper Potts started out as just a secretary whose almost sole obsession seemed to be getting together with her wealthy debonair boss. By todays standards, I don't think people would be in favor on her original characterization that much either, that some may even call sexist. But look what she's become since then, and how reasonably popular she is with audiences now. But that's the thing I'm trying to get at. Characters evolve over time, and writers such as the Kanufs and Matt Fraction have done good jobs with updating the Mandarin since his original incarnation in the 1960's. The character in "Haunted" for instance I think is great, and that's probably what I'd consider to be his best story that also features his best showdown with Iron Man.

That being said, I do agree that a film doesn't have to stay 100% true to its source material. For instance I could accept Ra's Al Ghul being a mentor to Bruce Wayne before he was Batman, and Robin being a cop. My main problem with Aldrich Killian is the fact that they turned a character who could have potentially been more intersting if portrayed right, and watered him down into something heavily generic in spite of Guy Pearce's best efforts in the role. It's the type of villain we've seen in every Iron Man film so far. The corrupt double dealing American businessman/military contractor who has a grudge against Tony Stark and is out for his own profits. We saw that with Obadiah Stane in the first film, and Justin Hammer in the second. Even the moral they tried getting across with him was the same one they did with Stane but just from a somewhat different vantage point. The whole idea about the war on terror not being nearly as black and white as its often presented to be, and that people have to be more careful at looking for dangers within their own borders. Not to mention that the somewhat "nerdy" rival who is jealous of and aspires to be like Tony Stark is akin to Justin Hammer. Guy Pearce does what he can, but he just feels like a retread in my opinion. And when they tried throwing on some Mandarin stuff like the martial arts and dragon tattoos, it was stuff slapped on at the last second as an attempt at fanservice that almost literally comes at the last second and without any build up or explnation whatsoever and thus comes off as being too little too late. I could perhaps get into the changes more if they had created something more interesting then what we got out of Killian. But as it stands he just doesn't stand out at all. Sure his plan was bigger in scope, but the character himself felt same old same old. (Again, just in my opinion) And that's the big difference between him and Jarvis in these films. At the very least when they changed Jarvis, he essentially kept his role at being Tony's helper and all that, and the change felt more creative and innovative. I felt Killian was not.

None of that stuff ruined "Iron Man 3" for me, I thought it was still a pretty darn good movie. I just thought that the villain side of things was pretty disappointing. Though naturally, this is all just in my opinion. Anyone can feel free to disagree, I just thought I'd throw in my 2 cents into the discussion.

Jun 2 - 02:07 AM

John Weber

John Weber

Iron Man while a pretty major player in the Marvel Universe before the film, was not cared about nearly at all by the general audience before the first film back in 2008. It stands to reason, that his archenemy wouldn't be either unlike the arch-rivals to more popular heroes like Superman and Batman. Also consider how popular a villain like Loki is now, and compare that to his popularity in the past before his move debut and since the film's its exploded.

The racism thing is always a touchy subject, but I will just put forth this notion. Yeah, it's hard to argue against the fact that Mandarin's original design was pretty un-PC. (Though honestly, the set up of his character being a tyrannical master scientist who also has a knack for mysticism and surrounds himslef in the comic book ultra stylized trappings of an old culture in spite of his use of modern technology is really not that much different than the set up for Dr. Doom as a supervillain. Both just came from different regions of the world. And he even made a point of trying to put himself on a pedestal above everyone else in China and thus separated himself from everyone else and also not only separated himself from the Chinese government but was even seen as a rival to them. I won't go as far as to say Mandarin was completely PC back then, but I wonder if the notion is a tad exaggerated) But besides that, I wish to put forth this comparison. Consider the fact that Pepper Potts started out as just a secretary whose almost sole obsession seemed to be getting together with her wealthy debonair boss. By todays standards, I don't think people would be in favor on her original characterization that much either, that some may even call sexist. But look what she's become since then, and how reasonably popular she is with audiences now. But that's the thing I'm trying to get at. Characters evolve over time, and writers such as the Kanufs and Matt Fraction have done good jobs with updating the Mandarin since his original incarnation in the 1960's. Particularly the story arch "Haunted" probably being the best example of a story featuing the character that comes to mind immediately. (And interestingly enough, it involved Extremis)

That being said, I do agree that a film doesn't have to stay 100% true to its source material. For instance I could accept Ra's Al Ghul being a mentor to Bruce Wayne before he was Batman, and Robin being a cop. My main problem with Aldrich Killian is the fact that they turned a character who could have potentially been more intersting if portrayed right, and watered him down into something heavily generic in spite of Guy Pearce's best efforts in the role. It's the type of villain we've seen in every Iron Man film so far. The corrupt double dealing American businessman/military contractor who has a grudge against Tony Stark and is out for his own profits. We saw that with Obadiah Stane in the first film, and Justin Hammer in the second. Even the moral they tried getting across with him was the same one they did with Stane but just from a somewhat different vantage point. The whole idea about the war on terror not being nearly as black and white as its often presented to be, and that people have to be more careful at looking for dangers within their own borders. Not to mention that the somewhat "nerdy" rival who is jealous of and aspires to be like Tony Stark is akin to Justin Hammer. Guy Pearce does what he can, but he just feels like a retread in my opinion. And when they tried throwing on some Mandarin stuff like the martial arts and dragon tattoos, it was stuff slapped on at the last second as an attempt at fanservice that almost literally comes at the last second and without any build up or explnation whatsoever and thus comes off as being too little too late. I could perhaps get into the changes more if they had created something more interesting then what we got out of Killian. But as it stands he just doesn't stand out at all. Sure his plan was bigger in scope, but the character himself felt same old same old. (Again, just in my opinion) And that's the big difference between him and Jarvis in these films. At the very least when they changed Jarvis, he essentially kept his role at being Tony's helper and all that, and the change felt more creative and innovative. I felt Killian was not.

None of that stuff ruined "Iron Man 3" for me, I thought it was still a pretty darn good movie. I just thought that the villain side of things was pretty disappointing. Though naturally, this is all just in my opinion. Anyone can feel free to disagree, I just thought I'd throw in my 2 cents into the discussion.

Jun 2 - 02:02 AM

John Weber

John Weber

Iron Man while a pretty major player in the Marvel Universe before the film, was not cared about nearly at all by the general audience before the first film back in 2008. It stands to reason, that his archenemy wouldn't be either unlike the arch-rivals to more popular heroes like Superman and Batman. Also consider how popular a villain like Loki is now, and compare that to his popularity in the past before his move debut and since the film's its exploded.

The racism thing is always a touchy subject, but I will just put forth this notion. Yeah, it's hard to argue against the fact that Mandarin's original design was pretty un-PC. (Though honestly, the set up of his character being a tyrannical master scientist who also has a knack for mysticism and surrounds themselves in the comic book ultra stylized trappings of an old culture in spite of their use of modern technology is really not that much different than the set up for Dr. Doom as a supervillain. Both just came from different regions from the world. I won't say Mandarin was completely PC back then, but I wonder if the notion is a bit exaggerated) But besides that, I wish to put forth this comparison. Consider the fact that Pepper Potts started out as just a secretary whose almost sole obsession seemed to be getting together with her wealthy debonair boss. By todays standards, I don't think people would be in favor on her original characterization that much either, that some may even call sexist. But look what she's become since then, and how reasonably popular she is with audiences now. But that's the thing I'm trying to get at. Characters evolve over time, and writers such as the Kanufs and Matt Fraction have done good jobs with updating the Mandarin since his original incarnation in the 1960's. Particularly the story arch "Haunted" probably being the best example of a story featuing the character that comes to mind immediately. (And interestingly enough, it involved Extremis)

That being said, I do agree that a film doesn't have to stay 100% true to its source material. For instance I could accept Ra's Al Ghul being a mentor to Bruce Wayne before he was Batman, and Robin being a cop. My main problem with Aldrich Killian is the fact that they turned a character who could have potentially been more intersting if portrayed right, and watered him down into something heavily generic in spite of Guy Pearce's best efforts in the role. It's the type of villain we've seen in every Iron Man film so far. The corrupt double dealing American businessman/military contractor who has a grudge against Tony Stark and is out for his own profits. We saw that with Obadiah Stane in the first film, and Justin Hammer in the second. Even the moral they tried getting across with him was the same one they did with Stane but just from a somewhat different vantage point. The whole idea about the war on terror not being nearly as black and white as its often presented to be, and that people have to be more careful at looking for dangers within their own borders. Not to mention that the somewhat "nerdy" rival who is jealous of and aspires to be like Tony Stark is akin to Justin Hammer. Guy Pearce does what he can, but he just feels like a retread in my opinion. And when they tried throwing on some Mandarin stuff like the martial arts and dragon tattoos, it was stuff slapped on at the last second as an attempt at fanservice that almost literally comes at the last second and without any build up or explnation whatsoever and thus comes off as being too little too late. I could perhaps get into the changes more if they had created something more interesting then what we got out of Killian. But as it stands he just doesn't stand out at all. Sure his plan was bigger in scope, but the character himself felt same old same old. (Again, just in my opinion) And that's the big difference between him and Jarvis in these films. At the very least when they changed Jarvis, he essentially kept his role at being Tony's helper and all that, and the change felt more creative and innovative. I felt Killian was not.

None of that stuff ruined "Iron Man 3" for me, I thought it was still a pretty darn good movie. I just thought that the villain side of things was pretty disappointing. Though naturally, this is all just in my opinion. Anyone can feel free to disagree, I just thought I'd throw in my 2 cents into the discussion.

Jun 2 - 01:58 AM

Rachit Goyal

Rachit Goyal

First of all I agree the movies shouldn't be 100% accurate, but what the writers of Iron Man 3 did to the comics was that it showed disrespect, ignorance and blatant disregard for the comic books and it's fans. I never asked for a strict adaption, but at.east show some respect to the source material. Iron Man and The Avengers got it right, that's why everyone: both fans and audiences like it

Jun 1 - 11:29 AM

Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee

True that the Mandarin is no where near Magneto, Joker, Lex Luthor, or Venom. I'll even admit that i've never read Iron Man comics or watched the animated Iron Man cartoons however I side with the pissed off Mandarin fans because of the hype. In Iron Man 1 the terrorist group that captured Tony Stark were called the Ten Rings. Obadiah Stane was working with the Terrorist group and he wore a huge ring on his hand. In Iron Man 2 Justin Hammer wore a huge ring on his hand and was probably working for the Mandarin. SO they build up the Mandarin for 2 movies and then the first half of Iron Man 3 has Ben Kingsley playing a badass Mandarin when all of a sudden that imagine of a powerful villian is shattered.

May 6 - 08:04 PM

King Kong B.

King Kong Bundy

Dude, Iron Man wasn't iconic either until the first movie came out five years ago. He was a second or even third tier hero prior to the surprise success of the first film. It's because the character's status as a second/third fiddle hero is what made the success of the orignal such a surprise. Had they done the Mandarin right and not fucked it up, he would have enjoyed a lot more exposure much like the Iron Man character did five years ago.

May 6 - 02:49 PM

Claudio Bonifazi

Claudio Bonifazi

OH GOD THANK YOU.
This, people.

May 6 - 10:29 AM

Phillip P.

Phil Payton

couldn't agree more. This is just a different interpretation of the Mandarin there's no be all and end all of the character.

Why are people clinging to what the 10 rings do who cares? it's a different version in this one there aren't any magical rings. Seems no one can accept this is the way the mandarin is portrayed in this movie universe. If anything he's far superior to the original, in this he's Tony's intellectual equal using a patsy to hide his location - he is just Tony but with a more aggressive, evil side (created by Tony himself because of rejection.)

The trailers aren't lying if it was revealed in the trailer and focused on Killian then the film looses its impact. I'm glad they did this keeps more inline with the grounded first two movies. Just take as a separate entity and stop being pissy because they didn't do the version you wanted.

May 6 - 09:41 AM

Bo H.

Bo Hotchkiss

Intellectual equal? The guy can't even focus! His goal was to get Tony Stark to help him finish Extremis & perfect it, right? Side goal of getting Pepper Potts all to himself, right? Ok. So step 1 is apparently blowing the both of them up in Tony's house. Having the helicopters stick around to be sure he's dead. Then the world believes he's dead. If it were true, which everyone believed including the helicopter d00dz who would've radioed back "yep, he's dead." Then Aldrich would've been like, "Great! I've screwed myself out of my dreams AND the GIRL of my dreams. I'm the dumbest person on earth!"

May 6 - 09:55 AM

Slow Poke

Slow Poke

I don't think he likes Pepper, he just want to take her as trophy because she's Tony's girlfriend.

May 6 - 10:14 AM

Bo H.

Bo Hotchkiss

Still doesn't explain why the first half of the movie was the antagonist trying to ruin his own goals which were revealed in the last half.

May 6 - 10:22 AM

Slow Poke

Slow Poke

Yeah I agree.

May 6 - 11:05 AM

Phillip P.

Phil Payton

what slow poke says. He doesn't want pepper it's just taking the most important thing to Tony his goal is the destroy his life. He's acting like a child because he was rejected all those years ago.

Also he doesn't aim to kill anyone at Starks house that was just how how vulnerable he was to the world and demonstrating his power. His goal wasn't to get Tony to help him perfect extremis as such that was Maya's intention, Killian wanted to essentially be Tony, take his place. He shows up at Stark tower because he like Tony is arrogant walking into the enemy building and talking with most senior member he knew she wouldn't agree to helping him he just wanted show himself.

May 6 - 10:26 AM

Bo H.

Bo Hotchkiss

Didn't aim to kill anyone at Stark's house? Doesn't hold up. Maya was there because she believed they'd die. Helicopter dudes stuck around to make sure he was dead (not noticing him fly away). This was emphasized. Which means he very much intended to kill. Unless, the guy just flippantly makes up his ways to his goal as he goes along & using Tony was just ad-lib. But he was portrayed as a man who had a bigger plan than the audience could see at first. Hence using Mandarin & plotting to kill the POTUS. Get a new POTUS that'll back him up & his Extremis project. Because to be Tony, he'd need something great. Tony has powers through his suit. He wanted Extremis to be his "Iron Man" & the only way he'd get it is with Tony's help.

May 6 - 10:53 AM

Joe Xiong

Joe Xiong

gee, I guess in your world there's no such thing as 'adjusting a plan?' Killian had all the intent to kill Stark in his home, but failed. Then he finds out Stark is still alive, BUT the world believes him dead. Well doesn't that just make it easy to coerce him into being your puppet using Potts as leverage? No one's gonna try and help a dead guy. Of course in your world I guess everyone must follow one linear goal and can't stray for any reason whatsoever. Killian had all intents on using Hansen as his main scientist but once he found out he could use Stark and there'd be no repercussions because everyone believes him dead? why the hell not?

May 6 - 11:48 AM

Rachit Goyal

Rachit Goyal

What a shit-ass excuse. I bet watching The Dark Knight or The Dark Knight Rises trailers would have made Joker and Bane lose their impact in their movies as well. Idiot. The Mandarin twist sucked. Period

Jun 1 - 11:33 AM

John Weber

John Weber

Wait a minute. Intellectual equal? First off comic Mandarin was Tony's intellectual equal and like him was a master of science. Where does Killian prove that in the film? He doesn't even created the main villainous plot device of Extremis. That was Maya Hansen. Killian himself didn't do anything that a regular politician or businessman couldn't have done. Him being a scientist is basically all tell and no show and personally I don't think that's satisfying personally.

And for the record, why do people keep saying his rings were magic in the comics? They were alien technology, which quite frankly would have fit in perfectly in a post-Avengers world. In fact, part of Tony's anxiety in the film was dealing with the fact that he discovered how much more broad and dangerous the universe was with things like aliens, "gods", etc. So Tony going up against a foe who wielded such powers at his disposal would have fit in neatly and thematically.

Jun 2 - 02:17 AM

John Weber

John Weber

Wait a minute. Intellectual equal? First off comic Mandarin was Tony's intellectual equal and like him was a master of science. Where does Killian prove that in the film? He doesn't even created the main villainous plot device of Extremis. That was Maya Hansen. Killian himself didn't do anything that a regular politician or businessman couldn't have done. Him being a scientist is basically all tell and no show and personally I don't think that's satisfying personally.

And for the record, why do people keep saying his rings were magic in the comics? They were alien technology, which quite frankly would have fit in perfectly in a post-Avengers world. In fact, part of Tony's anxiety in the film was dealing with the fact that he discovered how much more broad and dangerous the universe was with things like aliens, "gods", etc. So Tony going up against a foe who wielded such powers at his disposal would have fit in neatly and thematically.

Naturally that's all just in my opinion.

Jun 2 - 02:18 AM

Slow Poke

Slow Poke

And what is Killian, a guy who only showed up for 2 pages?

May 6 - 09:24 AM

Joe Xiong

Joe Xiong

I'll agree with you there, turning a worthless scientist who appears for two pages then kills himself into the main villain? a head-scratcher, I personally thought they should have cast an Asian actor, then turned the Killian character into Chen Lu (Radioactive Man), while still keeping the Killian movie back-story. It would've made his reveal as the Mandarin more plausible.

May 6 - 09:41 AM

Bo H.

Bo Hotchkiss

"This is the Marvel Cinematic Universe" true. However, usually, in the alternate Marvel universes spidey is still a dude w/ spider powers. If this is the kind of artistic license they're allowed to take because people can just reason it away, well then I propose advertising that Apocalypse should be in whatever the next movie is. Go ahead. Advertise it. Get people hyped. Then, in the movie, have him be just some immortal that doesn't even care he's immortal & he just works at Dunkin Donuts as the cashier. Give him 10 minutes in the movie of just working behind the register. Nothing interesting. Make him look like a "realistic" interpretation of Apocalypse, yes. But just have him ring up cops buying donuts. Then move on. Because that's how lame the Mandarin was in this movie. At least Jarvis still answers to Tony's every whim like a butler even though he's AI. Do you really not see the difference here?

May 6 - 09:21 AM

Michael Indo

Michael Indo

"Get people hyped. Then, in the movie, have him be just some immortal that doesn't even care he's immortal & he just works at Dunkin Donuts as the cashier. Give him 10 minutes in the movie of just working behind the register."

You don't read enough elseworld comics, because a lot of them do this exact thing.

That point aside, this movie isn't making the Mandarin into some worthless character. The real Mandarin in this film wasn't Ben Kingsley, but Guy Pierce, a villain who matched Tony Stark both physically AND mentally.

May 6 - 10:42 AM

Rachit Goyal

Rachit Goyal

The point is, Ben Kingsley was more convincing than Guy Pearce. And Guy Pearce was just Killian, the man behind everything. Might as well Say Voldemort is just a prankster named Tom Riddle and Peter Pettigrew is the real Voldemort

Jun 1 - 11:36 AM

John Weber

John Weber

They never sold me on him being Tony's equal mentally. I just don't see proof of that anywhere. Maybe he was a good political schemer, but in the area of science and all that it was all tell and no show with Killian. He didn't even create the main plot device for the villain scheme. It was Maya Hansen who created Extremis.

Jun 2 - 02:57 AM

Bo H.

Bo Hotchkiss

"This is the Marvel Cinematic Universe" true. However, usually, in the alternate Marvel universes spidey is still a dude w/ spider powers. If this is the kind of artistic license they're allowed to take because people can just reason it away, well then I propose advertising that Apocalypse should be in whatever the next movie is. Go ahead. Advertise it. Get people hyped. Then, in the movie, have him be just some immortal that doesn't even care he's immortal & he just works at Dunkin Donuts at the cashier. Give him 10 minutes in the movie of just working behind the register. Nothing interesting. Make him look like a "realistic" interpretation of Apocalypse, yes. But just have him ring up cops buying donuts. Then move on. Because that's how lame the Mandarin was in this movie. At least Jarvis still answers to Tony's every whim like a butler even though he's AI. Do you really not see the difference here?

May 6 - 09:20 AM

Tim Tringle

Tim Tringle

Dude, not being iconic is one thing, castrating the villain and making it comic relief is another. Do you even know what the 10 rings represented in regards to terrorists in the comics?

May 6 - 08:46 AM

Joe Xiong

Joe Xiong

lol i am familiar with the 10 rings of the Mandarin, each representing various powers from fire blasts to creating black light (yeah good luck adapting that into the movie). I'm simply not a Mandarin fan, never been impressed with any material I've read with the Mandarin but that's just me. Yes the twist taken with him is extreme, but too many people are letting it obscure the consensus that this is a good movie. Many people are too angry in the head because of a character they didn't give a damn about before seeing the trailer, and letting that ruin the fact that the movie is clever, funny, and involves some truly amazing action sequences (the air force one rescue scene? might be one of the greatest action sequences I've ever seen)

May 6 - 09:13 AM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

Iconic is a subjective term. Iron Man isn't as iconic as Superman, Batman or Spider-Man so of course his archenemy isn't as iconic as theirs.

May 6 - 08:28 AM

Joe Xiong

Joe Xiong

then what's with all this passionate defending of the Mandarin? If you were to give me a list of villains that MUST be portrayed in a certain way, Mandarin would not be on that list. You give that same list to people raging over the twist before seeing the trailer and doing 15min research on the Mandarin, most wouldn't include him either. I've always considered Tony Stark's true arch nemesis to be himself, his battles with alcohol, his trying to right his past wrongs, and his constant need to keep his tech updated and stay ahead of his enemies. As corny as that sounds, it's not as corny as a Fu Manchu villain with magic rings, controlling a dragon named Fu Manchu

May 6 - 09:24 AM

Joe Xiong

Joe Xiong

then what's with all this passionate defending of the Mandarin? If you were to give me a list of villains that MUST be portrayed in a certain way, Mandarin would not be on that list. You give that same list to people raging over the twist before seeing the trailer with the Mandarin, most wouldn't include him either. Also I've always considered Tony Stark's true arch nemesis to be himself, his battles with alcohol, his trying to right his past wrongs, and his constant need to keep his tech updated and stay ahead of his enemies. As corny as that sounds, it's not as corny as a Fu Manchu villain with alien magic rings, controlling an alien dragon named Fin Fang Foom

May 6 - 09:26 AM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

A hero can have his archenemy be himself in a technical perspective (for example: Hulk) but still have a archenemy villain who opposes him (Leader, Thunderbolt Ross, Abomination). I keep hearing a lot of both sides on this. I totally understand why people can be upset for I wasn't very happy for it either although that didn't make me stop wanting to see it or not liking the movie over all. Over all I am happy that the Mandarin is technically in there although I am disappointed he is not the same Mandarin we are familiar of in the comics. Kind of like how I felt in Spider-Man 3. It's just that the source material is usually better and we sometimes anticipate what we are already familiar with and the result can be disappointment.

May 6 - 10:12 AM

John Weber

John Weber

Many superheroes have both their own personal demons and external threats to deal with, and one shouldn't really be put over the other in my opinion. That helps keep things diverse and interesting story-wise. If it was just one or the other than you have either a superficial character or stories that may start getting old and be less interesting.

Jun 2 - 02:23 AM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson
Iconic is a subjective term. Iron Man isn't as iconic as Superman, Batman or Spider-Man so of course his archenemy isn't as iconic as theirs.

May 6 - 08:27 AM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

Iconic is a subjective term. Iron Man isn't as iconic as Superman, Batman or Spider-Man so of course his archenemy isn't as iconic as their's.

May 6 - 08:25 AM

Mike Myres

Mike Myres

The Mandarin could of at least had one magic ring on each hand. Is that too much to ask for? If none of them were magical, then why have them. What is the point of having a ring on each finger? To be blingtastic for all the wanna-be cool kids? That just sounds stupid to me. Then again, it could have been worse. He could of had ten magic rings and Disney would have messed up the powers for each ring. Not only that, but they would have made Fin Fang Foom into some retarded looking Godzilla-like monster. Anyways, the movie is good enough for the big screen and I am glad that it wasn't a complete disappointment. I still think it would have been nice to have at least one magic ring on each hand and have him be the 'real' bad guy vs. an actor with blings on his hands.

May 6 - 08:06 AM

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