Alright then, even though this is a subject that’s kind of died down in recent times thanks to the release of Star Trek Into Darkness, the controversy surrounding Iron Man 3 is far from over as there are still fanboys and casual audience people moaning about the film. It annoys me so much, so I’ve decided to make a blog post about the matter and clarify a few things here and there. By the way in case you weren’t aware this is gonna be a SPOILER-HEAVY POST so if you haven’t seen the film or don’t wanna know anything about it then leave now. If you’re still here then let’s continue…
The main complaints I hear about the film are as follows:
- The Mandarin
- Lack of Tony Stark in the Iron Man armour
- The balance between humour and seriousness
- Similarities to The Dark Knight Rises
In this blog post I’ll basically be going through these 4 main points give you my opinion on them as both a film lover and comic book fan. Okay so let’s get started.
1. The Mandarin
Okay so let’s get the main point out in the open, the main reason people despise this film so much is because of the handling of the Mandarin character and to a degree I can see the argument. The film was marketed as the Mandarin’s time to shine, he was marketed as the big bad villain and fans of the source material had been waiting to see his live-action appearance since it was referenced in Iron Man 1. However what we got was a drunken actor just pretending to be this big badass who actually under the control of Aldrich Killian, the real bad guy in the film.
I can understand why people were pissed off, I mean I was shocked and thought the film was joking until Trevor explained that the Mandarin was just a diversion for the world to focus on. But people need to look at the bigger picture. How many times have you been shocked in a comic book film? And who would go to such lengths to do something as gutsy as to tamper with such a big character from the source material? I reckon it took guts for Shane Black and Drew Pearce to go ahead a craft the story the way they did, but I think it paid off for a lot of people as it gave Ben Kingsley some interesting material to work with and made his character completely hilarious. And in the grand scheme of things it makes sense that such a ridiculous character would be a made-up creation. I mean sure the character could have been handled a lot better, but again in the context of this film it works, it’s funny and totally unexpected and it comic book films that kind of surprise and variation is a welcome change for me.
2. Lack of Tony Stark in the Iron Man armour
I see loads of people moaning about the fact that there’s so much Tony Stark in the film and a lack of Iron Man and that is really missing the point of the film. Tony Stark is Iron Man. People seem to forget about the man behind the suit that makes it function. Without him there’d just be a lot of cool armour just chilling around the place without a purpose. This film really gave us a good look at Tony Stark when he’s not in a position of power and shows us that he’s just as human as the rest of us. It also demonstrated his intellect, his ability to go stealth and take people out James Bond style and the ability to create things on the fly when he’s not got all of his facilities at his disposal. Iron Man 3 gave us a Tony Stark who knows who he is, who can fight back when the pressure is on and can still get things done without his armour and to me that speaks way more volumes than seeing him doing everything inside the armour instead.
3. The balance between humour and seriousness
Now this is something I’ve seen come up a few times, the fact that the film doesn’t know when it wants to be serious and funny. Granted there are some scenes where humour isn’t needed but for the most part I thought it was fine. There are some proper emotional moments in this film or dramatic points that are really good such as Happy getting caught in the explosion or when the plane explodes and all those people are falling in the sky or when Tony gets those anxiety attacks, the drama stuff is there. And to balance that all out you have a fair amount of humour between loads of the cast, mainly revolving around Tony and his interactions with other characters especially Harley. Tony and Harley have some great moments together and thanks to the witty dialogue it leads to some of the best moments in the film. I think the balance between humour and seriousness is fine and hardly worth moaning about.
4. Similarities to The Dark Knight Rises
And of course with the third in a trilogy that has a slightly darker tone the comparisons to Batman are inevitable. Indeed there are certain parrells that could be made like both films have the heroe’s broken helmet, both main heroes have their lives destroyed and need to pull them together again and both films have snow in them, those being the main comparisons. But honestly these films are fairly different. Iron Man 3 is a world where it is has the realism implemented but in a way where the comic book sensibilities can still stand out and be relevant. Whereas The Dark Knight Rises is all about it;s dark tones and realism, that universe makes a habit of trying to make everything work in the context of the real world and only uses small comic book elements at a time.
So in conclusion comic book fanboys need to stop crying and get over the changes in Iron Man 3, changes are made in films all the time and the fact that some people are choosing to shout and wine about it like little children is tragic. To let a few changes in a film change your whole perspective on an otherwise great film is a terrible thing to do and doesn’t send out a good message to those who have yet to see the film. Remember no comic book film has ever been adapted completely from its source material, some things get changed! No one gave a monkeys when Christopher Nolan made Batman all realistic and took away several elements from the source material, but when Marvel or any other movie studio do anything different the fans are ready to crucify the people responsible. In the end the original comics will still be there for you to read, if you don’t like what you see in a live-action film go away and read the comics instead.