Note: This will have spoilers. If you don’t want to know what happens in detail, scroll to the bottom to see my overall grade.
I was excited about Iron Man III. Really excited. The previews looked good and it had the Mandarin as a villain. As a comic book nerd, I couldn’t wait to have Iron Man and the Mandarin fight over the rings of power. But, that didn’t happened. The Mandarin wasn’t the Mandarin in the comics/cartoons. In the movie, the Mandarin was actually a terrorist teaching the US “lessons” before Christmas. Several things wrong here. Mandarin is a type of orange and a type of Chinese. In the movie, he was portrayed as a stereotypical Islamic terrorist. They never officially said it, but the way he acted along with nasal voices in the background kind of acted like it. Plus War Machine, renamed Iron Patriot, was searching for his location in Islamic countries like Pakistan. Plus, when the Mandarin would broadcast a message, he would show this before the airing.
Now, I have a passion for writing systems. That is not Arabic or Chinese script. This is actually Mongolic script. To be fair, it could be Qing Chinese since the Qing Dynasty of China used a writing system derived from Mongollic, but it’s probably Mongolic judging by the style it’s written in. What does it say? No idea. For more info, see here:
So overall, we have a Mongolic-Chinese-possibly Islamic terrorist. Ok, let’s be fair. There are places in China that have Muslims and places that use the Mongolic script, but usually not both although there could be a small amount. But they have changed a popular villain tremendously before (does Bang ring a bell?), and it has worked. But here’s the thing: you can see on the poster above that he is wearing rings of some sort, but they never look for rings. In fact, he just has a bunch of followers that do some sort of anger-suicide-thermo-self destruct in a bunch of places, including Tony’s house after he publicly challenges the Mandarin. But it doesn’t stop there, this guy is only an actor. No, not in real life, in the movie. He says he is an actor by the name of Trevor Slattery and that he was hired to play as the Mandarin but not be him. The real Mandarin (still nothing like the real thing) reveals himself at the end and there’s a showdown between the Mandarin and his destructive followers and apparently 42 or so different Iron Man suits, talk about a cheesy ending. It has great action, but the story is almost too big and cheesy. I mean, they have to save a president dangled over an oil tanker ready to blow while being strapped in the Iron Patriot suit for crying out loud. I would say that the other two are better. Here is my score:
Like the real comic: D+