Last week I claimed that Iron Man 3 would make up for the disappointments of Iron Man 2 … I unfortunately have to retract that statement.


Ya went full comedy. Ya never go full comedy.

Their first mistake is they went full comedy. I know Marvel movies have a light, humorous quality to them, especially ones involving Tony Stark. His character has a naturally funny wit. But they are also action movies. Serious, life threatening shit takes place. The action is supposed to be broken up by humor. The movie isn’t supposed to be driven by it. This movie couldn’t go 60 seconds without making a joke, even during the big fight scenes.

You look like you understand advanced robotics. Can you help me fix my suit?


Then we have Tony’s rock bottom period. Admittedly it was cool to see Tony not relying on the Iron Man suit for a little bit. And him being a complete dick to a child was hilarious. But then he leaves the kid in charge of repairing his Iron Man suit, which is clearly a simple task for a ten year old. While this is happening we replace the kid with a creepy dude who has a weird Tony fetish. And then the kid magically solves all of Tony’s PTSD anxiety. And the whole time the question is raised: what the fuck is happening and where is Iron Man in this Iron Man movie? But these are hardly the biggest concerns. What most concerning is that …



The Mandarin is one of Iron Man’s arch villans. He is a descendant of Genghis Khan who spends his life essentially training to be the most evil fucker ever. As if that’s not enough, then he stumbles upon ten magic rings that make him God status powerful.

Obviously it was expected that they would have to dilute these powers a bit. But the rings would have made complete sense since Thor already happened. Even if they had scrapped the rings, he could’ve still been an evil terrorist dictator. But instead director Shane Black decided to say “fuck it” and made him a complete joke. He was just an actor hired by Aldrich Killian, who is apparently ”the real Mandarin.” Meanwhile he’s only in the comics for literally TWO PAGES before he SHOOTS HIMSELF IN THE FACE. What’s worse is Ben Kingsley was perfect as The Mandarin.

It’s like if halfway through The Dark Knight, Heath Ledger wiped off the make up and you found out some random asshole paid him to do it.

The end fight with 30-something Iron Man suits against a bunch of Extremis-powered soldiers did do some redeeming. But while they may have gotten the Extremis healing/fire powers right, there’s one huge detail they left out. In the Extremis story arch Tony alters the Extremis virus to allow the majority of his suit to grow out of his body, essentially making him the ultimate Iron Man.

Shane Black decided to take a slightly different route and have Tony blow every suit the fuck up, tying a nice little bow on the franchise … even though it’s not over


Steve Bonanno is from Newtown, CT and currently living in Allston, MA. He is known for having volume control issues, being reminded he is in a family restaurant, and being asked to put his shirt back on.


  1. Pingback: Why The Mandarin is the Best Villain in the Marvel Movieverse | Carli Velocci

  2. Screw the Mandarin, I liked Iron Man 3. Don’t get me wrong, the film isn’t perfect and I’d still probably say part 1 was better, and I can understand people not liking having one of their favorite characters (Mandarin) messed with like that but…. who the hell cares about the Mandarin? Seriously. I love comic books, granted I’ve never been a huge Iron Man guy but I’ve read Demon In A Bottle, and I love the Bendis Avengers stuff featuring Iron Man and I don’t care care about how they changed Mandarin. It’s not like Iron Man has the greatest rogues gallery to begin with. Plus Mandarin started out as a yellow menace racist character, and sure they’ve changed him through the years significantly to distance him from that origin but to me that just means that there has never been a definitive version of the character and that he was ripe for this sort of overhaul. You mentioned that if they did the same thing with Joker in Dark Knight that I, the audience, would be outraged. You are 100% correct. But that is because the Joker is an icon. He is actually one of the biggest icons in pop culture now, he transcends comics. So if they pulled that whole Scooby Doo thing on him yes I’d be pissed. The Mandarin will never be anything close to a Joker. Hell, he will never be anything close to a Green Goblin or a Venom. He’s actually somewhere below a terrible silly Flash villain like Capt. Boomerang for me. Plus, you know for the cinema they did change Joker. They gave him the Glasgow smile thing instead of the chemical bath, because it’d play better in Nolan’s more realistic Bat universe. I think any changes made to the Mandarin actually made him work better in this Shane Black/ Marvel cinematic Iron Man world. Plus, we’ve had so many of these terrorist/ Bin Laden analogue villains that deliver scary soliloquies to a camera or screen like Heath’s Joker and Benedict Cumberatch in the upcoming Start Trek Into Darkness that it’s about time someone deconstructed that a bit and turned it on its head. Because it’s becoming a dull trope. My chief complaint with Iron Man 3 is that while it had some Shane Black flavor I thought it could actually use a little more. And the ending seemed a little rushed and the motivation behind the bad guys was a bit muddled. Anyways, I liked your review despite not agreeing with it. It made me think about the movie some more and figure out what I liked and didn’t like about it. That’s what a good review should do. So thanks. Good deal.