Iron Man 3 was entirely a flashback narrated by Tony Stark about how he had to deal with anxiety he got from meeting Thor and fighting aliens in the Avengers as well as take down a terrorist known as the Mandarin. The film seemed to be filler between the first and second Avengers movies.
Terrorism displayed in superhero movies tend to be pretty cliche, but I was surprised by the angle Marvel took in Iron Man 3. Mandarin was a generic rich, white, American man from Miami rather than a generic broke, bitter, Middle Eastern man. In fact, the filmmakers emphasized the twist on the stereotype by making the Iron Patriot fly out to Pakistan because that’s where he thought the Mandarin was. Even Tony Stark did a double take when Jarvis told him his new-found enemy was just on the other coast rather than on the other side of the world.
A little side note on Mandarin: It wasn’t surprising the Mandarin was a phony, because he didn’t look foreign even with his stereotypical costume on. I found it pretty ironic that he was bitching about how fake the concept of fortune cookies are when he was just as fake as they are. Even the real Mandarin wasn’t Asian. Quit framing Asia for your problems!
Is it just me or is he very white? You tell ’em about those fortune cookies!
The narrative format of the film was interesting, but I didn’t appreciate it until the post credit clip gave it some context. The little snippet was cute, in its own way, and it brings up questions about what snippets will be included at the end of the upcoming Thor and Captain America movies. What are the odds Marvel will throw another Hulk movie in there as well?
Iron Man 3 consisted of a lot of action, including many of Marvel’s classic over the top explosions. It was exciting to see Pepper Potts stand up and kick some ass, though the fact that she lost her shirt in the process took away the glory a bit. Is it really that hard to present a women as strong and able to defend herself without portraying her as a sex object? Is that really too much to ask?
On another note, the ending of the film was quite abrupt. It was very convenient how Stark could not only fix Pepper, but also get the shrapnel out of his chest by the ending credits. The point of the generator in his chest is that it isn’t possible to fix Stark’s heart without killing him. How magical that he lived. What a sweet, enchanted little ending for the both of them.
Moral of the story: Quit blaming Asia for everything. True enemies are often the ones closest to home.