I finally got around to seeing "Iron Man 3" this weekend, and I have mixed feelings about the movie.
While I laughed a lot my biggest overall complaint is the usage of Mandarin. They turned him, literally, into a joke. As I tried to explain to my friend when leaving the theater, Mandarin should have rings of power made from alien technology. In this movie, he was an actor, a ruse for Killian's plan to monopolize the war on terror. Admittedly, I laughed during his scenes; Kingsley was hysterical, yet deep inside my inner nerd cried a bit.
The door for alien technology in Marvel movies was knocked off its hinges during "Avengers," so why was it decided that Mandarin would not be how he was in the comics? Better yet, couldn't they have improved on him? And couldn't he have developed his rings from a crashed spaceship or junk from the battle in New York? Why was he a drunken British actor named Trevor? Normally, I can overlook changes, but this one just has me confused. Aldrich Killian claiming he's Mandarin just isn't the same...
Robert Downey Jr. carried another installment on his back, yet I was left with a few questions as well. One of the major holes was this: we're led to believe Stark has no backup suits (I guess geniuses don't think to have a stash of spares close by), and that's the reason he improvises to assault Mandarin's hideout, yet for the final fight, he calls on the Iron Legion and suit hops. There were literally dozens of different types of suits he could have had sent to him by Jarvis prior to that scene. Also, why didn't he call Rhodey/Iron Patriot sooner when he was on Mandarin's trail? Instead, he let Rhodey fly all over Pakistan, which resulted in him losing his suit too.
Another scene that made me cringe was when, in an effort to prove to Pepper he was over the events of New York and would no longer be consumed by his work, he gave the command to destroy the Iron Legion. Why? Now if he ever needs the Hulk Buster it's not there. Couldn't he have stored them, just in case?
In another blog (I think my "Avengers" review), I mentioned how I wanted Pepper Potts to be more than a damsel in distress, and the third movie of the franchise did not fail me in the slightest in that regard.
Majority of the film we see Tony Stark rather than Iron Man. The movie is essentially about the turmoil and bravery of the man inside the suit, akin to "The Dark Knight Rises." I'm not displeased with this decision. If anything, this movie is proof I can watch two hours of Stark chatting and not be bored. I was surprised, however, they didn't touch on Stark's alcoholism. I guess that's not ever going to be in the movies.
All in all, I did like the movie, yet I feel the first "Iron Man" is still the best. I expected a lot more action and a deeper story and Iron Man going toe to toe with a supervillain, Stark's technology verses Mandarin's. It didn't play out that way. In a sense, I would say parts of the movie were spoiled by my own expectations, not what was displayed on the screen. In time, maybe it'll grow on me. Right now, having seen it a mere half an hour ago, I am somewhat disappointed.