Liked Iron Man 3. I went into it after just seeing the absolute best episode of Hannibal, so far (and by extension, the best hour of teevee this year), and having watched Southern California burn all day on teevee/internets/out my windows. The theater’s decision not to run the new Man of Steel trailer didn’t help, either…but despite being distracted and soured on multiple fronts, i still liked it. Will see it again soon, with a clearer head.
What is bothering me is the pervasive meme making its way across nerd sites that how they handled The Mandarin was the only workable approach to the character. This is so depressingly PC. I don’t have a strong grounding in Iron Man comics of any era, so i can’t argue the notion that the original character was rooted in stereotypes…but i would ask you to point to the most recent comic-based film that faithfully adapted characters exactly as they originally appeared, without significant updating and re-imagining.
Think you’d have to go back to Russell Mulcahy’s wildly under-appreciated, 1994 masterwork: The Shadow…coincidentally so, as that film happened to feature Shiwan Khan, a brilliant Asian warlord bent on global conquest (as any good descendant of Genghis might be), with formidable supernatural powers. If loving John Lone’s performance in that film makes me racist, then fit me for a pointy hood and send me off to reeducation camp.
(If you’ve never seen The Shadow, do yourself a favor. It’s fucking amazing, has one of my all-time favorite cinematic visuals, and i defy you to watch it and not come away believing one, or both, of the Nolan brothers and/or David Goyer were fans, as some combination thereof basically borrowed the story structure for Batman Begins.)
Would love to have seen Sir Ben go full-megalo in that kind of role, but as i have no connection to the comic character, i’m pretty happy with what we got. Just really don’t want the potential for hurt feelings amongst some to become the arbiter of what kind of villains we’re allowed to see in these films, or i guess my longstanding desire for a non-camp, full-on anti-human ecoterrorist Poison Ivy is a pipe-dream.