Shane Black Tries To Defend Iron Man 3′s Big Twist
Iron Man 3 is getting ready to cross the $1 billion dollar mark this weekend, so I’m assuming you’ve seen the film by now. If you haven’t, and are still unspoiled as to what happens in the threequel, then turn away now. If you have seen the film, you know about the film’s big surprise twist regarding the Mandarin. I’ll buy a little more time before going into detail, but director Shane Black recently spoke to ScreenRant about the big twist and offered up his best defense of the move.
The Mandarin, the biggest villain in Tony Stark‘s rogues gallery, was finally going to be realized on film. The previous two films had laid the groundwork for the big reveal and Sir Ben Kingsley had fans salivating at the thought of having such a high caliber actor bringing such an important villain to life. The film did a fantastic job for the first half. Kingsley didn’t have magical rings, but he made it for it with more than enough menace. Then you find out that Kingsley wasn’t the Mandarin. He wasn’t even a villain. He was a drugged out, washed up actor who took on the gig for Guy Pearce‘s Aldrich Killian who I guess was supposed to be the real Mandarin. As you can imagine, fans were divided. Some thought it was a smart move, but others (this reporter included) saw it as a huge letdown considering what the previous two film’s had laid down. Black offers up why he thinks the re-imagining worked:
I would say that we struggled to find a way to present a mythic terrorist that had something about him that registered after the movie’s over as having been a unique take, or a clever idea, or a way to say something of use. And what was of use about the Mandarin’s portrayal in this movie, to me, is that it offers up a way that you can sort of show how people are complicit in being frightened. They buy into things in the way that the audience for this movie buys into it. And hopefully, by the end you’re like, ‘Yeah, we were really frightened of the Mandarin, but in the end he really wasn’t that bad after all.’ In fact, the whole thing was just a product of this anonymous, behind-the-scenes guy. I think that’s a message that’s more interesting for the modern world because I think there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes, a lot of fear, that’s generated toward very available and obvious targets, which could perhaps be directed more intelligently at what’s behind them.
Black may have had a different idea, but a lot of what he says could have been accomplished by actually using the Mandarin and not building him up to be so great only to throw mud in the eyes of many fans. You have to give Black and company credit on one thing though, they sure did surprise people in the age of leaked information and spoiler stories. What did you think of the big twist? Were you a fan of the decision or do you fall on the disgruntled fan side of things?
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Source : ScreenRant