Iron Man 3 – Disneycember

I get the feeling people are gonna LOVE what they did with this villain. Doug looks at Iron Man 3, the big hit that has most people split.

About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.


  1. First LOL I know who cares right?!

  2. I don’t see how giving out his home address is a problem. He throws giant parties there all the time. It’s not exactly a secret (or subtle) base. They can probably find it on a celebrity sighting map or something.

    • This. I’m sure someone mentioned it in Doug’s review of Iron Man 1 a few days ago. I’m sure the Stark Mansion would be included on some Malibu tourist bus tour in their universe. C’mon, Doug, stop trolling.

      • I mentioned it, and glad tosee I’m not the only ne thinking about it. Perhaps what was dumb was the fact he TAUNTED the enemies to come to him by giving his address, it was a very, VERY dumb “come at me, bro!”, and the real stupidity ishow Tony Stark’s house lack any security whatsoever. The guy who make mass-destruction weaponry should have his house rigged to blow up a freakin’ squad of TANKS with a simple alarm.

        • He has security – entiry army of suits. The fact that he doesn’t use them is stupid.

          • Yeah, they parodied that in How It Should Have Ended by having Tony activate ‘The House Party Protocol’ as soon as he gets home and blowing all the choppers out of the sky.

        • Exactly. We just talked about this very thing on the ‘Iron Man 2’ Disney-Cember page. It’s not the act of giving out his home address, it’s the open challenge (taunt) within the act of giving his address and then NOT having a defense plan for what comes next that is the problem. One of the smartest people on the planet just made one of the dumbest moves ever and we see what happens. Tony even had the House Party Protocol (I’m assuming sometime in advance of the house attack) and neither he nor JARVIS used it.
          C’mon Doug. Apologize for that, man-up and correct yourself. Just say Tony taunted the Mandarin and failed to prepare for what happened. Quit hanging on the address BS! Everyone quit hanging on the address BS!!!

  3. I don’t know. The biggest problem with the movie in my mind are all stupid ironman suits. They ruin everything. What is worse is that they are now in world one giant deus ex machina, there is nowhere to go from that.

    Not surprisingly it is the VERY same thing that completely ruins the Avengers 2 (besides terrible special effects), though at least, after Avengers 2 they now have an in-world reason to get rid of/ignore the stupid suits.

    • i’m pretty sure in the comics Tony Stark always had a shitload of suits.

      • And in the animated versions of him too.
        Even Batman had SEVERAL different suits. Of course. They’re superheroes. They need to be prepared for some, if not every occasion.

      • Yes, but it’s rare that he pulls them all out at the same time and for the bulk of his history, they still needed pilots. Typically, he’ll use his standard suit and not just call on all the others. Also, most of the suits have specific functions and those specializations add weaknesses. Hulkbuster increases strength, but speed and manuverability are hampered. Stealth armor has minimal weapons and shielding.

  4. I hate to be that guy, but in past Disneycembers, you forgot Homeward Bound. 🙁

  5. From all three Iron Man movies I like third one least. Big part of it was that I wanted to see him really go against Mandarin who in comics is his archenemy so that twist was major let down to me. I wonder why they avoided having him fight some super villain in his own movie. Others fought super villains in they solo movies so why not Iron Man.

  6. Alien? HOO BOY, that’s not it, its that the Mandarin from the original comics is sadly, a racist stereotype of Asians. Especially from the time Tony dealt with racist caricatures of Asians back when he first appeared in the 1960s, Vietnam war and all. But aside that, the Mandarin from what I know, is powerful, but quite bland, just another villain who wants to take over the world. So the changes in the film doesn’t bug me as they HAVE to work around that otherwise the film could’ve pissed off a lot of people. It would make the hardcore Marvel fans happy, but to appeal to a newer audience in a different time period, changes like that have to be made. I get why fans would be pissed, but, there’s the sad reality that not everything will work in films no matter how good Marvel studios has been making their films.

    As for the actual villain? Well its not known to much but I remember that he’s involved with another villain league from Marvel, AIM (Advanced Idea Mechanics) most people would remember that one for the villain MODOK. So I believe what’s there were going for, as there are other evil organizations in the Marvel universe and not just Hydra. The complaint about another evil business man I do get, but given the limitations to avoid pissing off people because the past was known for racist portrayals, some sacrifices gotta be made.

    • But the Mandarin that Kingsley was playing was an already perfectly updated character who wasn’t Asian nor a stereotype and was actually being sold as one Hell of a mastermind of dangerous proportions. And that’s before even weighing whether his 10 magical (alien) rings were to be involved. He was the Lex Luther to Stark’s Superman. HISHE got it right that Killian was just ripping off Syndrome from The Incredibles.

    • Actually, “bland” is the last thing I woul use to describe the Mandarin. I mean, he is essentially an Asian Doctor Doom. A guy using alien rings with various powers and who built his own politic power in the middle of the Communist China. Granted, he was a racist caricature when introduced, but I still believe that if well-handled, you could easily make an awesome villain. Definitely more awesome than Killian.

    • As someone whose wife is Chinese, I can see where you are coming from with the update part, but there are two problems:

      1 = Kingsley’s Mandarin is probably even more offensive to even more people, both before and after the reveal of the twist, before for the same reasons as the original and after because that robs the different vague ethnic groups he represents of all agency.

      2 = The real Mandarin is the most boring villain ever, right down to his ‘NOOOOOOOOOO’ at the start of the film. You could update him without making him another boring dude in a suit.

      • Here’s the fun thing.
        The Mandarin played by Kingsley and Killian/Asshole in a Suit #3..neither one of them were the actual Mandarin. In the Marvel One-Shot ‘Hail to the King’, which is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ben Kingsley returns as Trevor Slattery/Fake Mandarin and is broken out of jail by members of the Ten Rings from the first Iron Man movie..they then say that they are going to take him to meet the REAL Mandarin, who is very angered by Slattery’s portrayal and mockery of their identity, showing that there IS an actual Mandarin in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (it was said that Killian based his persona off of legends he’d heard of the Mandarin).

        I also wouldn’t be worried about the Mandarin’s portrayal, he’s been updated to be less of a Racist Stereotype of the Chinese and more as just a man who loves his Chinese Heritage.

        • That’s the thing that always gets me about this movie. How many people claim it “ruined” a character that’s not even in it. Yes, he didn’t do “The Mandarin” justice… but he wasn’t the bloody Mandarin. Specifically, intentionally, NOT the Mandarin. It’s like complaining that, in the episode of Star Trek where they trick a group of mobsters by playing the fake card game Fizzbin that they weren’t following Poker rules. (Geek enough reference for ya?)

  7. Ugh, I didn’t like this movie that much and it’s not because of the Mandarin thing! I just didn’t want to see a Tony Stark character study! I wanted to see an action movie! The few action scenes were pretty good though. LOL. I liked Iron Man 2 better actually. Oh, also, why did he blow up perfectly good suits at the end?! WHAT, WHAT?!

    • It’s called symbolism broski, Tony was driving himself insane building all these suits ever since the first Avengers movie and the multitude of suits was a product of that. By blowing them up he was showing Pepper that he was going to try to stop being so crazy and calm down. He can always make new ones, but these were the product of a dark period and I’m sure keeping them would have just reminded him of what he went through making them.

  8. My favorite Iron Man movie is the first one.

  9. I personally liked the second movie the best

  10. InfinitySorcerer625

    My Favorite Iron Man Movie has got to be…Iron Man 2.

    Twitter: @InfinitySor625

  11. Favorite Iron Man movie? Still the first one, the other films started getting a little forced. I guess you can say it’s quie IRONic! I’m sorry…

  12. Honestly, I cannot agree with this review.

    They made a film that goes for personal stakes for Tony Stark. They made him vulnerable, frightened and damaged, and when his bodyguard (and possibly best friend) ended up in a coma, he was so pissed off that he challenged an international terrorist, without thinking.
    They do address the fact that it was a really stupid move in the film. Tony realizes it himself, and says so at least twice.

    As a film in its own right, I would say that this is one of the best in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was kind of ballsy to make a character piece as the first film after The Avengers, that actually challenges people to think about what Tony’s quips and jokes are really about; are they “just” meant to be funny, or are they a defence mechanism. I think a quite a few people were blind-sided by that, and took the easy way out – thinking that “It’s the MCU, so it has no depth”. I honestly think that if Iron Man 3 had not been made, the criticism would have been that the MCU lacks personal stakes – that has happened anyway, but was dealt with once again in Ant-Man.

    I very often agree with your sentiments about movies, Doug, but in this case we don’t see eye to eye.

    • yes. thank you. See this is why we cant have nice things. Marvel takes a risk and the whiny comic nerds “wahhhhhh its not like the comic” lose their shit. Seriously who give a shit about the Manadarin? People who complain about this movie are just joyless fucks

  13. The Scarlet Ninja

    I love this movie! For those who don’t understand why he’s having panic attacks, how would you react if you found out that gods, aliens, and other dimensions exist? I think that would freak everyone out, especially if you helped defend the earth from a hostile take over of aliens. As for the Mandarin, I like what they did because I didn’t see that coming. Who really wanted to see Ironman against an alien with technology? Sure it’d be different from what we’ve seen, but it doesn’t sound very exciting to me. I think what they did with this movie was fine, it’s no masterpiece, but none of these comicbook movies are.

    • The problem is that the panic attack subplot is just dropped later in the film with no real resolution on the inner demons and fears he’s conquered. That’s just lazy writing.

  14. My favorite Iron Man movie is the second one.

  15. Tony already revealed himself, his house is likely able to be googled.

    After everything that has happened to Tony why wouldn’t he be freaking out? He nearly died, was saved by a monster, fought gods and aliens, was kidnapped, had to work past his daddy issues, has to deal with people wanting him dead, long time girlfriend and running a business. Doug, cut the guy some slack. I think Tony is allowed to break down.


    It a pretty flawed movie I admit. I mean even Age of Ultron is probably a better movie and that was pretty flawed as well, but I still find myself enjoying for the action and most of the jokes but Tony giving away his address and Ben Kingsley’s Mandarin Bing a fraud is still pretty dumb though Kimgsley was a little funny but I still enjoy it even more than the second one.

  17. I like the kid in this one.
    I don’t like the wasted villains. Plural.

    First: You can have a Mandarin who’s an actual villain with actual alien power rings and NOT a racist caricature. You can even have a Chinese Mandarin who isn’t a caricature.

    Second, in Marvel Comics, AIM is one of the go-to bad-guys; they create weapons and equipment for so many villains, they’re always trying to create super-beings of their own, and they go up against just about everybody.
    Here, they’re just one guy, defeated at the end of the movie.

    I also don’t like the blowing up of the armours. I understand it, but I don’t like it.

  18. Captain Speedbump

    In defense of Tony giving out his home address… at least it is shown to be stupid in the movie’s universe. It’s not like the audience is supposed to think it’s a good idea or anything. Pepper calls him out on it, his house gets destroyed, so… yeah, it’s stupid, but it’s purposefully stupid, to show how Tony isn’t thinking clearly.

    • But he could’ve rectified the mistake so easily by actually fortifying his home. The fact that he didn’t doesn’t make any sense, thinking straight or not. The character has never been THIS stupid, and the movie never called him out on not doing THAT.

  19. Actually, the Mandarin in the comic isn’t technically an alien himself^^ more like a regular human who uses alien tech. But still, your point stand. Aside from this little and forgivable mistake, awesome review; you pretty much described my thought on the Mandarin twist.

    • Yeah, comic Mandarin is a half British, half Mongolian aristocrat who spent all of his fiefdom’s money training himself into a sort of super-soldier. Kind of like Roman Sionis meets Iron Fist.

      He’s not an alien, he just steals some alien tech early in his super-villain career.

  20. Leif Roar Moldskred

    I didn’t really mind the bait-and-switch as such, but the switch we got was just so incredibly _dull_. Maybe if they’d introduced the switch in Iron Man 2 they could have spent more time on developing it and getting the audience to care.

  21. My favorite Iron Man movie was the first one. I feel that the character of Tony Stark was best there, without all the drama of a romance with Pepper or Panic Attacks, though I don’t HATE the panic attacks. Going against humans with equipment is hugely different than going up against a large alien race and nearly getting blown up by them. With a human, you know that they can die just as easily as you can. With an alien race, you have no idea how strong they are or what they’re immune to.

    Twitter: @MysticalFae

  22. I quite liked how they did the Mandarin, personally. He was always a caricature of “the Yellow Peril”, basically a Marvel version of Fu Manchu. He was just a load of stereotypes bundled together, with the racism involved in that making him intimidating. And Iron Man 3 goes and makes him that in-universe. Tony specifically mentions at one point that pretty much everything about the MCU Mandarin has been picked to set off alarm bells in American minds. I found that a fairly clever and interesting way of working round some of the xenophobic elements of the character. And I think its downright funny the way the internet talked itself into not seeing the twist coming. When it was first announced Kingsley had been cast in the film everyone was immediately saying “He’s the Mandarin, he’s the Mandarin, he’s the Mandarin”. When we were told he wasn’t, that he was playing an unrelated character…we didn’t believe them. Everyone, myself included, stuck to believing Kingsley was the Mandarin, so when the announcement came thats exactly who he was playing came we felt quite happy with ourselves for seeing it coming all along. Well, they sure got us didn’t they? Well played crew of Iron Man 3, well played

  23. I think the panic attacks have more to do with how the galaxy/universe is full of alien space dragons and they are coming to destroy the earth and Tony knows it and is anxious that.

    He is no longer the guy with the best weapons.

    • Exactly. If you look at the first Iron Man, it was about him realizing that for all his money and weapons-making, he’s vulnerable to attack — and he makes an armored suit that can fly and blast things and avoid any kind of attack. He’s invincible.

      Then he sees that the universe has not only super-soldiers and assassins and terrorist groups… but giant armored monsters, alien cyborgs and malevolent “gods.” And that’s only a tiny hint of what is out there, and almost all of it is more advanced and more powerful than he is. Suddenly his suit no longer makes him feel safe. He builds newer, stronger and more powerful suits, but that isn’t enough to overwhelm the fear growing inside him — and it comes out in panic attacks. He’s vulnerable, and he cannot cope with that.

      It spreads into “Age of Ultron” too, where his fear of the world — and his friends — being destroyed by those “space dragons” is brought to the forefront. And to try to stop the fear and make himself “safe,” he creates a world peacekeeping program, and… well, we all know how that goes.

      Basically, Tony Stark has panic attacks because he has never learned how to cope with fear.

  24. I saw the split in a class I was attending, when everyone discussed the movie. The comic-readers thought it was a horrible movie and they ruined the Mandarin, and there wasn’t enough Iron Man-suitedness. The non-comic-readers thought it was a brilliant twist to have the Mandarin not be the Mandarin, and liked the exploration of Tony’s overwhelming fear and troubled personality, and getting to see him do badass stuff without the suit.

    I also really like that they didn’t have Pepper being all jealous of Tony’s ex-fling, and assuming that Tony must want to cheat with this woman. She obviously wasn’t super-happy when the woman showed up, but once it became clear that it was a serious, important issue that brought her there, the women became very friendly and supportive (until things went sour for non-Tony-related reasons).

    Let’s face it, they were NEVER going to have the Mandarin be what he was in the comics. Way too racist. I actually very much liked the clever twist in the one Marvel short where it’s revealed that there IS a Mandarin… and he isn’t happy with what Trevor has been doing. That was a cute twist. As was the idea that the public Mandarin image was created specifically to tweak all those little fears — clever!

  25. Ok Mandarin, not an alien. Just Chinese, Very Very uncomfortably Chinese

  26. MidnightScreeningsman2014

    Now that I think about it that kid actor they gt was pretty good but I like what they did(to a minimum) and I actually really didn’t see it coming. I say(to a minimum) cause I totally hated the freakin villain the guy in a suit(guy Pearce in a suit to be exact) but will agree the mandarin was a great villain untill they screwed that arc up. My favorite iron man film(givin I didn’t see the original) would have to be this one and I liked how they gave pepper Potts her own role instead of being Tony’s side love interest who doesn’t do much I feel like they really expanded her role and made her a stronger female character. I like the iron patriot too and all that armor in the end coming together and exploding that was an epic shot in the trailer and I loved it just as much as I did in the movie. Now I’ll be back!!!

    • MidnightScreeningsman2014

      Next up is Thor the dark world which was a good one and then is captain America the winter soldier which I’m excited to hear your opinion on. Than in this order it’ll be guardians of the galaxy(another favorite of mine as well) followed by avengers age of ultron,then finally Ant-man and than I assume you’ll move onto the star wars movies,then whatever there is.

  27. My favorite Iron man movie would have to be the first because it was the first marvel cinematic universe movie that jump started the whole franchise.

  28. I feel like this movie’s going to eventually end up in the “so bad it’s good” category. Something with some good action that you can easily still riff on and laugh at with your friends for how dumb it is. But at the end of the day, the fact that the Manderin is a fake will always be a giant let down, especially since now it’s unlikely that they’ll ever use his title in the MCU again.

  29. I consider this the worst Marvel film overall. Even worse than Fantastic Four 2.

  30. Favorite is Iron Man 3, it has some problems, but it honestly feels like it tries the most of the three.

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