Tony Stark is a rich, playboy billionaire, though now he’s settled down with Pepper Pots, no longer has a company, and spends all his time inventing new versions of Iron Man. But there’s also a new threat, a terrorist calling himself the Mandarin is causing bombings all over the world.
Okay, well, when this first came out, I didn’t like it at all and was even telling people that it was the worst movie in the MCU up until yesterday. Watching it again now, 7 years after the fact, I actually quite enjoyed it, surprising the heck out of me.It’s not a perfect film by any means but it was more fun and interesting than I remember it being.
I also was a huge fan of Mandarin in the comics and old Iron Man cartoon from the 90s where he was a super evil wizard with rings of power to cast magic, that I really didn’t like them downgrading him to a terrorist (but maybe they thought that was too much like what Thanos was going to turn into), and then downgrading him again later. I was very disappointed to say the least. This time, these scenes with Ben Kingsley are probably the best in the movie, they’re funny and provide a good enough twist that would really only disappoint people like me-from-the-past who are just die-hard fans of the character and don’t want to see any changes at all.
Outside of that, I had fun watching this. I could see why I might have felt bored in the theater though with so many slow scenes without much happening, but this is one of those rare cases, I think, where the movie is just better on the smaller screen. Slower, dramatic scenes perfectly break-up faster, action-packed ones, something that I wouldn’t have enjoyed on the big screen but is much better on the smaller one.
I think when I saw this in theaters I was expecting so much more from it. This was the first film after the Avengers where space aliens and gods attacked Earth! I wasn’t really expecting a spy-like thriller after that, especially with so much Mandarin in the previews and whatnot. I wanted technology vs magic and it just failed to deliver.
Okay, the last thing I’m disappointed by is the ending. SPOILERS! But at the end, Tony is fighting superpowered terrorists so he activates every Iron Man suit he has to fight them on their own. This rips all tension out of the scene as the bad guys are now mostly fighting robots and there’s no longer any stakes. I do like the very end with the fight between Iron Man and the big bad in this one, but the bit just before this is super-lame (though I do like the bits with War Machine here, but these are few and far between).
+7.5: Much better than I remember it
+1: Ben Kingsley just steals the show whenever he’s on screen
-0.5: Ending has a few issues