Anyone who’s seen Iron Man 3 falls into one of two camps on the subject of the twist involving main villain, The Mandarin: they either love it or they hate it. Writer/director Shane Black had to know that when he developed the story, but he still pulled the proverbial trigger anyway. So how about Shane, why piss off half the nerd world with this development? Total Film asked him the question, and the answer, obviously, was spoilerish implications. Stop reading now if you want to see Iron Man 3 and not be spoiled. (But really, why haven’t you seen Iron Man 3 already?!)
Here’s what Black had to say:
“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. I think that’s a message that’s more interesting for the modern world, because I think there’s 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.”
Sounds reasonable. I, frankly, don’t know what all the fuss is about considering that The Mandarin is as much an Asian stereotype as Ming the Merciless, Charlie Chan and Mr. Yunioshi, but I’ll leave it to the Bastard nation to decide: does Black’s explanation satisfy you, or are you still pissed?