‘Iron Man 3′ & ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’: Are Villains with a Twist a Good Idea?

Published 2 years ago by , Updated May 21st, 2013 at 7:19 pm,

iron man 3 star trek darkness villains Iron Man 3 & Star Trek Into Darkness: Are Villains with a Twist a Good Idea?



“The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist,” as Roger “Verbal” Kint (Kevin Spacey) so famously – and eloquently – put it in The Usual Suspects. Villains with secret identities and hidden agendas were around long before the world was introduced to Keyser Söze in Bryan Singer’s 1995 film, yet there’s something about a two-faced character that resonates stronger than ever with the masses in the present-day (side-stepping the discussion about parallels to the post-9/11 political climate).

Rebooted superhero comic book adaptations and genre blockbusters have begun to use this trick more and more. This can partly be chalked up to screenwriters and directors who are trying to stay one step ahead of the well-informed fanbase – who know the ins and out of any established baddie – but it’s also an attempt by these filmmakers to adjust to current marketing trends, where so many trailers and TV spots give away surprises and big moments (plot “twists,” money shots) ahead of time.

Question is, are “villains with a twist” more trouble than they’re worth? And, if not, then what’s the “right” way to go about creating one? Well, those are interesting questions, especially now that Iron Man 3 and Star Trek Into Darkness – which both use this archetype – are playing in theaters and giving rise to debates about how effective (or not) their final villain reveals are.

Let’s compare and contrast the antagonists in recent comic book/sci-fi movies with the series that popularized this current trend: filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy.









iron man 3 killian batman begins ducard Iron Man 3 & Star Trek Into Darkness: Are Villains with a Twist a Good Idea?

There are a handful of similarities and parallels between the Nolan Batman movie villains and The Mandarin in Iron Man 3, such as:

  • The “real Mandarin” is Adrich Killian (Guy Pearce), who hires on another man (Ben Kingsley) to pretend to be the head of the Ten Rings organization in Iron Man 3, similar to how Henry Ducard/Ra’s al Ghul (Liam Neeson) uses a decoy (Ken Watanabe) to feign being the League of Shadows leader in Batman Begins.
  • Killian hides behind a respectable face as the founder of A.I.M., while he uses the dangerous Extremis technology and hired thugs in secret. Similarly, Talia al Ghul (Marion Cotillard) passes herself off as noble business woman Miranda Tate – letting the terrorist Bane (Tom Hardy) do her bidding - which allows her to gain access to Wayne Enterprise’s clean energy device-turned-nuclear bomb in The Dark Knight Rises.
  • Kingley as The (fake) Mandarin preys on the general population’s hysteria and stereotypes about modern terrorists, similar to how Bruce Wayne is fooled by the (fake) Japanese Ra’s al Ghul and fails to see through Talia’s Miranda Tate facade – since it appeals to Bruce’s (subconscious?) desire to find another woman like the late Rachel Dawes.

And so forth. However, there are important differences that may help to explain why there’ve been more hostile responses to the Mandarin twist in Iron Man 3 than either of the twists in Nolan’s comic book adaptations (though, obviously, not everyone was a fan of those revelations, either).

iron man 3 mandarin kingsley Iron Man 3 & Star Trek Into Darkness: Are Villains with a Twist a Good Idea?

Killian appears to have no real connection to the Ten Rings organization in Iron Man 3 (though the prequel comic book suggests otherwise), whereas those Batman villains all have a well-established link to the League of Shadows in the actual films. Hence, Nolan’s movies form a complete circle, story-wise, while Iron Man 3 doesn’t tie so well together with the first two Iron Man flicks.

Similarly, the beef between Killian and Tony is petty and more strictly philosophical – I’ve compared it before to Batman/Riddler in Batman Forever – while the Bruce and Ra’s conflict is very personal and philosophical (the same is true for Bruce and Bane/Talia). By the time we get to the big boss fight in Iron Man 3, the emotional stakes are lacking in comparison to the climaxes in Nolan’s films.

Banes Mask in The Dark Knight Rises Iron Man 3 & Star Trek Into Darkness: Are Villains with a Twist a Good Idea?

Iron Man 3 starts by making the traditional version of The Mandarin – flamboyant robes, rings and all – work in a modern comic book movie context, but the decision to reveal that Kingsley’s character is a joke (and Killian is the real deal) feels like a cop-out and disrespectful of the fact that the old-school Mandarin was, originally, intended to be taken quite seriously.

Nolan’s Batman films take liberties with their interpretations of characters like Ra’s al Ghul and Bane, but are fully committed to making them work onscreen in a way that honors their pulpy comic book origins (while fitting them into Nolan’s vision of the Batman universe). Iron Man 3 co-writer/director Shane Black, by comparison, dismissed The Mandarin as an outdated (and non-adaptable) racist villain – only to replace him with another stereotype, i.e. the evil U.S. businessman. 


NEXT PAGE: How Does Star Trek Into Darkness Compare?

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  1. I skipped through the comments, so if this has already been said, then I apologize. To me, I like villain twists (assuming they are done correctly). I didn’t mind the Mandarin or Khan twists at all. I think that part of the problem (at least for me) is that in today’s digital age, it is far too easy to get overexposed to the movie before it even is released. It doesn’t help that I regularly visit this site, but the internet provides such easy access to trailers and set photos/rumors that it is almost impossible now to keep twists like these secret. Not that it ruins the experience, but it certainly deludes the experience that the director/writers probably intended.

    My 2 cents =/

    • Yeah, I really don’t get the people who felt like they were “lied to”. Surely some of the same people were complaining that the trailers gave away TOO much information.

      I personally thought the Mandarin twist was brilliant. They took a character originally meant as propaganda and used him… as propaganda in the context of the movie!

      • yeah i loved the mandarin twist it was hilarious i kinda saw the khan twist coming but it was still good

      • Captain America was used as propaganda in his movie, but he was still Captain America in the end. If it worked for him it could have worked for the Mandarin. I didn’t like the twist because it felt like they were taking the “safe” route by being “politically correct.” Making a rich white antagonist responsible for terrorist activities is a dry and overused formula, and they’ve already used it in the other two Iron Man films, so what was the point of deconstructing an already potentially interesting villain? I agree it was a shock and a well-kept secret, but it amounted to nothing. Its like telling a kid he’s gonna get laid for the first time and instead simply giving him a sock. It was disappointing.

        • Worst. Metaphor. Ever.

        • I totaly called the charater twist in the batman movies but I know the comics. the twist was big cop out in Iron man 3 NO rings for the mandrin and no extremist infection for tony stark. But the Mandrin in the comics is a awsome charater he is a traitor to china and a crime boss the magical rings and his desire to have stark weapons for his minions is what pyuts him as an advisary for Iron man. but ben kingsley charater is still alive and still has some conects to the ten rings organization. he int he usualy suspects it was the gimpy one they let walk away that was the mastermind.

  2. Yes, villains with a twist is a good idea – if done right. ;) Like the way Nolan did it was awesome. Even when I knew I should’ve seen it coming (knowing the villain’s backstory/history & having read some spoilers), I was still shocked/surprised by the reveal at the end, which is ‘A’-okay! It needs to be believable & well-executed in order for it to work & be acceptable! And that’s my answer!

  3. Finally! Now even a writer admits Mamdarin was #@%?ed up by Black. Now all thats left is to open ppls eyes to the garbage batman movies Nolan came out out with the past couple of years. Guess Im a biggot again

    • Not sure what a “biggot” is, but you do come off as nothing but a contraian fool for talking about Nolan’s Bat-flicks that way. You don’t like them, fine, but that doesn’t make them garbage. Maybe when you become an adult, you’ll understand better that your opinion isn’t the only opinion and that your feelings aren’t a universal truth.

      • He is wrong for making such crass remakes, but you have no right to question his very manhood. That’s crossing the line and you should be ashamed. Leave him alone.

        • +1

        • Its called constructive criticism. Guys like that need it. Besides, there are way worse responses than that, and there wasn’t a ‘manhood’ remark. He was questioning his adulthood. So while I agree with you, I don’t think he should be that ashamed.

    • @KyleRayner — This post isn’t about casting choices. No need to worry about the insults regarding that.

  4. I liked the Iron Man 3 twist and didn’t like it. It felt like it fit Iron Man 3 but didn’t fit with all three movies.

    Iron Man 3 for me wasn’t about the villain, and it wasn’t about Iron Man, it was about Tony Stark. It was about him learning to be the hero without the suit. He had built Iron Man up, in his mind, as a separate entity. (Which for me is why his subconscious activated the Iron Man suit in his sleep.) He had to come to terms with the suit being a useful tool, but just that a tool. Which is why he blew them all up in the end. (Which I think was a bit of an over-correction, but hey whatever.)

    You had to go into Iron Man 3 wanting to see Tony Stark. People going to see Iron-Man fight his biggest enemy in an epic battle were destined to be dissappointed. The inclusion of the Mandarin was what set those people up for that dissappointment. It’s Marketing plain and simple. They pulled the old bait and switch which is why people are pissed off.

    Iron Man 3 was a good movie, it just wasn’t the movie we were promised. Unlike Star Trek and Batman because they delivered that epic battle that was promised in the trailers. Khan Versus Spock, Batman Versus Bane (the first fight, catwoman blasting Bane pissed me off SO MUCH)

    In closing twist can pay off as long you still deliver what was promised.

    • But how is it really about Stark learning he doesn’t need the suit? It seems to me that the suit helped him out of almost every bad situation he ended up in.

      Can you suggest a couple of points in the movie where learning to not use the suit was part of his character arc?

      If the movie is going to be about Stark learning that he’s a hero without the suit then it needs to commit to that. To me it felt like an idea that was given lip service at the beginning and then there was a big point at the end where he blew all the suits up….but what other points in the movie showed him he didn’t need the suit?

      • Well he rigs himself up with those homemade gadgets to get to the Mandarin. He learns the truth about the exploding people without the help of Jarvis. He gets into it with that fire chick without his suit. The suit doesn’t make an appearance until after he’s already in the Lions den, which he braved going into without the suit.

        But, you do make a good point. It’s told to us throughout the movies that his story is about “Does the machine make the hero, or the hero make the machine.” Which is lazy writing. The point should have been more subtle.

  5. Who cares as long as the villain is done well. RIP Heath Ledger.

  6. Somebody needs to have the “ballz” to realize the more iconic and risky villains without hiding behind the Asguardian “Flash Gordon on Steroids” safety net.

    The Mandarin twist was a betrayal. It was safe,lazy, and inferior writing and no one was surprised.

    Ken Watanabe would have made a great Ras. His cameo was a huge disappointment. I get what Nolan did, but the “realism” went out the Window when the Microwave Emitter vaoprized water in sewers but didn’t affect water in people. (?)

    The Star Trek twist was more of a modernization to coincide with Abrams message about the times in which we live. I was fine with it because NeoKhan was simply a part of the current social narrative that is the purpose of Star Trek.

    • I could be wrong but wasnt the microwave emitter stricly in the pipes? Meaning it was a straight path

      • No, Trey…You are right, which is precisely why I had no problem with the way the emitter was presented in BB…It is an important detail that many critics of that part of the film often forget.

        • it was on the train, several stories above the city, not down in the pipes.

          • The device, yes, was on the train, but its focus was trained soley on the pipes running parallel with the tracks.

            • that makes no sense, especially when it’s alluded to that’s what happened to the crew of the ship it was taken from. batman and ras are fighting in the train, and rolled around on top of it like a couple of teenagers in the back of daddy’s lincoln, they would have evaporated along with the water.
              nope, lazy storytelling. i call shenanigans.

              • They never said it was focused on board the ship and, in fact, made the specific point that it had been fully activated to its destructive potential on board. Furthermore, the crew was missing, implying one of two things: Either they were removed/killed by the assassins OR they suffered the detrimental effects of exposure to the fully activated device…THEN, the League removed the bodies and took the device.

                It was actually explained quite well in the film. It made sense.

                • Oh my God is there anything you don’t complain about?

                  • Mitch…

                    Are you a dunce? WHERE do you see a complaint in my response to jeffro? HE’s the one complaining about an aspect of “Batman Begins” he didn’t like. I was explaining the logic behind that aspect…pretty much the ANTITHESIS of complaining.

                    Thus, I ask again: Are you a dunce?

                    • I believe that is a personal attack, you are questioning my ability to learn.

                    • Mike is Mitch…is cowardly (hiding behind another name).

                      Yep. Big surprise…and btw, no attacks here–just facts.

  7. Well, the iron man 3 twist sure was not a good idea. It spun around like a roto-tilling roto-rooter, and snaped off the blade, I am afraid. leave the twists to Dairy Queen, for the tops of their ice cream cones, if that is where we end up (at least in IM3′s case).

    • That was a terrible attempt at sounding clever.

      • ^ This.

  8. The unfortunate thing about the Mandarin twist is that despite it’s poor execution Shane Black was trying to send a very compelling message. If the twist in Iron Man 3 wasn’t tied to the Mandarin or the already established 10 Rings it would have been miles beyond what BB and TDKR accomplished. I still don’t like it, but I did like what Shane Black was trying to do.

    • The Mandarin twist was great. The Mandarin character is inherently racist, xenophopbic, and a caricature. Black merely took a different spin on the caricature aspect and created alot of parallels between his Mandarin and the original comic version; Kingsley’s performance was spectacular. I dont see how its lazy story telling as many people have called it. Im tired of seeing movies with derivative terrorist villains. Comics constantly reinvent themselves to stay fresh and invite reinterpretation by this very act. This is much different than deviating from a novel that is the definitive and only take on a particular story. These movies aren’t made just for diehard comic enthusiasts or purists, they wouldn’t be commercially viable if they were. So if people want these movies to be made they have to endure some changing of the source material.

      • And “evil rich white people” isn’t any of those things? How is the Mandarin being Chinese racists? Are you saying no Chinese person could ever be a villain? Just like Nolan’s Bane, they for no other reason than to avoid calls of racism, took a character that could be played by another ethnic group, and made him white. How is that not racists?

        • Jeff…

          I agree with up until your mention of Nolan’s Bane. Now, I freely admit my love of the DK trilogy, but I have a different, very specific reason for my comment in this case. Nolan is well known for sticking with actors who have served his films well before…and/or who have shown a similar traits in previous films to the characters he is trying to cast. Hardy simply (and I think brilliantly) met both of those criteria.

  9. Oh God, honestly, I always loved you guys at Screenrant, but dammit, you should stop being so biased in this Iron Man 3 matter. Hostile reception? Total BS, only the hardcore fans have been complaining, the critics liked it and most audiences found it genious. What I do see too, is reasonable fans saying “It’s was unexpected and fun, but I still wished for the real Mandarin”.

    All in all, the twist in IM3 has nothing to do with Star Trek. The latter suffered because it was being called long way before, even with JJ Abrams denying it. IM3 was fresh, got everyone by surprise, hardcore fans should stop being so butthurt for a change that doesn’t even discard Mandarin entirely (the REAL one could still appear in another form or name, in a future movie).

    • I called the Khan twist the second I saw him fighting.

    • I agree completely. The only “hostile reception” I saw was in comment sections of comic book and movie sites and even there it’s a minority opinion coming from some die hard fans.

      General audiences loved it, some fans loved it too, some fans accepted it as a nice twist, other fans wished for the traditional Mandarin, but were okay with the changes. Some disliked it, but still liked the movie in general.

      And I also noticed SR’s biased low opinion of IM3, there were a lot of articles that stressed how disappointed the “fans” were. I disagree with that.

      I’m among the fans and I still liked the twist, because I enjoyed Killian as the villain. I’m sure a traditional Mandarin would’ve been great too, but Mandarin!Killian was pretty epic too.

      It’s like someone in the comments here said, those who wanted to watch Tony Stark’s new adventure got what they wanted and loved it. Those who looked forward to the epic battle between Iron Man and The Mandarin were probably disappointed at least a little.

    • I agree with this. Everyone I know who has seen IM3 loved it. Even when I saw it opening night, everyone I heard talking about it on the way out was talking about how awesome it was. It seems like ScreenRant has some kind of vendetta against the movie, which I don’t understand. I’m a moderate comic reader and admittedly am not as familiar with Iron Man comics as I am Spider-Man or Avengers, if you need a reference point.

      Also, was the Khan reveal really a surprise? Once you see someone start taking out a bunch of Klingons by himself it was pretty obvious who he had to be. I guess it would be a surprise to people who had never seen TOS or WOK, but then the reveal wouldn’t mean anything to them anyway.

  10. Yes, when it brings something new and exciting to the table without making a total massacre of the source material which people have come to know and love for half a century or so.

  11. I hated the Mandarin twist. It wasn’t smart or funny, it was stupid and disappointing. I have not read a single Marvel comic so I am not in the ‘hardcore fan’ basket, so my disappointment was from the trailer to movie disconnect, Ben Kingsley’s character was at the forefront of all the trailers, he was the big bad wolf come to blow Tony Stark’s house down, but in the movie he didn’t once address Stark directly, and he turned out to be a pathetic druggy. It was also obvious from the trailers that Killian was going to be on the bad side of the film so making him the main villain added to my disappointment, if they were able to portray Killian as an ally to Stark and Potts rather than a greased hair ‘merchant banker’ then maybe the twist would have held more weight but in the end it felt like we were climbing for the peak of Everest (Mandarin) but got chopped at the knees and had to stop halfway (Killian).

    • I agree with this.

    • The trailers did show the Mandarin to be the big baddie, but then again, wasn’t that is role in the film? To appear to be the big baddie?

      • Sometimes if looks like a Duck and quacks like a Duck it’s ok to classify it as a duck… and not a Rabbit pretending to be a Duck (How I Met Your Mother reference for those playing at home). Iron Man 3′s promotional campaign promised us something special that the movie ultimately crapped on, that’s why I personally left the theatre thoroughly disappointed.
        Ben Kingsley playing Trevor Slattery playing ‘The Mandarin’ doesn’t equal Ben Kingsley playing ‘The Mandarin’.

  12. Yes they are a good idea.

  13. Was I the only one not surprised baby the plot twist in iron man 3? I’ve never read the comics, but I could definitely tell who was pulling the strings while watching the movie.

  14. I’m all for a well done twist. Having said that:

    1. Secrets in Hollywood/movies…”there is no such thing.” Due largeley in part to social media, leaks and pictures from the set are scattered over the internet. For example, TDKR filming in Pittsburgh; Bane’s “weapon” being shown off in the middle of the Squeeler’s Stadium; three Tumblers parked outside of the set.

    2. If you are going to have an iconic villian, use him the correct way. Star Trek into Darkness would have been even better had the crew just put up a billboard…KHAN!!!!!! IM3 did fool us into thinking the Mandrin was something more. While the movie was fun, it blew a missed opportunity.

    3. K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Stupid – a message that should be passed around to writers in Hollywood. Sometimes it’s better just to make it known who the villian is and let me wreak “chaos.” Wait, a second…The Joker did that in TDK, Loki did that in The Avengers and Silva did that in Skyfall. Imagine that.

    Take my comments for what they are worth, but I forsee a bad pattern of twists and turns in store for us with a lot of the movies this year…

    • It does look like Man of Steel’s villain will be fairly straightforward, though. I wasn’t looking forward to that movie really as I’m not a huge Superman fan but it’s looking like it will be the least convoluted movie of the Summer so now I feel like I need to check it out.

  15. I personally feel mixed on the whole Mandarin thing. It was an entertaining twist though I do remember a scene in the trailer that looked like they were actually going to fight. That was kinda disappointing, yet the final battle was still very fun. Besides it didn’t hurt as much as the disaster that was Green Lantern.

    I would like to see there be a twist where Killian was only posing as the 10 rings and the real ones are still out there, as shown in the first one. Then possibly we’ll have the real Mandarin come out enraged and disgusted that he was portrayed that way, and publicly executes the fake one. That would make for a much darker movie and he should be more powerful, able to wreak even more havoc. I’d love to see one twist build into a much better twist.

    • That is exactly what I’ve been thinking. Remember, this is Marvel. They don’t do something unless they’re planning something in the future.

  16. This is being waaaay overthought – if I didn’t know better I’d swear this was sour grapes against IM3′s box office success!

    As a longtime Iron Man comic book fan, I thought the Mandarin switcheroo in the movie was… fabulous! The reason is, the Mandarin was always a second tier super-villain in the Marvel Universe, and it never seemed fitting that he was, in fact, Tony Stark’s arch-nemesis. Not to mention his terrible, terrible origin story. Further, the “Eastern Mystic vs. Western Technologist” never, ever worked after the early ’60s (witness the recent, horrible Iron Man Animated Movie).

    So, honestly, playing the Mandarin straight would have been, in my mind, a completely separate DISASTER, and so to me it was a beautiful, surprising twist to update the story and character to reflect a much more modern sensibility – a greedy, egotistical, corporate leader run amok, manipulating the media to achieve his own ends. Never happens, right?

    Iron Man 3 was very good, not great, but highly entertaining, and not at all as bad as either the article nor the comments here suggest. IMHO.

    • I think it’s a little strange to come on a website that discusses movies, go to an article that discusses a specific issue about recent films, and then go to the comments section and say that this topic is being “overthought”. In depth discussion of cinema is one of the reasons for this site existing and certainly the reason for the comments section. It’s also enjoyable. I intend to continue thinking, discussing, perhaps even “overthinking” for the rest of my life. It’s what differentiates us from other species.

      Sorry, that particular phrase is a little pet peeve of mine. It seems I’m always interacting with people who think a negative opinion to something is always “overthinking”. Well, the response would be “you’re underthinking” but then that would be considered rude, I guess.

  17. For those who hate the Mandarin reveal in Iron Man 3, I get it. But I thought it was brilliant. Everyone I have tried to explain the comic version of the Mandarin to have given me looks of disbelief, confusion, or blank stares. I didn’t realize how stupid it sounded until I tried to explain it to someone who wasn’t familiar with the source material. So I can completely understand the changes made for the movie. Its so hard to come up with anything even remotely original when all you have to do is go to wikipedia and get an entire history of Iron Man and all of this friends and enemies.
    How many times have characters been killed off or retconned in the comics and movies? A little time travel and now Kirk’s dad is dead and Vulcans are endangered species. Nick Fury was white until the Ultimates came out. Now Nick Fury is Samuel L. Jackson.
    The old formulas don’t work anymore and it’s getting harder and harder to put out good original material. I could go on and on but I’m not going to.

    • I don’t think it’s easy to describe the Green Goblin, Venom, Red Skull, or a host of other villains to someone unfamiliar with the source material without those characters sounding stupid either. So I don’t know if that’s the best measure of whether or not a character can work on screen.

    • I personally would have wanted that the twist be “real” in the truest sense. I mean he (Killian) should have been able to use the “ten rings” given not from an alien race but from the brilliant minds of the A.I.M scientists with a menacing, powerful and up-to-date suit to complement his rings. Sort of out with the old (Mandarin-Kingsley) and in with the new (Mandarin-Pearce).

      • I mean the rings should have been made by A.I.M scientists who collaborates with him not adapted from alien tech and that all of the rings powers shown in the final showdown between iron man and mandarin.

  18. When it comes to villain identity twists, I’m okay with them as long as they are done well. For example, I thought one of the best plot twists for a “Superhero” film was actually in the movie “Unbreakable” when David Dunn discovered (Via the post-cognition ability) that Elijah Price aka “Mr. Glass” was behind the train crash as well as other acts of chaos(His motivation for such acts as well as build-uup was great). I also liked the Henri Ducard/Ras Al Ghoul twist (Even though I believe that the Batman of the comics would have figured that out alot earlier than the film’s counter-part).

    For “The Dark Knight Rises”, I thought the Miranda Tate/Talia reveal was a little obvious, but I still enjoyed it. I actually think it worked well because it fit into something that Ra’s said in Begins and was echoed by Bane “Theatricality and deception are powerful agents to the uninitiated”. If you think about it both Bane and Talia were physical representations of this. Bane was the “Theatricality”(Blowing things up, the spectacle, kidnapping…etc) while Talia was “Deception” (Taking on the alias “Miranda Tate” to get closer to Wayne, professionally and personally). They both reprented different methods to the same plan.

    My point is that as long as the twist are done well, It shouldn’t be a problem. For Iron Man 3,though, I think the “Twist” could still have worked with the real Mandarain as villain (Power rings and all. The rings could have been related to EXTREMIS, and thus fit into the “realistic” universe of the film.). This twist could have been similar to the Ducard/Ra’s twist, and would have set up Mandarain as the villian in the Finale as well as set him up as a major threat in a possible IM4 (Where we could have a film that actually uses EXTREMIS properly. Stark could be forced to inject himself with it to deal with the Mandarain).


  19. “The decision to reveal that Kingsley’s character is a joke (and Killian is the real deal) feels like a cop-out and disrespectful of the fact that the old-school Mandarin was, originally, intended to be taken quite seriously”.

    Sandy, I couldn’t agree with you more. I said in another post on this topic that the “Mandarain” twist would have been great if it had been a set up for the actual Mandarain, power rings and all (In a way similar to the Ducard/Ra’s in Batman Begins). I don’t think that the character was done justice in the movie to that extent. I’m not picking on IM3, I just feel that iconic (or semi-iconic) villians deserve good presentation. I mean, if The Joker in TDK had been revealed to be some random character who was part of another villain’s larger plan, I would have felt the same way.

    Mr. Glass

  20. I like twists, but i hate todays Trailers. They make too many of them and too early = reason for that is us the spoiled moviegoers. We spend too much of our time in the web.

  21. I didn’t mind the Khan twist so much. My main problem is that JJ missed an opportunity to tell an original story, rather than rehashing a TOS episode with parts of ST2.

    Hated the Mandarin twist (even though Ben Kingsley was extremely funny). Only thing I’m gonna say about IM3 is highlighted very well in this link:

  22. Villains with a twist is a good move. They should be multifaceted and as (if not more) complex than the protagonists. Characters that are not necessarily morally established make for a much more interesting and thought-provoking film. For in reality, people are rarely black and white, good and evil. There is always a more complicated underlying motive to someone’s actions.