I don’t have time to do a bigger review of it and if I wait I’ll forget too much stuff. So here we go.
So, this movie does this really gross thing where it uses physically disabled people as literal weapons. The plot of the movie centers around a series of explosions that no one can explain or stop.
We find out that these explosions are people who are missing limbs. The program can grow limbs back but it might explode you if you can’t figure it out. They also turn you into a super soldier. But if you can’t accept the treatment or get fixed you will explode in a way that leaves nuclear shadows like in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Seriously. They did that.
None of these bomb people are characters. They are literally all nameless thugs (except for the end boss). Who wasn’t missing any limbs, just couldn’t walk well.
Oh. Quick side note. Tony Stark exhibits signs of PTSD centering around the events of the warp hole in the Avengers. Did they do anything cool with that? No. Not at all. He just freaks out twice. That’s it. He fixes his social anxiety by blowing up all of his iron man suits. So now he’s fine. I’m taking bets on whether or not when he becomes iron man again if he’ll have his anxiety back. I’ll give you my Ultimate Iron Man toy if he does.
Okay. So the next thing is that Tony makes everyone in his life dependent on him. No one can do anything without Tony. Pepper is totally dependent on tony, Rhodes is to a lesser extent dependent on tony to be a super hero near the end of the movie. He refers to her as an object. She’s the thing that’s most important to him. He also refers to fixing her. Like he fixes other stuff in his life. But she isn’t a thing, she’s a person, and you don’t fix people. Pepper gets to wear the iron man suit only to save tony and then tony just kind of takes it from her without knowing if she’s safe or not. It’s a little thing, but annoying. The other female character is really confusing and ends up being shot for absolutely no reason. She’s just not well fleshed out.
So this brings us to the thing that so many people like and I just do not understand in the slightest. Ra’s Al Ghul.
Or the Mandarin. Similar issue. Much worse here though. So they set up Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin, a vaguely ethnic bin laden esque character. He’s a brown terrorist taking pictures with loving brown people and small brown kids talking about how evil america is and how it’s going to have justice done upon it. This, of course, causes America to send Don Chedle to attack a bunch of poor brown people (at least he doesn’t actually attack anyone. He just kind of talks to people awkwardly). Anyway, turns out to no one’s surprise that The Mandarin is an actor.
People are applauding this. It just makes me sick. So they movie spends all this time building up this Islamaphobia situation and then, as it turns out, it’s just a rich white dude pulling the strings of people of color (as tends to happen in these super hero movies). So here we are where brown people have no agency and get to take the blame for the evil actions of white men, and this is in no way examined. They just leave it out there. I’m just so confused as to why people are so excited, like “I’m so happy that the brown people were just pawns and there’s going to be no end of political fallout from this and inside this country there aren’t going to be untold number of brown people who are harassed and killed as a response to this bogey man brown person! YAY!”
Remember just a few weeks back when Reddit falsely identified random brown person as the dude who planted bombs at the marathon? Remember what happened? Remember the brown dude who was running away from the bomb and the white people tackled him and detained him until the police could detain and interrogate him even though he had nothing to do with anything because we just assumed because he was brown that he had something to do with it? Remember when that white dude shot up a Sikh temple last year? Remember all the rhetoric spouted about how we have to take away rights from any Muslims and spy in their mosques and tap their phones and all that? How easily we forget. So when, in Iron Man 3, they set up fake brown terrorist as the fall guy for their weapons (which let’s not forget, are people. Not people with bombs strapped to them. But they are people, who were previously missing limbs, and then they explode. They’re objects) misfiring. That’s it. It’s not smart commentary. It’s trafficking in the same racism people claim they’re satirizing or whatever. They didn’t flip anything on any heads anywhere.
They turn physically disabled people into bombs with no agency of their own. Pepper Potts needs to be locked in stark’s place to be protected. She gets weak kneed at white guy villain being totally creepy and going sexual harassment at her. Then when she doesn’t need protection any more Tony has to fix her. And fictional brown terrorist just shows that brown people can really only get roles as terrorist. Oh, I love the scene where all the girls in the generic middle eastern clothes plant are soo greatful to the american robot for freeing them. The fact that the person in charge was blonde explodey girl doesn’t make anything better at all, because recycling the image of poor brown girls being thankful for american militaries coming in to destroy their worlds is still disgusting.
So yeah, I hated Iron Man 3. A lot. And I’m not fighting with you about this.