Iron Man 3’s ‘ultimate terrorist’ created by America: Shane Black provides liberalism on stark display

Iron Man 3 The Mandarin
If you had to bet on who was responsible for creating ‘The Mandarin’ in ‘Iron Man 3,’ who would it be? If you guessed the U.S. government, congratulations. However, it doesn’t take a billionaire-genius philanthropist to predict Hollywood plot lines. It just takes intellectual honesty. (Image: YouTube)

The new Iron Man 3 trailer is out, and it looks amazing. But looks can be deceiving, can’t they? What appears to be one hell of a movie might also be incredibly maddening, when one realizes that once again the bad guy — the “ultimate terrorist” to quote writer/director Shane Black — is really a creation of the U.S. government.

Iron Man started out so well, but ultimately the question becomes: “Where is he going?” In Hollywood, it’s only a matter of time before the star character goes to a place where America, at its root, is the creator of the evil it seeks to destroy.

Robert Downy Jr. sets the stage via Superhero Hype:

Q: We’ve seen Tony Stark go through a lot in “The Avengers.” How did the events of that movie wind up helping him change for this one?

Downey: Well, we had to do something, you know? I thought, “Isn’t it odd that he had this experience? And why was he suddenly just in New York for one summer?” We know why he was there. Stark Tower. But what he was doing there was really building an architect for a third act set piece. I wanted him back home and I thought, “What if that happened to any of us? Wouldn’t we be a little tripped out? You’d be watching your back.” Then I thought about this 21st century reality and kind of oddball zeitgeist of America and terrorism and all the weirdo stuff that this country seems to generate and co-create. So I thought he should be a little freaked out.

Hmm. The United States “generates” and “co-creates” terrorism? How so, Robert? If he’s saying evil must exist because good does, then I understand what he’s saying. If he’s saying that good men like Tony Stark create wonderful technology, but because of the warped timber of man others will use that technology for nefarious purposes, I get it. But if Robert is pandering to the “blame America first” crowd, then I just lost a lot of respect for him because it’s expected of Hollywood at this point.

As I wrote in October, Shane Black is a great writer and seems to understand that Tony Stark needs to be grounded this time around. But I also warned of exactly what appears to have happened:

[I]f the U.S. government is somehow culpable for the espionage that destroys Tony’s life, the movie will instantly lose credibility. If the message ends up being some sort of social commentary on how “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter,” I  probably won’t be seeing Iron Man 4 in the theaters.

As it turns out, RDJ was much more Joesph Conrad than Loazi. Disappointing. Incredibly disappointing. Read Shane Black’s inspiration for The Mandarin:

We use as the example Colonel Kurtz from “Apocalypse Now,” this guy who may have been an American, may have been a British National, someone who is out there doing field work, supervising atrocities for the intelligence community who went nuts in the field and became this sort of devotee of war tactics, and now has surrounded himself with a group of people over which he presides, and the only thing that unifies them is this hatred of America. So he’s the ultimate terrorist, but he’s also savvy. He’s been in the intelligence world. He knows how to use the media. And taking it to a real world level like that was a lot fun for us.

Screw you, Shane Black, Kevin Feige, Robert Downey Jr. and Marvel. Screw everyone else associated with the product who thinks that the “ultimate terrorist” is, for the 10,000th time, a Western intelligence agent who was the product of his own country’s dark side. Besides, I just watched another iteration of this plot a couple months ago; it was called Skyfall.

Have we reached the point where a movie with a villain named The Mandarin can’t be a Communist revolutionary from China? Given that the recent Red Dawn remake changed the villains from Chinese Communists to North Koreans to placate the guys who are gobbling up the nation’s debt, I guess so.

At this point, I’ll probably see Iron Man 3 just to tease out whatever ‘Heart of Darkness’ themes Shane Black didn’t get a chance to discuss in promotional interviews, but no matter how stellar the movie is I won’t be able to shake the disgust over another “creative” team that turned to the “America is its own worst enemy” well when it was thirsty for ideas.

Behold: Liberalism on stark display.

Related: Lone Avenger: Robert Downey Jr. soars above his liberal critics
Related: Robert Downey Jr.’s politics: A lesson for liberal Hulks

Iron Man 3 trailer delivers — Shane Black gets dark

Tony Stark is a great character, but it appears as though the guy with the chip on his shoulder is going to have it knocked off — hard — in Iron Man 3. If that is the route Shane Black goes, audiences might just get the best Iron Man appearance yet.

Iron Man 2 was a decent super hero flick. It was fine … but when one compares it to the first installment or The Avengers, it’s glaringly obvious that the studio rushed a half-baked product to the market. The only thing that saved Iron Man 2 was Robert Downey Jr’s pitch-perfect understanding of the character. Marvel will be under a great deal of pressure to get the ship righted, but after seeing the first trailer for Iron Man 3, it appears as though they might have succeeded.

The problem with Tony Stark (billionaire, philanthropist, playboy), is that even though he’s that cocky genius-bastard you can’t help but love, after three movies of his wise cracks, at some point the character needs to be grounded. He needs to be humbled. He needs to face something that takes the smirk off his face and makes him reassess who he is and what’s important to him. I’ve said since day one that bringing on Shane Black, who did a wonderful job with Kiss, Kiss, Bang Bang, was a smart move. Black is more than capable of directing strong action sequences, and he’s shown that he could write witty, compelling, complex characters. Marvel did itself a favor by bringing him on board.

With that said, the only thing that could derail Iron Man 3 for me will be politics. (I can tolerate Gweneth Paltrow’s “I’m just here for a paycheck” performances, although I hope she gracefully exits after her contract is up.) Marvel has a bad habit of flirting with liberalism in its products — even subjecting Tony Stark to weird Bush-Cheney warmonger allegories. While it’s been said that the new movie was going to be inspired by Tom Clancy — who is most definitely conservative — I wouldn’t put it past them to sully the series with politically correct gobbledygook.

Case in point: Iron Patriot.

Will the Iron Patriot be a good guy or a bad guy? Good question.

Without spoiling things for fans who don’t read the comics, the Iron Patriot’s mere presence raises questions. Who will be in the suit? Is he a good guy or is he a bad guy? Will the calamities that befall Tony Stark be solely the work of The Mandarin, or will shady actors within the U.S. government somehow be to blame?

Take, for instance, the trailer’s narrator, who says:

Ladies. Children. Sheep. Some people call me a terrorist; I consider myself a teacher. Lesson number one: Heroes — there is no such thing.

If the Iron Patriot is somehow involved with the Mandarin or if the U.S. government is somehow culpable for the espionage that destroys Tony’s life, the movie will instantly lose credibility. If the message ends up being some sort of social commentary on how “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter,” I probably won’t be seeing Iron Man 4 in the theaters.

Regardless, I had my doubts about The Avengers and ended up being pleasantly surprised. I’m cautiously optimistic that the creators of Iron Man 3 are drawing from the same successful formula.
Related: Iron Man is America
Related: Robert Downey Jr.’s politics: A lesson for liberal Hulks
Related: Lone Avenger: Robert Downey Jr. soars above his liberal critics

Iron Man 3 gets the Tom Clancy treatment

The word is out: Iron Man 3 is going to have more Tom Clancy and less Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots. Robert Downy Jr. is almost always amazing and so is the character of Iron Man (when he’s done right), so this is probably good news. The problem is, Marvel has a track record of sometimes allowing liberal claptrap to soak into its products. Sometimes, as with Summer 2011’s Captain America, they succeed despite their best efforts at self-sabotage. Due to this, let us revisit a Tom Clancy interview with Charlie Rose to get an accurate glimpse of who the man is and what he’s stands for:

Tom Clancy on Iraq: I think we won. Look, the real world is not digital, it’s analog. That means it’s fundamentally untidy. And so, the Iraq situation is going to remain untidy for quite some time to come. At the end of it Iraq is going to be a free democratic society, and that’s a win for us and for the whole world…. Democracy works. America has proven that to the world. Now some parts of the world are a little retarded on that, like China, North Korea and a few others. But democracy and the American model works better than any system in the world.

Tom Clancy on The French: [They’re] like a big sister. They think they know better than us, but we’re the one’s who made the money. They’re offended we don’t take their advice. Well, tough world. We’ve grown beyond that. … They eat McDonald’s, but they burn the places down. They ask Walt Disney to invest in their country, but then when it’s done they call it a cultural Chernobyl. … It’s a love/hate relationship. When the Germans are making noise, they love us.

Tom Clancy on terrorism: The first line of defense against any foe, particularly terrorists, is intelligence information, which means human intelligence, which means the operation starts with the CIA … that was hammered by Frank Church in the early 70’s and then the Jimmy Carter administration in the late 70’s. … Our ability to do [gain intelligence] was gutted almost 30 years ago … The CIA is an agency of about 17,000 people, of whom maybe 500 are field spooks. That’s a big tail on not a big dog. We threw away a lot of our human intelligence capabilities over 20 years ago, and although we’re just now starting to hire people and bring those people back it takes awhile to bring that capability back, it takes upwards of five years for these guys to be effective officers. Just because we’re funding it now, it’s not like flipping on a light switch. It takes time. Some terrorists organizations are actually family members, and it’s kind of hard to infiltrate a family. And the other thing that members of Congress have trouble with is, quite simply if you want to go down a rat hole you better have some whiskers, and they don’t want any good, upstanding Americans to have whiskers. …

The FBI had an agent named Joe Pistone who infiltrated the mafia. And he wrote a book about it titled Donny Brosco … and he got in so far that he almost became a made man, at which point there was a collective panic when the Director looked up and said, “How do we tell a federal district court judge that a sworn Special Agent in the FBI is now a made man in the mafia?” And that’s when they had to cut the information off, and we got a lot of useful information. That’s what the CIA does, but on an international basis…and it’s vital to get that information. The way you get that information might not be aesthetically pleasing, but the real world, contrary to what a lot of people on the political left think,  is not the Olympic skating championships.

Got that, Marvel? Tom Clancy is not liberal. He’s a very successful writer who doesn’t fill books with politically correct pap. If you’re going to allow Director Shane Black go on record with the Clancy-plan, then there’s no going back. However, since Black also directed Robert Downy Jr. in Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (a severely underrated movie), I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

For all of us who can’t wait for Iron Man 3, at least The Avengers will tide us over.