Full disclosure; I am not as big a M. Night Shyamalan hater as most people. I would not exactly call myself a fan of his either, but I do not think he is as bad as people make him out to be. I believe his movies have some redeeming qualities to them. He has become known and parodied as a director who just throws random twists into his movies. He has probably earned that criticism, but not all of his movies have a big twist. Some are just bad. One recent movie with a big twist did remind me of M. Night Shyamalan though: Iron Man 3.
Iron Man 3 could have been great. I really liked the movie until the twist ending. I thought Iron Man was gearing up to have a big climatic confrontation with the Mandarin. Boy, was I let down. Instead of Iron Man going toe-to-toe with the Mandarin, we find out the Mandarin is just an actor named Trevor Slattery. He was hired to play a role and he had no idea what was really going on. Are you kidding me? What a horrible twist. If M. Night Shyamalan had directed Iron Man 3 fans would be rioting.
Now what makes a great twist? Twists are fine. Twists can be great. They have to be set up properly though. A twist that comes out of nowhere is just lazy writing. It often times means that writers have written themselves into a corner and do not know how to get out. That is why fans hate M. Night Shyamalan. With the exception of the Sixth Sense, his twists come out of nowhere and often times make no sense. A great twist is one that has been set up throughout the movie. A great twist is one that has been hinted at and makes sense to the audience. That is why the Sixth Sense, Fight Club, The Usual Suspects, The Game, etc. are so revered. In hindsight, fans can see that something was a little off. Looking back fans can see that they should have been thinking outside the box. Iron Man 3 does not do that. Iron Man 3 builds up a great villain and breaks him down in a horrible “gotcha” moment.
Iron Man 3 has a 79%/79% Critic and Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes. The Village by M. Knight Shyamalan has a 43%/57% Critic and Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes. Are these movies really that different? Obviously, they are different types of movies, but both twist endings ruin their respective films. Both movies were solid until the big twist wiped out all of our previous thoughts. Why doesn’t Shane Black (Iron Man 3 director) get more hate? He wrote and directed that piece of crap.
Does Marvel simply get a pass, because it is Marvel? Are people so in love with Marvel, Iron Man, and Robert Downey Jr. that they fail to recognize the bad ending of Iron Man 3? It feels as though fans think Marvel can do no wrong these days. People believe so much in what Marvel is doing that they do not want to acknowledge when hiccups happen. In comparison, people love to hate M. Night Shyamalan. If a new movie was coming out with a great synopsis, cast, and trailer, people would still criticize it based on M. Night Shyamalan’s attachment. I am not defending M. Night Shyamalan. As I said before, I am not really a fan of his. At the end of the day we should call a spade a spade though. [Iron Man 3](movie:24391) is not good and its twist ending is on par with anything M. Night Shyamalan has done.