Monday, May 12, 2008

Iron Man and a Shift of Focus

Until now this blog has been pretty focused on writing and whatnot. Well, writing is the slowest business on the planet. And when it's not slow, it's dragging you through Dante's sixth or seventh level because things aren't going the way you wanted them to.

I have a hard time writing riffs on the subject. Unless there's really something going on, it's not a lot of fun. I find little joy writing about editing.

I do find great joy in writing things like my opinion on Iron Man and my personal trepidation for the upcoming Indiana Jones and the Golden Wheelchair. And because it's my blog, I make the rules.

So, back to Iron Man. Director Jon Favreau set out to make "a kind of independent film-espionage thriller crossbreed; a Robert Altman-directed Superman (1978), with shades of Tom Clancy novels, James Bond films, RoboCop (1987), and Batman Begins (2005)." (Thank you imDb). And after watching, I can say, "yeah, pretty much." Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark knows how to take a shot, scotch in particular. He's a self-depricating, boozing, womanizing genius.

Of course he's a genuis, there aren't that many good-guy dummies in the stable of superheroes. Peter Parker is brilliant and fueled with a spider-bite, Bruce Wayne with money and anger. Clark Kent's motivations lay somewhere in another galaxy, which may be why the latest installment didn't go so well.

You get the feeling Tony Stark and Lex Luther could hit it off discussing single malts, which may be why his character feels so fresh. He starts out as more of an anti-hero, smacked between the eyes with a sudden realization of personal responsibility for the world.

Working at his side is the efficient Pepper Potts. Now, let's face it. Comic books have not been kind to women. We have the scrappy girl reporter (hello Lois Lane), who really should look before she leaps. We have the girl-next-door (Mary Jane), whose primary goal is to bug Peter about their relationship before finding something really tall to be dangling from. Rachel Dawes, I think, is in the same category as Lois Lane; same attitude, different job description.

Then there's Pepper Potts. Pepper is the Girl Friday, and she can get it done. Remove paramours? Check. Steal files? Check. Insert Arc Reactor into Tony's chest? Double check, and all in stilleto heals. Mary Jane, eat your heart out.

Characters aside, the plot works as well as a comic book movie plot needs to. Tony introduces "ultimate war weapon" and is captured by terrorists shortly after. Tough luck. They tell him to replicate aforementioned weapon for them (thus enabling world domination); Tony agrees and begins work on a different project. Because of the language barrier and possibly too much vodka, the terrorists do not catch on until Tony has finished his wearable bat-mobile.

Tony's feet barely touch ground on the US of A before he makes it clear that he's had a change of heart in the realm of his business practices. Events unfold; his business partner, Obadiah Stane, does not entirely approve of Tony's decisions, Tony makes a shinier Iron Man suit, flies, saves the world, and occasionally utters some Transformers-esque dialogue. All in a few day's work, all enjoyable. And who knew Jeff Bridges had such a good looking head?

In other news, Indiana Jones and the Quest for the Holy Compression Stockings looms ever nearer. I mean, look at this guy.

Poor Indy. He's saved the world and it's best antiques so many times - and he looks exhausted. Yet here they're trotting out the latest installment of the Jones series. And there aren't even any Nazis!
To give credit, though, the supporting roles are packed with great names. When is Cate Blanchett not pitch-perfect? And Marion is back, presumably to find out why Indy hasn't returned her calls for a while.
Yes, I'll probably see it. Just never said I wasn't going to mock it.

1 comment:

  1. Hi girl, nice. I didn't end up seeing Ironman. I went to a dance party instead. Long story, but lets just say the pastor of the church came, with his wife, wearing a backwards baseball hat, and people played beer pong using water, and drinking Sparkling Grape juice. And Atlanta won their basketball game by only a few points that night. And I think almost everybody there was over 21.


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