Archive for comics

The House of “Ideas”

Posted in droopymcjackass with tags , , , on 08/09/2009 by droopymcjackass

I’m sorry, momma, but for my first post, I’m cleaning out my closet!

I figure, what better way to inaugurate this blog than by posting a review of a movie that came out over a year ago?  Enjoy!

ironmanalcoholic

About halfway through Iron Man, starring Robert Downey, Jr., Iron Man faces off against a group of armed terrorists using hostages as human shields.  His H.U.D. (Heads-Up Display, for all you girls) targeting reticle passes over each person, leaving behind a red, locked-on target for “enemies” (or was it “armed” or, more hilariously, “combatant”?), and sweeping harmlessly over those dubbed “civilian.”  He then fires six simultaneous head-shots, killing the bad guys instantaneously.  Next to me, my girlfriend muttered, “Cool.” Later in the same fight, he destroys a tank with what could only be called a pocket-rocket, which is equal parts bad-ass and laughably-pathetic.  And aside from it looking a little too much like the old “Lethal Enforcers” arcade game (which, oddly enough, I usually play in the lobbies of movie theaters), it was cool.  It’s also a little troubling.

Not in the “super-heroes shouldn’t kill” way.  In movies we’ve already had morally ambiguous anti-heroes like Wolverine, the Punisher, and Elektra slicing, shooting, and stabbing their way into our hearts (well, maybe only Wolverine); and unless Captain America offs some Nazis in the most wham-o way during his WWII-era movie, people are gonna wonder why he’s being such a pussy.  My concern lies with Iron Man’s whole motivation as a hero: essentially, dude just wants to protect his patents and design ideas.

Wall-flower turned wall-crawler Peter Parker is the ultimate bystander, accidentally being there whenever someone huffs crazy/strength gas; embraces evil, sentient robot tentacles; or a symbiotic oil-slick decides to crash on earth.  He fights because no one else around can.  The X-Men valiantly attempt to band together and stand-up to a society that treats them as outcasts, but mostly end up beating the shit out of each other in the most un-valiant way.  Daredevil, Blade, Punisher, and the Hulk are even simpler heroes; hating crime, vampires, criminals, and hate itself respectively.  On the DC end of the spectrum, Batman seems to create (and kill) more villains than rehabilitate them (sadly expending a great deal of energy protecting WayneCorp), and Superman has an easier time being an iconic symbol than a man, much to his (and the movie-going audience’s) displeasure.

And Iron Man?  Copyright infringement (though, it should be noted, this is the same reason the Fantastic Four movie exists, but not, however, why the Fantastic Four do).

Therein lies the crux of Tony Stark’s personality problem (and, truth be told, secret strength).   Escaping from “Hollywood Middle-East Land” (where everything blows-up!  and everyone is taken hostage!), wanting a burger, and then going to Burger King?! only makes him seem like a mildly unlikable tool.  Having him retreat to an incredibly immature bachelor pad (I believe he’s even working on the same hot-rod that obsessed Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor for a season of Home Improvement) to yuk it up with his robotic underlings makes him comes across more glib and self-centered than genuinely charming or funny.  Doing all this while adorned with a goatee comprised of two Nike swooshes and spending his free-time glory-fucking models and hate-fucking reporters, and now we’ve crossed over into the purely reprehensible.  When we’re first introduced to Stark, he’s busy annoying our troops, and then spends the next hour and half pissy over the fact that the shrapnel lodged in his heart literally has his name on it.  As a viewer, you have to wonder why this boy-genius/celebutard even wants to be a hero; a question that is only answered with the last line of the film:  Because, screw it, he can.

Stark’s only the hero of the movie because he’s less monstrous than the actual villain.  All the enemies (or those armed, or the combatants, or however you want to target them) carry Stark Industries weapons designed by Tony, or want Stark Industries weapons designed by Tony, or wear suits culled together from old Iron Man parts designed by Tony.  However, in perhaps the most obvious “this is the bad-guy!” scene, professional goatee-caressor Obadiah Stane’s H.U.D. doesn’t differentiate between friend or foe, civilian or combatant, it just targets the unarmed Pepper Potts and, ostensibly, will do the same for everyone else.

He gets electrocuted, then blown-up.

In fact, there’s only one bad guy in the entire movie that doesn’t die by explosion or small-arms fire, and that’s the terrorist that originally kept Tony in cave captivity.  Iron Man leaves him to be handled by the civilians he so “cooly” saved.  Even the best case scenario outcome for that is that he faced some sort of military tribunal and was executed.

So, the question arises: will Tony ever get some sort of comeuppance?  Certainly not from Ms. Potts or “Rhodey,” his supporting cast, as they seem as infatuated with him as he is (hell, even we the audience are, myself included).  And if reports of the sequel are to be believed, its unlikely a talking dragon from outer space and a magic Chinaman could humble the Invincible Iron Man.  No, I believe that glory will be saved for his teammates, the Mighty Avengers.  Maybe Stark will see a bit of himself and warning in the equally brillant doctors Bruce Banner (a rageaholic monster that just wishes someone would like a movie he’s in) and Ant-Man, Hank Pym (an on-again, off-again wife beater with an inferiority complex as big as he can get [whose power is to increase and decrease in size, his name stemming from the inexplicable tendency of Stan Lee to not make sense]).  Or maybe the Norse god Thor will make Tony feel like a mortal fish in a crazy, fucked-up pond.  Ultimately, it’ll probably be a combination of the teams leaders, Nick Fury (basically an amalgamation of every Samuel L. Jackson characters, played by Samuel L. Jackson) and Captain America.  Either way, the biggest dick in the Marvel U will start drinking more, and that’s always funny.  And as much as I liked Iron Man (and I did!), it won’t be until Cap (full of old-timey hokum) gets one whiff of Tony Stark and knocks those face-pubes off with a right cross that I will start muttering “Cool.”

However, we have to sit through Iron Man 2 before that, which will probably have him building a Burger King in his house a la Richie Rich and then letting all of America fellate him.

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