pretty fucking sure they made Ironman before, only they
called it Batman the first time. It's the one about the
rich guy who makes himself all these gee-whiz gimcracks to turn
himself into a crimefighting superhero.
Jr. plays Tony Stark, a billionaire inventor and owner of an
industrial corporation. Unlike the most recent Batman's
Bruce Wayne--also a billionaire industrialist--he's not a whiny-ass,
poor-me bitch who's just as likely to make emo music and write
bad poetry as put on a cape. Downey is more like the TV Batman;
an incorrigible ladies' man by day, incognito freedom-fighter
by night. Bruce Wayne, though, was way classier and funnier.
Afghanistan showing his latest weapons to the military, Downey
brags about his sexual conquests, makes it clear he is the sort
of ass they market men's cologne to, and then is kidnaped by
terrorists who lock him in a cave and demand he build them a
bomb. Suspend your disbelief for the first of many times, please,
to think the military has contractors ship deadly, advanced
weapon systems into war zones for demonstrations. Also, don't
think too much about why the terrorists kidnaped Downey and
demanded he build them a bomb that was apparently going to be
given to them by the real baddy as a reward for kidnaping him.
build the bombs demanded by his captors, Downey builds a giant
iron suit that looks better than Johnny Sokko's Giant Robot,
but is still incredibly gay. After climbing inside the suit,
he defeats the terrorists and escapes. No comic book movie is
complete without a weak-as-shit pop psychology epiphany. Hell,
cheap and obvious life-changing events are the biodiesel that
power Marvel and DC. Complex and real emotions would just bewilder
their fat, friendless fanbase. The epiphany is that, gee!, all
those bombs and missile he makes may actually be bad for the
world. This guy's supposed to be a fucking genius and it took
his own life being threatened for him to figure that out? What
a self-absorbed asshole. Back in the U.S., Downey, announces
that his company will no longer create weapons.
say what Stark Industries will create instead, but his first
act to prove how serious he is about his epiphany is to build
his best and most lethal weapon yet. Not just any weapon, either.
One that personalizes the killing by letting the user do it
directly; not through some drone, or long-range missile. Ah,
comic book logic. I wish I could use it on Mrs. Filthy at 3:20
in the morning when I get home with urine-stained pants, bloodied
nose and a fistful of someone else's hair. But, she's not a
fanboy, so not prone to illogic.
In his home
lab, billionaire Downey builds a sleeker, more powerful, more
violent and way-way-way gayer Ironman outfit. This time it's
red and gold, with a pouty mouth, shapely abs and pecs, and
muscular arms. It can burn shit, blast shit, fly faster than
jets and punch things so hard it knocks your balls through your
clear why Downey builds Ironman, but when he sees some shit
on the news about the same terrorists who hurt him, he flies
around the world to kill them and save some goat herders. You
can see how much of a changed man he has become, right?
Downey is a changed man. At the beginning of Ironman
he's a wisecracking, smug turd whose probably wearing Axe body
spray. After his life-changing imprisonment, though, he's really
uninteresting, not particularly clever-sounding and no longer
interested in fucking anything that moves. When he returns,
all he wants to do is dance with a dowdy, pasty Gwyneth Paltrow.
(Personally, I'd rather swap my eyeballs for my testicles.)
He was an amoral arms dealer. Now he's an uptight soccer dad
with a bigass metal suit.
then follows a path as well worn as the buttons on the Harelip's
Levi's knockoffs. Jeff Bridges--doing his best Albert Brooks
impression--is another executive at Downey's weapons company,
and he wants Downey dead. The movie never says why. I think
it's because he's been double dealing and doesn't want Downey
to know. But the pre-kidnaping Downey probably wouldn't have
given a shit. And Bridges wants him dead before Downey declares
his company will no longer make weapons.
is pure evil, see, and he's been selling weapons to terrorists.
Oh, and giving them away to anyway who will kill Downey. Nevermind
that the Pentagon would figure that our pretty damn quickly,
please. We have a very strict and silly plot to follow: former
friend and/or mentor turns evil and the hero must fight him.
Sadly, that plot is undermined not only by its silliness, but
also because Ironman's makes Downey glib and skeptical.
How the fuck is a hero who seems to know everything supposed
to be surprised or disappointed?
question is why was Bridges trying to kill Downey even before
Downey went all soft and peace-loving (at least in theory)?
He was the company's greatest asset, loved making weapons. Also,
why would Bridges send Downey to Afghanistan and contract with
terrorists to kill him when it'd be pretty fucking easy to do
right at home?
In its climax,
Ironman manages to be a letdown not only in logic, but
also originality. Bridges builds his own super iron suit and
fights Downey. They bang each other, shoot and fist fight. They
whack and hack, and do all the requisite big-budget wrestling
shit. It's the gay suit versus the slightly-less-gay suit. For
a superhero who is supposed to be different, Downey's solution
to problems is a hell of a lot like his predecessors': fight!
fight! fight! In the midst of fighting, when Downey is down,
Bridges makes the standard "I'm-about-to-win-this-fight-so-I-will-reveal-stuff"
speech. It's by the books shit with a hero who was sassier,
at least for the first part.
Paltrow probably ought to go back to popping out babies. I never
thought she was hot, but she's about as attractive as a fishmonger
now. The movie wants to make her out as smarter than the average
pretty girl put into this girl-in-distress role. She's not,
though. She's just not as hot. I don't know why director Favreau
didn't put her in glasses and mary janes while he was at it.
is more like every other superhero movie than it pretends. And
most every other superhero movie is pretty fucking bad. Two
to tell Filthy Something?