I’m not a comic book or graphic novel reader. So I can’t say for sure how accurate the filmed version of Iron Man is in terms of its adherence to the original.
It is an interesting concept for a super hero though: a regular person with no “unnatural” abilities, except for a genius-level mind and a penchant for MacGyver’esque engineering-oneself-out-of-tough-spots. Brilliant concept, really. Use your own skills to transcend human abilities. Supposedly we should feel empowered by this because we’re all, technically, capable if we put our minds to it. The Iron Man website describes this as “using his intelligence and ingenuity.” Something, in my opinion, is in deficit in our world.
Using our own weaponry against us is not a new idea. The other interesting facet of this film was its setting (in the beginning in Afghanistan) and the way the “rebels” were trying to outwit the witless. I say witless because the title character, Tony Stark, was completely oblivious of his own company’s dealings. And, even worse, he was certainly out-of-the-loop on the plot for his own assassination. But, he ended up outwitting them all–he’s so intelligent and ingenious. The sad part is that this film is just another nail in the coffin as far as cultural stereotypes go. One man is so much more intelligent than the whole lot of men he encounters. Hmm…you fill in the blanks.
I was happy to see that there were no grossly over-forced sex scenes (though the sexual tension could certainly be cut with a knife) between Stark and his assistant, Pepper (Paltrow). At least Hollywood Blockbuster filmmakers are finally clueing in about throwing needless sex in there…oh wait, Stark DID have sex with someone in the film…immaterial to the plot, truly.
I did notice that Pepper had reddish-strawberry-blonde hair, much like our other Stan Lee ‘heroine,’ MJ from Spiderman. That was interesting. I wonder if Stan Lee likes red heads?
Perhaps a little too blindly servile, Pepper, though clearly a good girl character, represents those qualities in women that should be extinct and not venerated on the big screen. By this I mean that women are still being portrayed as “I’ll do whatever you say, whenever you say it, because secretly I want to be more than just your servant” types. While Pepper takes charge at the end to usher in a saving-of-the-day, one has to wonder why she’d suffer a life of servitude with a character like Tony Stark in the first place if she’s got her wits about her. I suppose we’re supposed to remember, as women, that we should put up with whatever it takes to be in the mere presence of a man of “intelligence and ingeniousness.” Clearly Pepper’s got intelligence and ingeniousness of her own. But for whatever reason, she’s stuck around with this womanizer, amoral douchebag for 7(?) years.
Of course, Mr. Stark completely turns his morals around by the end. So I suppose even corrupt capitalists can be reformed. Or in the case of his evil nemesis, Obadiah, you get killed eventually because your power-hungryness consumes even yourself. Enron executives come to mind. So who’s next? Recently we have many examples of greedy folks raking in the money at everyone else’s expense….