Let’s watch Iron Man again!

Sunday, May 9, 2010 at 11:57 am Comments Off on Let’s watch Iron Man again!

Random Action Hour is updated with another Cadillacs & Dinosaurs episode, Wildfire. It’s not a bad watch, but recapping it is a bit of a slog because the plot is literally just “they move – there’s an obstacle – Hammer is an idiot – repeat” for about twenty minutes.

On Thursday night I decided to watch the first Iron Man again with someone who’d never seen it before. Reanalysis time!

In a nutshell, I totally prefer the first one. The second one’s good, but despite all the action, the fanservice and the drama regarding Tony only having a few days left to live, it doesn’t didn’t quite engage me the same way the first one does. I was actually slightly surprised at how gritty the first movie was at times; the entire beginning segment with his stint as a prisoner in Afghanistan is really rather disturbing, and it provides a great contrast to the rather whimsical superhero antics he pulls when he returns to dispose of his industry’s weapons. Given how we see Tony mature from a frivolous billionaire to a man shaken and concerned about his country’s safety, the film definitely has a more personal touch to it, and it’s still as satisfying as it was two years ago.

Iron Man 2 lacks a lot of those elements, I felt. Lots of action, no denying, but there wasn’t as much personal investment in it. While Obadiah Stanes was Tony’s partner for a fair number of years before he tried to kill him by various means, Whiplash isn’t even a guy Tony really knows, he’s just the son of a guy who worked with Stark’s father. Simple things like that can really dilute a final showdown, as while the fight with Stanes really shows how batshit and adamant he is regarding his ideals, Whiplash’s appearance at the end isn’t so much “holy shit, I’m fighting a guy who was once my closest business partner but is now my enemy!” but rather “oh, look, it’s that guy with the whips except he’s got a suit now”. The first one almost makes you think Stanes is done for after the icing incident, but the fight still goes on. I was shocked (and not in a positive way) about how the laser trick was all it took to take Whiplash down. Oh well. Still, they’re both decent films, but I feel the first one is a lot more memorable and a lot more satisfying.

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