Saturday, May 10, 2008

Iron Man

I saw Iron Man today.

First the negatives:

Basically, Stark sees that a lot of Stark Industry weapons are in the hands of various terrorists and being used to kill American soldiers. A lot of his weapons. More than just captured from American soldiers. They're all in their nice transport crates and look brand new. Stark is justifiably pissed, and pulls the plug of Stark Industry's weapons division.

My problem is that the movie glosses over just how totally wrong it is. Defense contractors cannot sell weapons like that to just anyone. For that many to be in the hands of terrorists something had to be very, very wrong. Stark did do digging into how these weapons were getting out, but it didn't seem enough, given the gravity of how strange it was for terrorists to get that number of brand-new technology.

Stark could have read the serial numbers on the crates, or such to find out why these weapons had gotten in the hands of terrorists. Later, he does find out how this all happened, and it makes a lot of sense. However, I think the movie was weak in explaining that this was not normal behavior from a Defense Contractor, and in addition to being morally reprehensible, it was also very, VERY illegal. The type of thing where the US Gov, takes your factory and puts you in prison.

It's not just a moral issue for Stark. That much of his product in the hands of terrorists, should have the US government immediately investigating Stark Industries. Especially when his just released, very expensive, and very powerful missile system Jericho was reported and pictured used by terrorists.

Stark was pissed, and freaking out. But he should also have been worried about the feds knocking on the door and closing the company. Then again, this is the Marvel
Universe so there's gonna be some leeway.


It's exactly like if newspapers reported that brand new and factory sealed Raytheon missiles were being used by AQ and the Gov and the public just yawned. Really, Stark would have the inquisition at the door step and an angry mob trying to kill him, or at least a mass of protestors.

It's funny. The movie severely downplayed how bad the selling of weapons to the bad guys is, both in moral and legal terms.

End Update

What I really like is that they made a nice plot-device about the biggest challenge facing powered armor in the real world: power. I felt that was nicely, and amusingly done.

I really enjoyed how the movie focused on the construction of the suit, and the tools Stark used to make the armor were very amusing and cool. The best part was that they were tools. His workshop was very advanced, but it was above all a workshop. His displays were designed around functionality (eye-popping yes but very useful like when he put his arm in a holographic rendering of the arm armor). Similarly, his robots are designed around fabrication.

Also, Stark Industries is a blatant rip-off of Lockheed Martin: the logo, the logo effect, the advertising style, event he campus of the factory. Which was pretty fun.

The sets were also very fun. A lot of work went into putting in little touches that showed that this was a defense firm that had a long history and all the little touches that a real engineer would get. This gives lots and lots of fun Easter eggs.

Like how both Jom Rhodes (strongly hinted at being WarMachine later on) and Stark both wear the MIT Brass Rat. And yes, there is an easter egg after the very end of the credits.

Which brings me to Tony Stark himself. Robert Downey Jr. plays an alcoholic, womanizing, brilliant engineer very very well. It was good that most of the movie had Stark out of his suit, and gave Robert Downey Jr. more time to play the part of Stark.

The plot and action were fairly good. There were the above issues, but events make sense and within the context of the universe it is well done. The ultimate part of the review is this: I'd like to see the sequel, and would not mind getting the DVD of this movie.

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