Sunday, July 13, 2014

Comic book movies always skip the cool stuff

Last weekend I watched the second half of Iron Man and all of Iron Man 2. I'm not a huge fan of many Marvel properties - I dig Spider-Man sometimes and I've had a soft spot for Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk for a while now, but I really hate Thor and have no interest in Cap and the whole Avengers thing is just boring to me (much the same way that the JLA is boring to me, so DC isn't off the hook their either - super-groups and super-collabs almost always suck).

What I like about Iron Man is that Tony Stark has some fucking problems. Tony is a straight-up alcoholic, he's sometimes conniving, and he usually puts the people he cares about in really shitty situations - which is why I've been kind of bummed out by the movies. Movie Tony Stark is an alcoholic only when it plays well with viewers, so he freaks out at parties and is drinking on road trips instead of being an active danger to those around him which is a much more interesting source of conflict. And sure, they pay some lip-service to the idea that Tony fucks up Pepper's day on a regular basis but he always kisses and makes up with Roadie and Happy. (Also I'm only just now realizing it but Tony Stark is the only normally named human in the Tony Stark sphere of influence).

So the movies are big, fun, explosion extravaganzas and Robert Downey Junior really is the best possible choice for the role, but I feel like we're missing out on a lot of good content by going with big explosive stories instead of, say, Iron Man struggling against his inner demons or that one time his suit became intelligent, went crazy, and kidnapped him.

I know Hollywood doesn't think that introspection will sell with the comic crowd but I'd like to point out THAT'S WHAT WE'RE ALL ABOUT. We LOVE it when Peter Parker hates himself, we think Batman's tortured isolation is catnip, and we really only like Superman when Supes realizes what a colossal tool he is. There's a REASON that Wolverine is our favorite X-Man and that reason is that he's the only one who consistently realizes that his life SUCKS.

Neither movie is actually bad, and both of them have at least a little bit of the "rich superhero actually has a crappy life" thing going on for them. They're rowdy and fun to watch and I have no real problem with either Iron Man or Iron Man 2 - they just aren't the movies that I really want to see.

     - Alli

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