Sunday, May 18, 2008

Cool Exec

You'd think with all the vacation I've had, I would have seen Iron Man back when it first came out three weeks ago. But you'd be wrong, so despite a raging head cold, the Lovely Bride and I went today down in the new AMC down in Kent (nice digs, plenty of parking).

Yeah, I loved it. The film grounds itself both in character and its technology - the sequences of building and testing the armor worked for me, even though they were mostly setup for punchlines. The overall theme - responsibility for one's creations, also resonates.

But what really worked for me was the fact that the script itself, realistically executed by gifted actors, made the impossible seem not only possible but likely. The movie audience is not dumb, and everything fits together in the script like a well-crafted watch. Or as the Lovely Bride, butchering Chekhov" "If you mention the mechanical heart in the first act, you have to bring it back in the third act."

But the thing that impressed me was the fact it worked both as a larger popular movie as well as staying true to the nature of the character, who over his career has been a bit problematic. His original origin was deeply embedded both in the Cold War and the Yellow Peril, but the script lifts him out of that to make it more about American technological hubris. It also plays to one of the strengths of the Marvel Universe over its Distinguished Competition - it has extremely mortal heroes, full of quirks and bad habits and poor choices. Back in the 60s, when the big problems for the DC heroes was what fish Aquaman would summon to beat the bad guys, it was a breath of fresh air, and continues to work well for the entire franchise.

OK, if you haven't seen it, go see it. And stay through the credits because there is candy at the end.

More later,