It’s a bad habit of mine to analyze every! single! film I see, and it ruins it for everyone else when I do this. But I just gotta say something about Iron Man 2 (or as the trailer puts it, “Iron 2 Man!”)
Let’s put aside for now all the entertainment: the glitzy CG effects, suit-peeing, Scarlett Johansson as a sexy mass of auburn curls with pretzel-like flexibility, an alarmingly paunchy Mickey Rourke wielding an electric jump rope, Samuel L. Jackson with an eye patch boner and cute romantic comedy repartee with Pepper Potts; and try to see what the film is really saying.
Major theme that popped out at me: Privatizing World Peace. Wow, check that concept out!
It’s actually related to the terrorism theme, which is there just like in the first movie, only it’s not so hands-on since Tony Stark is obviously not in the desert anymore, fighting Taliban or whatnot.
His efforts are encapsulated in one headline: “Iron Man eases West, East relations.”
Did he, really? Or did he just monopolize such vast firepower and superhuman capabilities that all the rest of the world is shit-scared of the United States because they know this egotistic billionaire can just swoop in and “promote world peace” with a stroke of his red-and-yellow metal fist?
He’s like the ultimate international bodyguard, only prone to bursts of irresponsible behavior.
Which is, in part, why the government was trying so hard to get their hands on the armor because that much power (used responsibly or no) is too great to be unregulated.
Yet, the entire message of the film was, “Well, if you democratize this kind of technology, as you will see in the kick-ass parts is that, chances are, you’ll end up with a renegade batch of drones, the black best friend in a compromised suit, and a Russian dude with a crack whip trying to kill everybody.”
Privatization- good. Democratization- bad.
So, kids, why not just keep super advanced weaponry in the private hands of Stark because it’s better for everyone. Giant arms corporations and its role in the military industrial complex is secure once again.
Plus, Iron Man defeats the “bad guy”, a slightly crazed Russian physicist with an axe to grind because a giant corporation was profiting from his dad’s intellectual property. Corruption or espionage notwithstanding, his concerns are legitimate because it’s a situation that many scientists–and people–find themselves in.
The imagery is quite telling: As Tony Stark the golden boy lives out his life driving nice cars, hawking watches for strawberries, and making omelettes on an airplane; other dudes like Whiplash live in harsh poverty and thus become disgruntled enough to try killing with cybernetically controlled whips.
I don’t know what blueprints you’re reading from, but in this world, where an American icon becomes the savior of all humanity and the tip by which the world balances; everyone else loses and the American god reigns supreme.
And we’ll all probably condone that, including a departure from the comic books, just as long as there’s an awesome soundtrack, a sure shot set of sequels leading up to the Avengers franchise, and there’s a Robert Downey Jr. being all perfect for the role he was cast.
As Justin Hammer says, and I say this with irony, “God Bless America. God Bless Iron Man.”
*Photo from scrapetv.com