Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Iron Man 2

This is what I posted about Iron Man 2 on Facebook, mostly in response to Gregory Feeley’s suggestion that the movie is based on the second half of the play Hamlet and the conflict between Hamlet and Laertes.
We saw Iron Man 2 last night. It was not as good as the first movie, but worth seeing, I guess. There is too much action and not enough character. The plot appears to have been designed by a committee. And while I am willing to cut a Marvel action flick a lot of slack, I refuse to believe that Tony could create a previously unknown, stable, transuranic element with a home made accelerator in his basement. Why should I stumble there, but not at the arc reactor? Because the first movie went very quickly over the arc reactor, explaining nothing. I thought, that's nice. That's warp drive. On with the story.

Is the other jerk military contractor/merchant of death Laertes? I kind of saw the movie as a battle of the jerks, with Tony as the likable jerk and Hammer as the dislikable jerk. The Russian gangster scientist is a not a jerk, but a guy who is avenging his father. Hey, he's a parallel for Tony. I really disliked the message from Tony's father from beyond the grave. I think Nick Fury should have said, "Your father loved you," and Tony should answer, "I'm sorry. I don't believe you." And let the situation rest there.

Gregory replied that the Russian gangster-scientist is Laertes, determined to avenge his father.
The Russian is an impressive character. Like the Afghan doctor in the first movie, he reminds us that there is world outside Tony's glamorous capitalist world. He's as brilliant as Tony, but a different life, a different father and a different country have made him a thug. Of course, Tony is also a thug, but a likable, glamorous thug. There's a real moral ambiguity in both movies, as they move between the worlds of Russian crime, Afghan banditry and the American military industrial complex, all three worlds tied together.


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