Iron Man 2: Maximum Sexism
There’s a lot of talking in this film. Fully thirty minutes goes by before anything happens. It felt like a Quentin Tarantino vehicle: Let’s spend ten minutes talking about eggs, and then we’ll get in a car, and talk some more about how they paint lines on asphalt. Then we’ll get out of the car and talk some more.
Tony Stark is set up to be the hero and a role-model for kids (seriously, there are children dressing up like him in the movie). I think: not so much.
All of the women in his life – even Pepper Pots – are merely carriages for tits and ass. He speaks to and about women in such ways to give me pause as to what kinds of behaviors are being transmitted to impressionable teenage boys.
Plus, he’s clearly a Republican who believes in a privatized military. Guns for me but not for you. The US military has been cast as the “bad guy” here but I think that’s unfair.
I mean, I’m not a big fan of the expression of military force, but at least (mostly) there are multiple individuals involved in the decisions as to when and where to apply it. People who actually went to war colleges and have spent their lives studying foreign policy. Just like me, they don’t like the the idea of a spoiled rich-kid with daddy issues being able to start wars with impunity.
All of the heavyweight talent thrown into this film but is either cast as themselves or brutally underutilized. Sam Rockwell, a master scene thief, plays
Zaphod Beeblebrox Eric Knox half the other characters he plays Tony Stark 2.0. He’s a Scott McNealy to Stark’s Steve Jobs.
(I’m going to go out on limb and suggest we’ll see Bill Gates as the bad guy in Iron Man 3D.)
Don Cheadle, one of my favorite actors, is new to the series as James Rhodes, having replaced another of my favorite actors, Terrence Howard. He gives a pretty good performance, I guess, but his role is one of a military meathead with a heart of gold. He only ever has two emotions: “calm” and “annoyed at Tony”.
Scarlett Johansson is allowed to deliver one of the best-choreographed goon beat-downs I’ve seen in a long time. However, she mostly serves to be a sexualized automaton, a cardboard cutout printed straight from the works of Robert Heinlein or perhaps Penthouse Forum.
The best performance is delivered by Mickey Rourke, who is also the most believable character. Mickey’s a good actor, but I fret that he is only ever going to be given roles where he is required to be dirty and/or tattooed.
As for the mainstays, they kind of stay the same. I mean, Tony’s still a narcissist prick; Pepper is still an emotionally-abused spouse, and Happy’s still a second-string sidekick.
I’m bored about talking about this movie now. You’ll probably go see it. It’s dumb and serves its purpose. But I don’t recommend it too much.