This writeup has many spoilers. Please don’t read if you’ve not watched the first Iron Man movie.
Though I remember watching Iron Man, I had completely forgotten the story. Since I plan to watch all Marvel movies, I felt it would be great to re-watch the first movie before exploring the rest.
The Shower Thought
The opening scene of Iron Man is a slap on the face of American foreign policy. Sometimes, I feel that they fucked up Afghanistan War to ensure Stark’s pacifist dreams came true. Of course, the so called peace was made with a very dystopian religious outfit that left the people in a worse situation. Someday, Marvel should make a superhero movie to rescue American foreign policy from its tendency to make blunders.
Stark and Obadiah
Anyway, Stark is not a policy guy. He’s a genius, playboy and a billionaire. Unlike many successors of tycoons, Stark is intelligent and smart. He has great hands and works with AI tools that were probably not well known when the movie was made. Jarvis is his Siri. Stark believes in himself and trusts his henchman, Obadiah Stane. Stane was Stark’s father’s business partner, albeit a junior one.
On the outside, Stane behaves as though he loves Tony and claims to be working in Tony’s interests. In reality, Stane is gunning for the throne and plotting to take out Stark. This envy is the core of the story. Stark had a target on his back even before the superhero stage of the story begins.
The Superhero Transformation
The whole superhero transformation has a bit of a Darwinian angle to it. Like a caveman evolving into something better. Of course, Stark has to thank the Afghan fighters for sparing his life.
Stark has been attacked, kidnapped and locked up in a cave, and he needs to get out of it. The shrapnels that have engulfed his heart create the need for an artificial source of power to keep his blood flowing. The situation pushes him to deploy his extraordinary intelligence and workmanship (which surprisingly works well even with an artificial heart) to create an armour powered by a reactor to ensure his passage out of captivity.
The evolution is not restricted to his body alone. The moving sacrifice made by an acquaintance and underprivileged scientist, Yinsen touches Starks heart and forces him to change his life. He reconsiders his ideology of “having a bigger stick” to ensure peace and avoid war. Tony Stark acquires the saviour mindset after Yinsen’s death. When power meets a saviour mindset, you get a superhero.
Logical Gaps (in the interest of entertainment?)
Anyway, the US military is portrayed poorly in the movie if it is evaluated from a strategic perspective. Are they so stupid that they don’t even try to understand how Tony Stark came out of the cave? They should have collected the broken armour pieces strewn across the desert sands. Are they so stupid that they don’t try to hunt down the people who kidnapped a major defence sector businessman? Anyway, that won’t count from the entertainment perspective.
Despite pulling off amazing scenes in the movie, the director seems to have abandoned logic whenever he shows the human version of Stark testing out Iron man prototypes.
- Nothing happens to Stark whenever he bangs his head or falls due to excessive force.
- Again there’s a second level logical fallacy here. Can’t a man who can design a reactor in a cave can’t build safe prototypes in a sophisticated lab?
When Stark tries to outsmart Obadiah with his icing strategy, he says, “I know my math”. But the idea didn’t work, and he had to blow the reactor to solve the problem. So, one wonders whether Stark knows his math.
Think about it. Of course, such scenes are required for entertainment. But it just baffles me when I think about it after watching it.
But I love the way Tony Stark breaks the rules. His traits were put to good use at the ending of the movie. I must say that the concluding scene of the Iron Man movie is one of the best I’ve ever seen. I enjoyed the film and the process of writing this critique. Please don’t mistake me for an over-thinker because I am not one.