Spoilers, uh duh.
I liked it, first of all. Not High Art, but really, I had quite enough of that in college: these days, I want something fun to accompany an entire box of Junior Mints. (Which: Harvard AMC, while I’m usually not one to complain about AC in theatres being set below the usual “unmoving cold of deep space” notch, yours needs to be cranked up a bit, because I had less Junior Mints and more melty-blobby-mint-thing by the end of the movie, and, being in a crowded theatre, could not amuse myself and those around me by yelling “MIIIINTSUOOOOOO!”*)
Diversions into sugar and creepy anime aside, Iron Man filled its purpose admirably. It was shiny, it went “woosh”, it had some pretty damn cool character moments. It also had two major female characters, neither of whom was or turned evil, and I appreciate that. It’s kind of sad that I have to appreciate that, but there we are. It also didn’t get hung up on the action-y bits of the action scenes: I’m not averse to those, but I find that many movies drag them on a little long, like, yes, they’re throwing each other into things, and other things are exploding, woo, get on with it. Iron Man gets on with it, and includes witty banter, which keeps my attention.
Also a surly Russian with electric whips. That is, I have to say, what they call a “strong visual.”
There were a couple things I wasn’t thrilled about: Tony’s Daddy Issues seemed to come out of nowhere and get resolved in about fifteen minutes, and I don’t get why Papa Stark** had to get all Da Vinci Code about the structure of, um…Starkium? Tonium?…rather than putting it in a diary and putting that diary in a locked safe: I mean, he trusted the rest of his secret plans to SHIELD, and what if Tony hadn’t been that on the ball? (And, indeed, how do you know that he’s going to be a) smart enough to figure this out, and b) moral enough to use it well, when the kid is seven, Starktriarch? You were one of those wicked obnoxious parents, weren’t you?)
Also, above-mentioned pleasure at having two female characters–okaaay, that sounds dirtier than I meant it–aside, I could really have lived without seeing another iteration of I Don’t Want Him, But I Do, But I’m Not Admitting It, But I’m Going To Semi-Catfight With Every Girl He Digs. Jealousy is, I admit, a pet peeve of mine–especially excessive snippy jealousy over someone you have decided not to get involved with, ugh–but really? Really? Dear writers of everything ever: it is possible for two women to be kind of into the same guy, and know this, and still get along perfectly well. Do not make me give anecdotes.
By and large, though, I liked it: I liked the snarky computer voice, and the shiny tech stuff, and the contrast between Rhodes and Tony. And I totally froze up at the bit with the evil drone guy and the kid, and then went “awww”, because I’m kind of a sucker. Plus, I felt sort of sorry for Justin Hammer at the beginning, and then I rapidly stopped feeling sorry for him, because he had such a smarmy everything-wrong-with-corporate-America vibe–like, he reminded me of one of my right-out-of-college bosses, the one who confused “editorial assistant” with “personal slave” and yelled at everyone and often didn’t wear pants and ended up hastily moving to Canada***–that I was really glad to see him get humiliated and then incarcerated.
And we all learned a very special lesson about not making deals with shady Russian convicts.
**Or “the Starktriarch”, as I like to call him.