We Interrupt the Genre Discussion for Iron Man 2: Metallic Boogaloo?

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.



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I'm Izzy. I write stuff: mostly vaguely fantasy stuff, and most notably the following books: Hickey of the Beast, published March 2011 by Candlemark and Gleam Romance novels from Sourcebooks: No Proper Lady Lessons After Dark Legend of the Highland Dragon The Highland Dragon's Lady Night of the Highland Dragon Highland Dragon Warrior Highland Dragon Rebel Highland Dragon Master I also like video games, ballroom dancing, and various geeky hobbies like LARPing. I have been known to voluntarily purchase and eat circus peanuts. Like, a whole bag at once.

7 thoughts on “We Interrupt the Genre Discussion for Iron Man 2: Metallic Boogaloo?”

  1. I enjoyed the movie for generally the same reasons that you did, and have only two comments to make here:

    1) I did like Black Widow for being competent and not, you know, evil. I liked Pepper okay too, but I liked her better in the first movie when she was doing less uptight twitching and jealous sniping and the Inevitable Romantic Subplot was, well, slightly less Inevitable.

    and 2) I have never liked any character that Sam Rockwell has played. Ever. They always end up being smarmy jerkfaces on the creepy end of the socially awkward spectrum instead of the cute one. Always. So I wasn’t really surprised when Hammer turned out to be a smarmy jerkface in need of humiliation and jail time, really.

    1. I did like Black Widow for being competent and not, you know, evil.

      Yep. And also not dying, which I forgot to mention but is the other sucky way of handling the situation.

      I liked Pepper okay too, but I liked her better in the first movie when she was doing less uptight twitching and jealous sniping and the Inevitable Romantic Subplot was, well, slightly less Inevitable.

      Precisely. And I wouldn’t have minded the IRS–heh–if not for the twitchy uptight jealous thing. In the first movie, she had this whole relaxed almost Jeeves-esque quality about her–her boss, though a genius in certain ways, was dumb as a box of hair in others, she knew that deal and she rolled with it–and that rocked, and I didn’t need her to be Kung Fu Action Girl or anything, but…I dunno, I feel like her character took a sharp turn into Carrie Bradshawville in this movie, and ew.

      And I know Tony was acting more irresponsible and party-guy than usual, what with the last-days-on-Earth thing and all, and I’m sure that contributed, but it still bugs me. Especially the jealousy thing.

      I don’t think I’ve seen Rockwell in anything else–well, except Galaxy Quest, but that was a while ago–but yeah, smarmtastic.

      1. He played essentially the exact same character, but with vaguely better skills at hiding his evil, in Charlie’s Angels (a movie I contend has some of the best action pacing around).

  2. I have many, many thoughts on the movie, which I may be better able to express after I own it on DVD or at least finish reading the novelization.

    I have like at least one character Sam Rockwell played, who wasn’t a smarmy jerkface: Flute in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Prior to seeing that I didn’t know who Sam Rockwell was, but afterward I needed to. And I liked him in Galaxy Quest, where he basically only played a smarmy jerkface on TV.

    But IM2… It had too many plots in it. And I hate Tony Stark. Because he an asshole, but also rich, and I am a socialist who has had bad experiences with assholes and people with untreated mental illness.

    I want Pepper to be in charge forever because Tony sucks, but also he does better without responsibilities, and Pepper is awesome. I wish she would have either not quit or not taken the job in the first place. Did she not already know that she had problems with stress and anxiety? But really I want her to be in charge forever and just get better stress management. I liked most of the interaction between Pepper and Natasha, too. Pepper/Tony makes me want to spork out my eyes. Or at least someone’s eyes.

    The drones were great and having Whiplash show up to fight at the end was stupidly anticlimactic, I thought. Rhodey makes me care about what Tony does because Rhodey cares and is awesome. Totally with you on the father issues and why did they even put the dying of poison plot in the movie? Grrr argh!

    1. Late Response Girl says: Rhodey is the best. And looks damn good in a uniform, too. I’m just saying.

      Also, yes. I also feel like Pepper would be fine being in charge if Tony wasn’t in his OMGDEATHWHAT spiral. And yeah, I’m not loving the romance there. Which is strange, because I could totally dig a Jeeves/Wooster sort of thing but with sex (er, with more sex than canon, anyhow, the Internet being the Internet), but…I dunno, it doesn’t work as well with those particular characters.

      Pepper/Rhodey, OTOH, would be made of win.

  3. 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


    1. Heh, yeah.

      I put up with way more than a smart person would have, but I was your typical wide-eyed 24-year-old who was just glad to get a job vaguely relevant to my degree. I think the last straw was when he sent me out to hand out fliers for his condo. In January. And had his wife put makeup on me first.

      When you turn into a fallen woman in a Dickens novel, it’s probably time to leave the job. 😉

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