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Too Much Iron

Iron Man 2

I'd love to dismiss Iron Man 2 as just another meaningless, big dumb popcorn comic-book flick, but I could not help but feel a creeping dread at what seemed like its unquestioned celebration of the military-industrial complex, a techno-fascist orgy of weaponry, violence, greed, power, bimbos, and partying. Did I detect a whiff of the pathetic Iron Man character as a veiled portrayal of America in 2010: arrogant, narcissistic, drunk on power and money?

Anthony Lane's New Yorker critique of this film was dead-right when he made the observation that at his core, the Iron Man character is just plain bored, and all the flash and noise is simply masking a deep inner emptiness.

Funny, isn't it, how in the 60s and 70s, the ultra-modern, spectacular waterfront mansions were always depicted as the lairs of the evil villian and his army of henchmen, and the movies' plots were always about the hero's mission to stop villians set on world domination or destruction. Today, the hero's the one with the mansion, and world domination as well, and the movie plot is about how he may be losing both.

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The Friendly Orange Glow: The Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture, by Brian Dear
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