Commentary: Iron Man
By Iago Valentine
I hope everyone realizes how important Iron Man is to modern society. I get worried that perhaps the Iron avenger is being taken for granted. Take the 2009 Oscars, for example. Specifically, the award for best visual effects. In case you don’t remember, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button beat out Iron Man, among others. Regardless of the category, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button should never have beat Iron Man for an award.
Before I get to the visual effects, let’s discuss how amazing Robert Downey Jr. is as Iron Man. Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man is an eccentric, charming, ego-maniacal genius with substance abuse problems that, despite his short comings remains endearing and successful. Sound familiar? This sort of cosmic synergy of real life and art represents the solidification and personification of a modern day mythological archetype.
Let’s back-track and savor what a slap in the face Benjamin Button was to entertainment. Any fifth grader with a box of crayons and a pair of safety scissors would eventually land on the same premise given enough time and juicy juice. “Oh, wow a guy that ages backwards, does he have a dog that turns into a cat?” “Does he make sandwiches with the bread in the middle?” In terms of cosmic synergies, has Brad Pitt had any experiences in his life with reverse aging syndromes? No, he hasn’t, I know because we’re pals.
Frankly, there is no comparison of the visual effects between Iron Man and the Boring Case of Binky Buttsacks. And honestly, if you want to spend all day putting old-man Brad Pitt faces on midgets and designing wrinkly-butt-skin-suits then you sicken me. I will be over with the cool kids, making ion powered jet boots and shoulder mounted plasma rifles.
Iron Man is the most relevant super hero of our times, and his story is no less than a metaphor for our world’s struggle for redemption. Most super heroes have lost credibility over time. We know that radioactive spider bites would probably not bestow the proportional speed and strength of a spider. Radiated insect bites would make your skin fall off and your fingernail beds bleed. Likewise, a man subjected to intense bursts of gamma radiation would not become immensely strong. He may turn green, but not in a cool way, in a horrible way instead, like mold.
The concept of Iron Man becomes more viable every day. Advances in technology, micro processors, battery capacity, and wireless networking are moving at an exponential rate. It is not unbelievable to conceive that a suit of “power armor” with wondrous abilities could exist when funded by a multi-billionaire. Our modern familiarity and acceptability of technology may have obfuscated how stunning the visual effects in Iron Man were but, that accessibility is only further evidence of its aptness.
Iron Man represents our society’s lost humanity and our reliance upon technology, which further alienates and isolates us, even as it promises to keep us in greater contact with each other than ever. Iron Man dons the mantle of our techno-avarice literally, as armor with which to bring justice and peace to the world. Also, he could have fixed Benjamin Button with his geneto-matrix structuring and amplification chamber.