A visual poetry book
By Rev. Lloyd George ...

Friday, May 07, 2010

Iron Man 2 Review

Not that I was dying to see Iron Man 2 at the first moment possible, but hey, it's Ohio and I'm unemployed and don't have to get up for work in the morning, so there I was at the midnight show with other guys in my situation (I imagine) and high school seniors who don't have to show up at school tomorrow.

The thing I love about movies (I, of course, prefer the term "film," because of an academic background, but whatever) is that the good ones work on many different levels without trying too hard. No preaching, no didactic finger wagging, just an entertainingly immersive story that, okay - could help you forget your troubles and make you laugh - but also maybe, perhaps, from which you can walk away with a kernal of wisdom that may come in handy someday.

I'll keep this short and sweet. Knowing the back story of Tony Stark aka Iron Man, played by Robert Downey Jr., isn't that important. You'll get filled in. The movie delivers on action, conflict, character intimacy (that's called Story, by the way) and oh yeah, special effects, acting, directing and spectacle (that's called Filmmaking).

What got me is that as a PG-13 film, kids and teenagers (and geeks like me) are drawn in by the Marvel comic book hero Iron Man (thank you Stan Lee!) in order to see our hero save the day, only to come close to death and then save the day again. I'm not giving anything away here. That's the nature of comic book heroes. What you usually don't see in a PG-13 film is how paternal neglect can affect offspring well after dear old dad has been dead and gone, unless of course, that's what the film's theme is. Yes, I know. Dangling participle. Get over it.

What you usually don't see in a PG-13 film is a main character who is terminally ill and struggling to tell the person they love that they may not be around much longer and how much that person means to them, unless, of course, that is the theme of the film. See that? No dangling participle. Feel better now?

And you usually don't see a character who is too overwhelmed by what's going on in her world to perceive or sense (use whatever empathic, intuitive word you want to use here, but you get the picture) what someone she cares about is attempting to tell her in his own way, unless - - you guessed it - - that's the theme of the film.

And what you definitely don't get in a PG-13 film is a scaled-down lesson on military politics and the ramifications thereof, unless of course - - class, all together - - that is the theme of the film. It all comes together in this film elegantly, fluidly and seemingly without effort. Bravo, ladies and gentlemen of the cast and crew. Bravo.

Now is this one film gonna change the world? Who am I to say? Maybe a father that sees this film will go home and remember to tell his kids that he loves them - and mean it. Maybe he doesn't say it tomorrow or the next day, but maybe someday - - before he's gone or before his kids are too old to care or too proud/defiant to show that they care (read 'hurt'), he does. Could that change the world? You bet.

Maybe a guy or girl who sees this film will take the time to listen - I mean really listen, in order to hear - what the person that they are intimately connected to, is trying to tell them, but doesn't have the words or is having difficulty finding them. Could that change the world? What do you think?

Having worked in the business and knowing how many films are produced and released theatrically every year (along with those that never see the back door of a cineplex), it's nice to see all of the above come together in such a widely available package. Of course, it all started with the mind of one man: Stan Lee. But then, he's the guy who brought us The Amazing Spiderman, The X-Men, The Fantastic Four, Captain America, Daredevil, Silversurfer, Nick Fury and The Mighty Thor. One man. Who's still alive.

Can one film change the world? Hmmm.

Sounds like a comic book.