Do superhero movies really suck?

Posted by Sanjeev 
I liked it. A little more teen angst that the previous incarnation but I suppose that was the point of teen Spidey, all along. Garfield is light years better than Tobey. Spidey is kind of a dick...I like that. Action shots were well done, though some of the 1st person scenes were a little too busy. Crane scene was cheesy. Ambivalent about the Lizard.

---------------------------------
[pgaijin.blogspot.com]
Sanjeev (Admin)
So I'm in the middle of this funny e-mail conversation with a couple buddies regarding the upcoming Avengers movies. Y'all have probably heard by now, but Whedon's signed on for Avengers 2...and Guardians of the Galaxy's definitely happening. And much to MY personal delight, more Thanos will be featured in both.

In the course of our collective nerdgasming, I made some comment about how I wasn't all that psyched with how Thanos looked at the end of Avengers. See, the initial glorious shock of the Thanos reveal has worn off. A little. And now my mind has recovered enough to grasp more than just his presence in these movies. Naturally, they told me I sounded like a greedy fuck. "Ya got Thanos. FUCKING THANOS. Now you're gonna split hairs about how he looks???"

But such is the folly of Man (read in Morgan Freeman voice).

So I found a clip of the scene online and took a screenshot of it. And I realized what wasn't sitting right with me: his friggin' eyes. The "whites" of his eyes are...white...and he has glowing blue irises. BUH? No. This is Thanos:



His eyes are all-black...abyssal. [I know, I know..."WTF Brutish Dog is pink!"] But anyway, like in the image above, when he gets a lil randy, tiny white burning sparks appear...usually along with a shit-eating grin on his yap.

So I got to photoshoppin':


I had to crank up the brightness on the screenshots because they look dark as hell on my crappy work monitors. Fellow Thanos fans out there...whadda y'all think?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/20/2012 04:15PM by Sanjeev.
Attachments:
open | download - rougish_eyes.jpg (267.5 KB)
Is that a... U.S. War Machine?


-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/20/2012 07:48PM by asterphage.
Attachments:
open | download - tgegergerg.png (262.3 KB)
mcfitch (Admin)
Well aren't Thanos' pupils actually tiny white skulls?
-Mason

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Matthewalt "I actually kinda LIKE that approach! You know: let's make a TOY. Remember those? Products designed to be played with without breaking? DO YOU REMEMBER, LOVE?!"
Sanjeev (Admin)
Wasn't the tiny white skull thing from one of the original-original Starlin-written/drawn Thanos stories? I definitely feel like I remember that being pre-Ron Lim.
Once Thanos hit Hollywood, he was pressured into wearing coloured contacts. It's a hard town, can't blame him too much.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Quote
Supersentai
Once Thanos hit Hollywood, he was pressured into wearing coloured contacts. It's a hard town, can't blame him too much.

Yeah, it's messed up, man...

Blue contacts on a person of color, huh? He IS purple, y'know!
Is the Resident Ebil series really a super-hero franchise in a rubber zombie mask? I saw the fifth entry and, despite the "horror" gloss, it seems to fit the standard criteria. An intimate, recurring cast of heroes and villains with "powers" that wear sexy-tacticool outfits and keep acting out recurring "save / kill humanity" stories of apocalyptic proportions. Hell, after five entries they've worked through the standard superhero three act structure of: origin of powers, crisis of faith that weakens powers, renewed commitment to cause that restores powers and saves the world.

For anyone interested, the film was predictably big, dumb, and mind-numbingly fun. The opening credits were surprisingly interesting though. So was the apperance of the Zerg army at the end. I hope we get a sixth part that will be just absolutely insane. I can't wait.
Quote
Gcrush
Is the Resident Ebil series really a super-hero franchise in a rubber zombie mask?

The games definitely are not. They've evolved from a game that emphasized the frailty of their hero, based on running away, conserving bullets, and cursing the game's dodgy shooting and awkwardly cinematic camera angles, into a game where you're basically Rambo and the designers are grasping for ways to slow you down and create some tension.

Is the new movie worth seeing in theaters? I haven't seen one in ages. I didn't even realize a fourth one had come out until the fifth one was announced. Should I go for a matinee of this new one, or should I just catch up on DVD later? Will I need to have seen the last two to have any idea what's going on now? I know they're introducing more characters from the games (including Li Bingbing as Ada! I loved her in Detective Dee) but I'm sure my knowledge of the game backstory won't help with the new and surely convoluted film continuity.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
Quote
asterphage
Quote
Gcrush
Is the Resident Ebil series really a super-hero franchise in a rubber zombie mask?

The games definitely are not. They've evolved from a game that emphasized the frailty of their hero, based on running away, conserving bullets, and cursing the game's dodgy shooting and awkwardly cinematic camera angles, into a game where you're basically Rambo and the designers are grasping for ways to slow you down and create some tension.

Is the new movie worth seeing in theaters? I haven't seen one in ages. I didn't even realize a fourth one had come out until the fifth one was announced. Should I go for a matinee of this new one, or should I just catch up on DVD later? Will I need to have seen the last two to have any idea what's going on now? I know they're introducing more characters from the games (including Li Bingbing as Ada! I loved her in Detective Dee) but I'm sure my knowledge of the game backstory won't help with the new and surely convoluted film continuity.

Yeah, I should have specified that I was thinking about the films, not the games.

As for seeing the new film... Well, the effects and story are about on par for the franchise. Unless you've been keeping up with its BIG DUMB FUN style of entertainment, some points are likely to be incomprehensible such as the (surprisingly interesting) opening scene which takes place immediately after the end of the fourth film. You might want to consult Wikipedia to refresh, though Project Alice literally catches up the audience at the beginning with a really awkward expository monolog. [Highlight to read a spoilery example.]

Half the cast is comprised of clones; while this makes no sense (they were all just clones all along?!?), you just have to roll with it in order to understand why you are seeing so many recycled faces.

Having said that, I can't think of any reason to go see it in public at full price unless you enjoy the embarassment of having to defend your poor choices should you run into anyone you know. But if you have a $5 matinee around - yeah, totally worth it. While there are some cheesy fly-at-the-camera shots clearly designed to capitalize on a 3D viewing (of which we did not partake), unless you're genuinely swayed by that type of thing there isn't a reason you couldn't "enjoy" it on the small screen just as well.
Did someone mention The Chroncile in this thread?

White it started out feeling like The Craft for boys, it ended feeling like an Americanized remake of Akira.

Neither of those are indictments of the film, which I thought was a slightly above-average superhero story.

The handicam work and sloppy compositing in special effects, on the other hand, were more distracting than necessary.
Quote
Gcrush
Having said that, I can't think of any reason to go see it in public at full price unless you enjoy the embarassment of having to defend your poor choices should you run into anyone you know. But if you have a $5 matinee around - yeah, totally worth it. While there are some cheesy fly-at-the-camera shots clearly designed to capitalize on a 3D viewing (of which we did not partake), unless you're genuinely swayed by that type of thing there isn't a reason you couldn't "enjoy" it on the small screen just as well.

Oh, we don't have $5 matinees in NYC... we have, like, $9 matinees. Maybe $7 at some theaters. It's brutal.

I'm not a big 3D fan. Few recent 3D images have really captured my heart. (some sequences in Coraline; the one sequence in Avatar where he first tries out his new alien body and runs through the garden and sinks his toes into the soil.) I do appreciate a big screen for a big, exciting image, though. I saw Premium Rush recently, since it was showing in fewer and fewer theaters each week, and that movie was just so well shot and edited that the big screen could only make it more gripping and exhilarating.

But given your other points, I think I'll wait and just gorge on the series at home sometime.



I liked Chronicle a lot! I thought they did a great job of depicting the emotional problems of the lead kid. My favorite detail was how he wasn't uncomfortable joking around with his friends unless it was at someone else's expense. A lot of what that character does is to avoid the perception that he's vulnerable, or the risk of any further discomfort to his battered ego. I also really loved the shot in the junkyard where he talks about evolution and demonstrates his power on an old car.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
@Paul The flag draped suit is Iron Patriot. Norman Osborn (yeah, Green Goblin) was put in charge of a S.H.I.E.L.D. equivalent, and swiped a Stark armor and painted it up 'Murrican style. That armor is supposedly in IM3.

---------------------------------
[pgaijin.blogspot.com]
Sure, but since Sony has Norman, and they're presumably not doing a H.A.M.M.E.R. / Dark Reign storyline in the movies, as that would rope in the whole Avengers franchise, I don't really see anything from the Iron Patriot story actually fitting in to Iron Man movie continuity?

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
Ah, I thought you were inquiring about the suit's origins. I'm sure they are just using the armor for the movie, not the comic storyline.

---------------------------------
[pgaijin.blogspot.com]
Yeah, I'm wondering what this means for the story. I'm still guessing it's going to be something more like the U.S. War Machine plot where the government steals Stark's tech and he has to deal with it.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
Sanjeev (Admin)
Y'all've probably seen this already, but...
[www.youtube.com]

Ben fucking Kingsley as The Mandarin. I love it. Good casting for a (hopefully well-written) villain elevates any movie. And you can't cast much better than Kingsley. Fucking beast.

And, hey, it's not like Kingsley hasn't played an Asian before! ;)
I guess with a Chinese company financing a big chunk of the movie, they couldn't have "The Mandarin" be completely Chinese...still, I'm confidently Kingsley will totally own the role and the trailer certainly makes the movie seem more exciting than "Iron Man 2"....

I had to chuckle a bit at RDJ's voiceover about being "haunted" by the events in New York and having nightmares...tonally as a movie, "Avengers" felt like a fun romp with the heroes making short and easy work of the Alien invaders... nothing to indicate leaving psychological scars on the heroes. But I get them wanting to deepen the characters for these films...
Sanjeev (Admin)
Well, Chinese or white, I'm cool with the casting...since Kingsley's obviously so GOOD (I thought Rourke was a great choice in IM2, but he was woefully under-utilized). And I know Daredevil was universally reviled, but I loved the choice to cast Michael Clarke Duncan (RIP) as the Kingpin...he was the best thing about that movie.

Quote
H-man
I had to chuckle a bit at RDJ's voiceover about being "haunted" by the events in New York and having nightmares...tonally as a movie, "Avengers" felt like a fun romp with the heroes making short and easy work of the Alien invaders... nothing to indicate leaving psychological scars on the heroes. But I get them wanting to deepen the characters for these films...

Oh, I actually assumed all the "haunted" stuff was specifically surrounding the Extremis armor. I'm no expert in modern IM books, but it's my understanding that that thing's pretty fucking invasive. Like, that scene where the armor grabs Pepper as she's reaching for a sleeping Tony? I don't think that's a dream sequence...

Anyway, my guess is that the Extremis armor was somehow developed *from* Chitauri/Skrull/Deviant/whatever tech lifted from the NY battle.
Looks promising. I was really disappointed in the second IM, but this one looks like it could be good.
Quote
Sanjeev
And you can't cast much better than Kingsley. Fucking beast.

I believe you mean sexy beast.


Quote
H-man
I had to chuckle a bit at RDJ's voiceover about being "haunted" by the events in New York and having nightmares...tonally as a movie, "Avengers" felt like a fun romp with the heroes making short and easy work of the Alien invaders... nothing to indicate leaving psychological scars on the heroes. But I get them wanting to deepen the characters for these films...

Well, everyone did mostly have a lot of fun beating the aliens, but Tony was the only one who almost died in space, and saw the alien armada firsthand. I could see how, once the significance of that (and the insignificance, relatively, of Earth's mightiest heroes) sets in, he might be shaken.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
Quote
Sanjeev
Well, Chinese or white, I'm cool with the casting...since Kingsley's obviously so GOOD.

Anyway, my guess is that the Extremis armor was somehow developed *from* Chitauri/Skrull/Deviant/whatever tech lifted from the NY battle.

I'm reserving any reaction until we know that this isn't just another case of yellow-face.

As for reverse engineered alien tech, I like the idea but isn't that too sophisticated a concept to expect from the average movie script?

Totally unrelated, unless you count Iron Man's armor never getting any slimmer or more ergonomic, but is the "Noisy Cricket" in M.I.B. one of the only cases of Hollywood accurately depicting the way technology generally progresses to provide significantly more powerful things using smaller materials?
I was quite excited by the trailer. When things go badly for our heroes, it's good for drama. In Iron Man 2, nothing really went badly for our heroes. Hence it sucked.

Quote
Gcrush
Totally unrelated, unless you count Iron Man's armor never getting any slimmer or more ergonomic, but is the "Noisy Cricket" in M.I.B. one of the only cases of Hollywood accurately depicting the way technology generally progresses to provide significantly more powerful things using smaller materials?

Um, briefcase armor in IM2 -- the only thing about the sequel I really liked?

Best, Ken-A
Sanjeev (Admin)
I thought they were going to start touching upon his alcoholism in IM2...but instead they went with the whole palladium poisoning thing. Meh.
"As for reverse engineered alien tech, I like the idea but isn't that too sophisticated a concept to expect from the average movie script?"

Funny you say that, G. There is a short film tacked on to the Avengers DVD that does exactly that...a human finds a non-functional chitauri gun and manages to get it working again. Robs a bank, gets busted by SHIELD, then offered a job at SHIELD.

---------------------------------
[pgaijin.blogspot.com]
Quote
Ken-A
Um, briefcase armor in IM2 -- the only thing about the sequel I really liked?

Yeah, I forgot about that one. It did a good job of portraying how technology should work. But after it got destroyed Tony went back to using the clunky-style suit, so I guess the director or script just abandoned the concept. It looks like they're still going with clunky-monkey for IM3, too. Maybe it test-marketed better with kids.


Quote
hillsy
"As for reverse engineered alien tech, I like the idea but isn't that too sophisticated a concept to expect from the average movie script?"

Funny you say that, G. There is a short film tacked on to the Avengers DVD that does exactly that...a human finds a non-functional chitauri gun and manages to get it working again. Robs a bank, gets busted by SHIELD, then offered a job at SHIELD.

Nice! I had no idea about that one. Made me think about District 9 and how there was the whole subplot about trying to reverse-engineer the Prawn weapons (which happened to look just like something from a FPS). And that made me think about the plot twist in the first Judge Dredd film where the user's DNA and supergun's pew-pew-power were tied together. I like that kind of shit and hope we see more of it.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Is it still too early to start complaining about IM3? :P
Quote
Sanjeev
Is it still too early to start complaining about IM3? :P

Complaints? I really enjoyed it!
I did too. Especially the twist. Didn't see that one coming, at all.

---------------------------------
[pgaijin.blogspot.com]
Sanjeev (Admin)
SPOILERS AHEAD...

Y'know...I thoroughly enjoyed *seeing* the movie...and while I don't over-analyze movies (at least, I don't *think* I do!), I can't help but put SOME friggin' thought into them afterwards. Otherwise, I'll likely never watch them again...and I definitely consider these Marvel Studios movies multiple-viewers. Again, I had a blast because the action and effects were over the top--even for a superhero movie--but a while after we left the theater, I began to wonder what the fuck I'd just seen...

The twist regarding the Mandarin kinda made me chuckle at the time (Kingsley is a fucking genius)...but I was a bit annoyed they "did" him that way, y'knowmsayin? Sure, the Mandarin's routed in fucked up racist "yellow scare" shit...but just having grown up with the character as more than just a flat stereotype (or maybe I just read more into him than I should've!), I was hoping he'd get more respect. But it IS a children's movie, I guess (despite the relatively high body count). I was fine with making him West Asian, instead of East (to tie him in with the Ten Rings and IM's origin), but I suppose it was too much to hope for a multi-faceted treatment of West Asia, Islam, and Western imperialism.

Or too much to hope for--*gasp*--a brown villain! :P Having yet another diabolical white guy pulling the strings just seemed MAD lazy...regardless of what my expectations for the Mandarin actually were. And speaking of diabolical white guys, I get why they tied Killian/Extremis into A.I.M., but...what the fuck...did I nod off in the theater or something...or did they just NEVER explain who the fuck A.I.M. is!? Like...I was psyched when they revealed A.I.M.'s involvement early on. I wasn't expecting a fucking MODOK appearance or anything...but I totally thought they were at least going to reveal their connection with Hydra and tie that shit in with Captain America somehow.

But nope.

They just sorta aped the conflict in The Incredibles (LOL...my girlfriend pointed this out to me!): jilted fanboy can't grow a pair, move on and get a life...so ends up making himself into a total badass just to stick it in the hot shit's face. C'mon. That's weak.

As for the effects, like I said, they were dope...and I definitely enjoyed the action. The Iron Avengers were fucking sick, but I woulda loved to've seen more screen time for them (individually showing off and actually having their names mentioned). I'd seen a solicitation for Hot Toys' War Machine Mk II, but curiously, that never showed up in the movie. Maybe in some future extended cut? I'm certainly not complaining about Iron Patriot--that suit just looks awesome! Oh, and there was some scuttlebutt of Pepper getting her suit...but obviously, Rescue wasn't in the movie at all. Bit of a let-down...

Anyway, can't think of anything else at the moment. I'll go back to not over-analyzing superhero movies now... ;)
*** SPOILERS STUFF BELOW ***



Ha... I didn't see that "The Incredibles" plot point until you pointed it out.... though I think Guy Pearce's Killian character was less obsessed with getting back at Stark for the blow off then to use it as motivation to get A.I.M. going. Yeah... we didn't see much of A.I.M as an organization outside of Killian and his Extremis goons. No henchmen in Yellow HASMAT suits and no MODOK (though if Killian somehow survives being Paltrow'd, he "could" come back as him) for a future movie.

But I really loved what they did to Mandarin which I never liked as a comic book character anyway. Racial undertones aside, I always thought he was a 2nd tier arch-villain for a 2nd tier character which Iron Man, thanks to these movies, is no longer. Plus China partly financed this movie, so no way a Chinese villain passes muster and Hollywood is doing ALOT of pandering to China nowadays (The Red Dawn remake, this movie, World War Z movie, and Transformers 4).
Sanjeev (Admin)
Quote
H-man
I think Guy Pearce's Killian character was less obsessed with getting back at Stark for the blow off then to use it as motivation to get A.I.M. going.

Maybe....but then again, he DID make it a point to mention that he contemplated jumping off the building...for *two hours*. But anyway, him coming back as MODOK would be kwazy!

The bit about China funding the movie was really interesting. I think I'd heard something about that before. Do you know *why* they funded IM3 (and all those other movies you mentioned)?? Seems a bit odd. A buddy of mine mentioned that there's a distinctly Chinese version of IM3 where the characters have been tweaked...though I'm not sure to what extent...
Oh... I was just generalizing how Hollywood is pandering towards China. Only Iron Man 3 was co-financed with a Chinese company from what I've read (there's even a different cut of the film playing in China, including scenes featuring well known Chinese actress that's all in Mandarin). With "Red Dawn" remake, the invading Chinese army were changed to "North Korean". In the book World War Z, the zombie outbreak originated from China with "Patient Zero" but I heard it's either been changed in the movie or not mentioned at all. And "Transformers 4" is currently sponsoring a reality/game show in China to find 4 extras to win "speaking roles" for the movie, including a " precocious Lolita" type, a Kung Fu fighter, a computer geek, and a sexy lady.

Really.
The brown guy *wants* a brown guy baddie. Whitey can't win with you, can he? ;) I didn't miss the Madarin, a bit. I've always considered armored fellas like Titanium Man and Crimson Dynamo his true arch-enemies. Stane and Hammer, too.

---------------------------------
[pgaijin.blogspot.com]
I'm reminded of this: [www.youtube.com]

I get where 'Jeev is coming from, but even if they made Kingsley's villian the real Mandarin, you still wouldn't have a brown villain, just another yellow-faced one.

The way the filmmakers handled that dilemma was pretty smart, directly calling attention to the fraudulent nature of that problematic McChink role by outing it as a joke.

I loved the ten-alien-rings setup when I was a kid, and it would have been cool to see them in (live) action. Still, the villain they did come up with was passable. I was talking to someone after the movie about how not going with the ten rings allowed the filmmakers to avoid another ridiculous backstory and the introduction of a strange magical element into an otherwise sci-fi hero story, and the guy said, "Well, you had dudes breathing fire instead."

Point taken.

Overall, I enjoyed this movie much more than the second one...I thought it was more cleverly written and the deemphasis (until the end) on metal-man bashing and the emphasis on Tony's situation (particularly the side story with the kid) was neat. For some reason--and I'd understand if people hated that side story--the human drama in this story felt more believable and tenable (the PTSD versus I've-got-daddy-issues from the second movie).

Though one does wonder why almost dying from an alien attack is that much more traumatic and anxiety-inducing than almost dying in a cave full of terrorists.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/08/2013 12:48AM by gingaio.
I think it was the aspect of him not fully being able to explain the wormhole/Chitauri events. He can fully understand a cave full of terrorists. His ego is so big, that when he sees something bigger than him out there, and can't wrap his head around it, it causes him anxiety.

---------------------------------
[pgaijin.blogspot.com]
Good point, Hillsy.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Oh, interesting. Thanks for that info, Harvey. I had no idea China's influence was like *that*! Pretty wild.

And why am I not surprised in the slightest about a Chinese reality tv show for casting Transformers 4...?

Quote
hillsy
Whitey can't win with you, can he? ;)

LOL Nope!

Quote
hillsy
I didn't miss the Madarin, a bit. I've always considered armored fellas like Titanium Man and Crimson Dynamo his true arch-enemies. Stane and Hammer, too.

I tend to agree, but I *did* think the Mandarin ranked pretty high up there among IM villains. And I kinda dug where I thought they were going with him (making him West Asian instead of East to tie him in with terrorism and IM's movie origin). It's similar to the Crimson Dynamo-Whiplash mash-up they did in part 2, which I thought was just as neat (even if Mickey Rourke was grossly underutilized).

Anyway, Chieh, I said the same exact thing about the Mandarin's rings being a pretty sketchy endeavor to explain in the magic-free context of these movies. I guess they coulda come up with *something*...but it might have seemed pretty corny...along with the rest of his character...

But then again, I wouldn't really call Killian a "passable" villain. Again, we're starting with the psychology of a chump (see The Incredibles)...then you make him really hot. Literally *and* figuratively! Sure, make him breathe fire, I guess. And he's inexplicably strong...and can heal fast. And that's it.

Kinda lame.

If they'd exposed the Mandarin to be a dipshit, like they did...AND supplanted him with a legitimately *AWESOME* villain, I'd be far more apt to forgive them. But instead we got jerky white people who got really hot. Eh.

And on top of that, I thought they were going to head in the direction of the *actual* comic book Extremis storyline. Like, it was Extremis (yes, another modern-day attempt at recreating the super-soldier serum...which, like AIM, would have blended *seamlessly* with the movie story arc!) that allowed Tony to control the armor with his mind...and drive him a little nuts.

Not going in that direction just seems like yet another missed opportunity...

Don't get me wrong--I still enjoyed IM3. But its superficiality will probably mean few repeat viewings. I was telling my buddy the other night that IM3 was the total opposite in a lot of ways to Captain America for me. I didn't enjoy Cap very much when we first saw it...whereas I loved seeing IM3 (the 3D helped, I think--I'm a sucker for that shit!). But ultimately, even if Cap wasn't executed well, it had a great plot and a solid premise. IM3's execution was pretty much flawless (action, acting, pacing, etc.)...but it was paper-thin...
Quote
Sanjeev
But then again, I wouldn't really call Killian a "passable" villain. Again, we're starting with the psychology of a chump (see The Incredibles)...then you make him really hot. Literally *and* figuratively! Sure, make him breathe fire, I guess. And he's inexplicably strong...and can heal fast. And that's it.

Kinda lame.

I guess when it comes to superhero villains, I can't really think of one, at least from the movies from the couple of decades or so, that was all that interesting besides Ledger's Joker and maybe Magneto. Were there any others that rose above being a simply drawn caricature (Red Skull, Loki, Obidiah Stane, Whiplash, Bane, Sebastian Shaw, etc...)? Or it unrealistic to expect more?

Yeah, Killian follows the Incredibles template, but even that was a riff on the more classic villain-as-fractured-reflection (and/or byproduct)-of-hero construct...for me, the classic example is Joker from Killing Joke. In that case, the Joker wasn't a spurned fanboy, but he was inadvertently created by Batman and comes back to bite Batman in the ass. Similar enough.

Killian as a more ambulatory Stephen Hawking was mildly amusing, I guess. I'm not saying this villain rises above, but his presence does serve the thematic concerns of the movie, which I read as follows:

The movie is riffing on the idea of false/empty identities, so you've got the three central figures (Tony, Killian, and Mandarin) who are all hiding behind their various suits (which is why the new armor being remote controlled works so well...it's literally hollow). And the hero's journey in this case is really about Tony coming to the realization that he can't live a happy life in concert with this superhero identity, which is becoming both more harmful to him (it's deeply connected to his anxiety/PTSD), and more foreign (think about how often Tony has trouble putting on his armor in this movie, how much trouble he has "communicating" with it). That's why it's important that his armor/superhero identity actually attacks Pepper and becomes the target that leads his enemies to him. And so, he has to somehow break out of his "cocoon" (Stark's words) and reestablish/reaffirm himself as simply Tony.

Forgive me if this is totally obvious and already overstated by the movie, but this is why I thought Killian served, at the very least, a useful story purpose beyond just being the bad guy. He's a monster hiding behind a fake face, and it's why when Tony detonated the armor after first wrapping Killian in it, it was a symbolic way of emphasizing how much Tony had come to associate his armor/false identity with the evils in his life. ("We create our own demons" leads us to think about Killian, but it also refers to the armor/identity that Tony's created for himself, and the various identities the villains have created for themselves...it's also why it's so ironic that Tony is telling this story to Banner, who no doubt already learned this lesson a long time ago and is having trouble keeping himself awake for Tony's pithy fortune-cookie insights).

Anyway, fire-breathing dudes were creepy, which I can't say for a lot of other superhero villains.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 05/08/2013 08:17PM by gingaio.
Sanjeev (Admin)
^^Haha...now THAT was deep! I love discussing shit with a lit teacher!

Anyway, I can dig that that's what they were going for (the whole identities thing)...and that's pretty cool...I just wish that had maintained that theme *while* making Killian more interesting. These aren't mutually exclusive goals.

See, I actually LIKED some of those villains you mentioned...a *lot* more than Killian, in fact. Loki and Stane were well-acted and even if they were a little flat, they simple "worked", in the context of the movies they were in (in my opinion). Even if there wasn't much to them, they were realistic enough to allow my mind to fill in the blanks, as it were, and make them appear well-rounded.

I think the respective writers failed in doing that with villains like Red Skull, Killian, Bane, or even Whiplash. I guess there just wasn't enough there to make for a subconscious "fill in the blanks" thing.

Plus, I didn't find anything about jerks breathing fire with glowing red eyes remotely creepy. I'm a Godzilla fan...and you just can't fake the funk. ;)
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login

footer