Sometimes I’m a bit baffled by the choice of American films released in Korea. For example, the Don Cheadle flick Talk to Me has just made it to Korean theaters – a year after its original release date! Meanwhile, I have yet to find Forgetting Sara Marshall or Baby Mama on the streets of Kagnam. Fortunately, you can always count on mega blockbusters like Iron Man to pervade Asian theaters in a timely manner.
Iron Man was a pleasant surprise. For those of you who are living under a rock, here’s a synopsis:
Tony Sparks is an ingenious inventor who’s made millions of dollars selling his weapons of mass destruction to the military, or so he thinks. (BTW, He is also a 바람둥이). During a business trip to an arid (Is it politically incorrect if I say the Middle East?) terrorist country, he’s captured by an ethnically unspecific group of insurgents. The terrorists give him an ultimatum: Build us your latest missile, or you die. Of course, Sparks agrees to build the missile. However, while cleverly pretending to build the weapon—actually, he doesn’t even pretend. Rather than building the missile, he openly builds a protective suit that surpasses anything that Inspector Gadget could ever build.
I should also mention that during his abduction, Sparks had shrapnel lodged in his chest. Fortunately, an adorable little doctor manages to save Sparks by installing some magnetic generator thing in his chest, which Tony later replaces with a glowing orb. Anyway, I think the point of the glowing yo-yo in his chest is to power the iron suit.
Ok, let’s fast forward. With the suit, Tony manages to escape and set off a lot of bombs. The U.S. military then finds Tony. Tony returns to Malibu with a complete change of heart. He no longer wants to make weapons that will be used to kill people. Rather, he decides to build a titanium suit that will enable HIM to kill BAD people. As Tony tries to perfect his new suit, the terrorists back in the desert get a hold of Tony’s original designs (Dude, you couldn’t even burn the designs for your suit?) and set out to build their own iron suit.
I’ve sort of simplified the conflict a bit, but I don’t want to give too much away. All I have to say is, it is a general rule of thumb in action movies to be wary of bald men.
In case you’re not into action films, the movie also features a love story between Tony Sparks and army colonel Jim Rhodes, played by Academy Nominee Terrence Howard. Jim Rhodes is in charge of the weapons division for the U.S. military, yet Tony Sparks has sworn off creating weapons for the military. Will Tony’s newfound pacifism tear the bros apart? Will Tony’s secret push Rhodes away?
The film is quite entertaining. It’s humorous and action-packed, and features a winning cast. I especially like the robot characters. I’m normally not a Gywneth Paltrow fan, but she was quite likable as Tony Spark’s indispensable assistant. Her outfits were also killer. Though, I wish they did a better job with her hair color. Robert Downey is how he usually is: sardonic and charismatic, yet looks like he needs another stint in rehab. My only gripe about this film, and I suppose most other action films, is the big battle sequence. I hate it when the hero tries to save the world, while devastating half of the city in the process.
If you stick through until the end of the incredibly long credits, you’ll see a teaser for the next film. I’m not going to tell you what I saw, because, dagnabbit, if I had to sit through the whole credits, then, so must you! All I’ll say is this: Samuel Jackson.
I’m looking forward to the sequel.