Monday, June 13, 2011

Superhero Movies: Ironman Syndrome

Well, here it is. My written defense statement as to why I didn't like Ironman. I have been absolutely BLASTED by my lack of interest in this movie, as it seems to be everyone's favorite. Common responses include, "Are you insane?" "Did you even WATCH it?" "Is there something wrong with your brain?" And on, and on, and on...

I will now explain Ironman Syndrome, the #1 reason why I didn't like Ironman (there are other reasons, but I won't delve into those at the moment).

In the last 5 years or so, Hollywood has become infatuated with superheroes. Batman, Spiderman, Superman, X-Men, Ironman, even the Fantastic 4 made an appearance. Some of these movies were epic (most notably the Batman reboot, as well as X2 and the latest X-men: First Class), while others were duds, including Ironman.

Ironman Syndrome, quite simply, is the tendency for superheroes, at the climax, to fight himself at the end of the movie. Lack of originality, "sticking to the book," and sucky directors can all be responsible for this, but the effect is the same: anti-climatic. How can Ironman be considered a good movie when the final villain is a larger, stronger version of Ironman, without much else in regards to modifications? Seriously, would it take much to create a different type of villain for Ironman to fight? (Not to mention the need for Penny to save Ironman's life, which is lame on so many levels).

Hulk suffers from the same thing. X-Men: Wolverine? Same problem. Ironman 2? Isn't it the same type of guy, but this time with a simply anti-climatic 5 second "battle?"

The Dark Knight, in contrast, shows the awesomeness of a villain done RIGHT. The Joker, in comparison to Batman, is NOTHING like the caped crusader, a difference which he himself acknowledges ("this is when an immovable object encounters an unstoppable force."). X-Men, too, usually leaves the viewers with beautiful battles between foes with very different powers and abilities. Can it be that hard to work into the Ironman script?

There you have it. Watch out for Ironman Syndrome in the future. It seems to be a favorite of cheap Hollywood directors. As for me, I'll continue looking for quality in Superhero movies.


  1. I was ok with the first Ironman, but I hated the second one. Saw it once, and that was once too many. A huge disappointment.
    I liked Wolverine mostly because he's by far my favorite X-Man. But you make valid points.
    What do you think of the Eric Bana "Hulk?" Remember when we saw it...and liked it...despite all the horrible reviews it got? At least the Hulk didn't have to "fight himself," as you put it. Thoughts?

  2. Ok, you got me. Five likes. In all my time knowing you since Ironman came out, I didn't know exactly why you hated it so much. But this is a good reason, and I agree.

    This is too bad, really, as I like Ironman. I like how he also has a character beyond the suit(Ironman wants YOU to join S.H.I.E.L.D.!), I like that he managed to hire Gwyneth Paltrow as his assistant, and he's a blatant "Strike one for the Everyman" character, as he, you know, doesn't have any powers.

    But yes. Superheroes are way cooler when they represent an ideal, and villains are awesome when they represent the opposite. Magneto is charismatic, intelligent, not insane, but has a different outlook on things than Prof. X. The reason Magneto is such a cool villain is because he tells at least part of the truth---he might be right. The same can be said of the [Dark Knight] Joker.

  3. How did I JUST find your blog?

    Anyway. You have a point. But I just really enjoy the script for Ironman. I don't care if it's not super-hero-genius if it's witty.

    And it's witty, okay??