Sunday, 8 June 2008

Iron Man

So: Iron Man[1]. Being in that part of the Venn diagram where movies, comic books and Sci-Fi meet, this film has been much discussed in those parts of the internet I frequent. At Sci-Fi Weekly Wil McCarthy used his regular the-science-in-science-fiction column to discuss Iron Man back in April. (He gives the science a C-). More problematically, on another board someone noted that the film uses a trope known in the link as "What these people need is a honky"[2]. I note in addition that the invaluable Jim Henley has discovered some other concerns about having a rich white capitalist as a hero (his own excellent review is here).

So with all this informed commentary, what do Heckler and Kochk have to offer? What is our raison d'etre? Where is our unique selling point? Very well:

1. Theme Song. Iron Man doesn't have a theme song, which is why I came up with this one:

Iron Ma-an
He's the man,
the man with the Midas touch
An iron touch
Such a cold finger
Beckons you
Into his den of gin
But don't go in!

Sung to the tune of Goldfinger, preferably by Dame Shirley Bassey.[3]

Tim Walters responded to this with:

Iron Man, Iron Man
Does whatever an iron can
Presses shirts, any size
Sends them back Martinized
Yeah, yeah, there goes the Iron Man

To this tune, I'm assuming.

Of course the 60s Iron Man cartoon had a theme song - why didn't they try and incorporate it into the the film?

2. A Bad Joke whispered during the film:

"Is Tony Stark being ironic?"
"No, I think he gets Pepper to do his shirts for him"

3. I can confidently state that the terrorist group Ten Rings is familiar with neither Norse myth nor the A-Team. Anyone who was would know better than to lock an engineering genius in a warehouse with all the equipment needed to convert agricultural machinary into a cabbage firing bazooka in a cave and tell him to build weapons.

As for Norse myth, I'm pretty familiar with the Lay of Volund[4], and have even been known to tell a stripped down version around campfires, and the only way the references could be more obvious is if one of the terrorists had wandered in and said "Weyland Smith Hannibal Smith Tony Stark, this cunning weapon you're building for us isn't your revenge is it? It won't allow you to fly away on Swan's wings afterwards will it? Okay carry on."

Final Score: 8 rounds (I can't think of anyway to link the number 8 back to the film. Sorry.)

[1] Or as we refer to him "Gold-Titanium Alloy Man"

[2] Stark goes out to Afghanistan, has a moment of personal growth, escapes, and then comes back to defend the people. I note in mitigation that this is only part of Stark's story, rather than being the entire narrative.
[3] Potential Iron Man/ James Bond crossover - Gold-Titaniumalloyfinger with the sequel The Man with the Gold-Titanium Alloy Gun
[4] It's been out for at least 1100 years, so you've only yourself to blame if this is a spoiler for you. Here's Auden's translation.


  1. Thanks for the link!

    They actually do incorporate the 60s theme song into the movie. The orchestra plays it during the Vegas awards ceremony.

  2. Since I was completely unaware of the original theme song until after I went to see the film, and it's a month ago, it's not surprising I missed that. And why write a review when you link to someone who's done all their research properly? :)

    I'm not especially into Iron Man, so went to the cinema with a completely open mind and an intention to enjoy the film for what it was. We were pleasantly surprised; why shouldn't all superhero movies be this good. Actually, why shouldn't all movies be this good?