For those of you who don’t know me, I was a typical boy in that comic books were an integral part of my life growing up.
On the other hand I also carried a briefcase to grammar school, but that’s beside the point.
The recent rash of comic books brought to life on the silver screen has, over all, been a thrill for me. As a result, even though I was not overly familiar with the Iron Man franchise, I was still excited to see of the new movie being released.
I was even excited enough to overcome my strong dislike of movie theaters to see it there (I’m not a “people person”). Unfortunately for me, my wife sabotaged the effort by telling me each time I asked for us to go, “Not now”. To this day she claims she did not do this.
So, I waited for the rental to arrive. And, with much fanfare, she and I sat down together on a Saturday night and used all of the bells and whistles within our modest means to maximize our (my) viewing enjoyment.
My first reaction was, “Not bad.” “Kept me entertained.”
I didn’t walk away pumped like I did from watching the first Spider-man or the second Fantastic Four, but I did have an odd desire to watch it again right away. I guess I wanted to more fully assimilate everything in the movie because I really did enjoy it.
Casting was pretty good. Certainly Robert Downey, Jr. was exceptional as Tony Stark. I may not be a fanatic on Iron Man lore but I am familiar enough with the franchise to know that Downey was a “10” as “Tony Stark”.
The last time I saw Downey in a movie that was worth remembering was as a punked-out waste-oid college kid in Rodney Dangerfield’s Back to School (which he did well, and was a hilarious movie).
He co-starred with Mel Gibson in Air America but I can’t say that I watched it all the way through.
And who doesn’t know about his extensive substance abuse problems in the late 1990s? He actually did some jail time as a result. Perhaps that was part of the personal experience that so well prepared him for the role of wealthy playboy-turned mature superhero.
My personal sense is that Downey is quick-witted (which made him particularly adept at fast-paced dialogue heavily peppered with strong cynicism—some of the best scenes in Iron Man). This may also have made him predisposed to substance abuse in the same way that Conan Doyle wrote of Holmes needing cocaine to keep his hyper-active mind entertained.
I don’t know for sure, but what I can say is that his age at the making of this movie (42) was perfect. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s a young pop star full of fame, fortune and themselves, playing the role of a hero. What makes heroes such a big box office draw is our own life experiences which, for the vast majority of us, are filled with pain and injustice. And most of us can think of several specific people who have handed that injustice to us with either disregard for our discomfort or they took perverse pleasure in it. If you could fantasize about that person or persons getting justice dealt them, who would you have do it, the Backstreet Boys, or a Delta Force team? Downey’s age and personal experience gives him something to draw on to believably portray a playboy radically matured into a hero because of things he had done wrong, things that caused him to experience a life-changing event.
The movie opens with Downey (Tony Stark) riding in a “Humm-V” convoy in the middle of what looks like Afghanistan. There is some great banter between him and the other 3 soldiers. The driver is the sharpest, responding to Stark’s question of why no one will talk to him, with assertive insightfulness of, “You intimidate them.” The driver, of course, is a female. Hollywood never ceases to throw out incessant Leftist messages such as lauding our use of women in the military, in spite of the fact that this social monkeying for political purposes has been a dismal failure. Just ask poor brutalized 5-ton truck driver Jessica Lynch, or the family of her dead platoon mate, Lori Pieastawa, or the family of female Naval aviator Kara Hultgreen.
The Navy brass decided they wanted a woman to pilot an F-14 no matter what it cost. What it cost was a $40 million F-14 and the life of Kara Hultgreen when she drove her aircraft into the pitching deck of the carrier she was trying to land on. Maybe leap-frogging her above more qualified men in flightschool wasn’t such a good idea after all.
With a sigh of relief from me, “Stark” makes light of the whole situation and even gets a laugh from the actors and the audience with his witty dialogue.
Soon, however, the convoy is overwhelmed by enemy fire that is obviously equal to or even superior to that of our own forces. The sense you have is that the entire convoy gets decimated but if you play the deleted scenes you see that isn’t the case. The rest of the convoy does survive, Stark’s friend James “Rhodey” Rhodes (Terrence Howard) included. During the commotion, however, Stark is kidnapped by an unseen enemy.
But not before he takes a chest full of shrapnel from one of his own munitions, which, unfortunately for him, were even able to penetrate his body armor.
The next scene is all too realistic, Stark is seated in the middle of a gaggle of gun-toting terrorists with a hood over his head, the unwitting participant in a propaganda video. It is in the middle of this reality that the opening splash screen clanks loudly into place:
Honestly, about as cool as it gets.
Unfortunately, the prime motivator behind the radical Islamists we fight in Afghanistan, Iraq and everywhere else—radical Islam (some might even say “Islam” period)—is never shown explicitly. I guess when there’s a chance at offending anyone who isn’t Christian, all precautions must be taken.
When it comes to an entire movie based on a book based on the idea that Jesus had sex with Mary Magdalene and wasn’t really qualified to be the Savior of mankind (the “DaVinci Code”), that’s perfectly alright.
But, different company, different Christian hater (Dan Brown, “family movie maker” Ron Howard and Tom Hanks). At least if you have a little imagination, you can make the leap from what you see on the screen to real life. This is in stark (sorry) contrast to brought-to-the-screen movies like Tom Clancy’s Sum of All Fears [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0164184/] where nuclear-armed Palestinian terrorists threaten the world with Mutually Assured Destruction (“MAD”) but were changed by Hollywood sensitivity police into, you guessed it, the safest bad-guys the world over: white, European neo-Nazis. One would’ve hoped that Clancy would’ve been a better steward of his ideas, but money is a powerful corruptor.
All in all, Marvel (who finally had the power to control Stan Lee’s metallic creation more fully in this endeavor) did a pretty good job adapting the 45 year old character to modern times without losing loyalty to the franchise. Iron Man’s original nemesis was a comic bad guy named “the Mandarin”.
Iron Man then and now deals primarily with American world conflicts. In 1963, his antagonist was the Chinese Communist-spawned “Mandarin” verses today’s Middle Eastern cut-throats.
And I have to say that I am amazed at the charity given America from “Liberal” Marvel comics and very Liberal (Hillary Clinton donating) Marvel godfather Stan Lee. I spent several movie moments wincing in my seat, waiting for the blow to come and it never did. Unlike another favorite comic movie, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer where the creators (not necessarily Marvel reps) went out of their way to take a swipe at a favorite Left-wing target; ballistic missile defense—comic character Reed Richards “made enemies” because he “testified” that our system didn’t work.
In fact, with creative quotes from Stan Lee such as this—
In 1963, Lee had been toying with the idea of a businessman superhero. He wanted to create the “quintessential capitalist”, a character that would go against the spirit of the times and Marvel’s readership. Lee said: “I think I gave myself a dare. It was the height of the Cold War. The readers, the young readers, if there was one thing they hated, it was war, it was the military. … So I got a hero who represented that to the hundredth degree. He was a weapons manufacturer, he was providing weapons for the Army, he was rich, he was an industrialist. … I thought it would be fun to take the kind of character that nobody would like, none of our readers would like, and shove him down their throats and make them like him. … And he became very popular.”
—I may bump Iron Man up past Captain America as one of my all-time favorite icons.
But the Mandarin was the one who originally kidnapped Tony Stark and wanted to exploit him for his technological genius. In a somewhat chilling sense of near-reality, this evil nemesis rose to power due to his happening upon the crashed starship of a dead alien dragon-like being and assimilating the alien race’s technology (hence the need for more advances courtesy of Tony Stark). The “mysteries” of the “10 rings” prevalent in the original “Mandarin” character were loyally worked into the plot of the movie (which I found pretty cool). I’m always impressed when a movie-maker puts special effort into origins loyalty.
I say “chilling sense of near-reality” because I am also working on a piece that may make you think twice before shrugging off cute little “ET” as just fun movie fodder.
Suddenly we are at Caesar’s Palace where Tony Stark is getting a prestigious award which also, fortunately for us in the audience, allows us to see the rise of Tony and his corporate right-hand man, Obadiah Stane (played by Jeff Bridges).
I enjoyed this scene as well because of the “growing up” shots of both “Stane” and Tony Stark. In real life, Bridges is another outspoken Hollyweird Leftist (how unusual). Almost immediately you know that his character is going to play a pivotal, if not traitorous role and I love it when Leftist putzes play bad guys that get horribly killed.
One fun example is vocal obnoxious Leftist John “What?” Travolta playing the sensitive, psychotic “Howard Saint” in a second incarnation of The Punisher. And, yes, he dies horribly in the end.
Something that comes across in the opening award ceremony is the influence of Howard Hughes on Stan Lee. Tony Stark’s father is “Howard Stark”, the actor portraying “Howard Stark” looks like Hughes and Lee says that he patterned Stark, himself, after the enigmatic magnate.
But, I have to say, Bridges, like Downey’s “Stark” was exceptional as “Obie” Stane. He looked remarkably fit for 58 and he had the “gravitas” of someone you love to hate.
For a second during the presentation, we see weapons dealer and “American hero” Tony Stark on the cover of Rolling Stone in front of an American flag. That was really pushing our suspension of disbelief.
I found the actor portraying James “Rhodey” Rhodes (Terrence Howard) — Stark’s friend — a little shallow. Especially when contrasted by the jobs Bridges and Downey pulled off. There was something missing that I couldn’t put my finger on. I liked his stern reserve but I needed more depth. Maybe it was the writing, maybe it was Howard, but that was a “miss” for me.
Word around the ‘net is that Howard wanted too much money for the already guaranteed sequel. Apparently, “Rhodey” was to have a more prominent role, perhaps even becoming the Iron Man knock-off “War Machine” and so he was axed in favor of Don Cheadle.
Guys. Don Cheadle? Are you kidding me?? Do you have a frigging clue who or what a superhero is? How can you pull off a connection like Downey for Tony Stark and then pick Cheadle to replace Howard?
OK morons, this is how you make a superhero. He needs to be mature (not a teenie heart-throb), athletic and powerfully somber, (not giddy or pop-ish like that idiot George Clooney and Chris O’Donnell in 1997’s Batman & Robin—talk about pop VOMIT), unless you have an historical precedent for a wise-cracking bad-ass like Marvel’s Spider-man or DC’s The Flash (even then it’s touch-and-go to be inspiring with those characters). Some of the best moments in the first Spider-man were Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) reliving the gravity of advice he got from his beloved uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson) regarding accountability.
“With great power, comes great responsibility.”
A thug Parker could’ve stopped with his new-found super-powers but didn’t, eventually killed uncle Ben and it forever drives Peter Parker to use his powers for the good of all. Somber pain makes the character real.
Neither Howard nor Cheadle did or will be able to pull off “heroic”.
Maybe I’m a little subconsciously jaded. I enjoy Marvel comics and knew a lot as a kid but there’s just so much going on all of the time. Just like D.C. killing off Superman. The crazy things you do to sell comics can sometimes be annoying to loyal readers.
I was never impressed with the plot twist that had Stark becoming incapacitated with alcoholism and “Rhodey” stepping in to an alternative armor that gets named “War Machine”. But when you’ve been around for 45 years, you pretty much write every story under the sun. That’s good for movie-makers who can scan across all of that time and pick out the best but bad if they screw it up.
On the other hand, the appearance of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin on the national scene has given me new appreciation for the value of race or gender for the purpose of identification. Simple identification on the grounds of race or gender, alone, can be extraordinarily dangerous, such as women identifying with Hillary Clinton or blacks identifying with Barack Obama. Given that this is what drove the nearly unanimous support of voting blacks in the past election, we will soon see the fruition of ignoring Obama’s hard radical Left agenda and simply seeing his skin color. But if the character behind the person is right, identification can be wonderful for the segment in particular who needs to see someone who looks like them in high office.
For the sake of a little boy born with dark skin who wants to read of an Iron Man who looks like him, there is “War Machine”. But if you’re going to bring War Machine to life, do it right, please. It took me 24 hours to scroll through my mind and come up with an actor more fit for the role than Don Cheadle: Cuba Gooding, Jr.
Trust me. You’ll think about it for a little while and eventually go, “Yeahhh…”
So, ambush, then flashback to award ceremony where Tony is gambling instead of accepting his award, then to a fun scene where he grants an interview with a wonderfully obnoxious, airhead-looking and sounding female from “Vanity Fair magazine”. Perfect.
The banter that ensues from Downey/Stark is the best of it’s kind. The reporter-ette is “holier-than-thou” and he attacks first her biased education (right?!) and then her biased reporting. Wow. They let a conservative sneak in the back door for an hour or two to write those lines. Hell, to set the scene up at all! I only wish that his critique, rather than being for her skipping the Stark altruistic ventures, would’ve been a little more Machiavellian in the realities of protecting America from people that wanted to cut her head off or blow her up (or worse).
But, hey, I’m surprised they got it that right.
Every once in a while, relying on a Leftist to entertain you can actually be a little fun! Was director Jon Favreau (who plays Stark’s driver “Hogan” in that very scene) responsible? A little trivia; I knew I saw Favreau before and, while researching my article, found that he has had a lot of bit parts including Kevin James’ King of Queens childhood nemesis “Sean McGee” (who mortified “Doug” by spreading the “roomer” that he had licked a trashcan). Also of special interest is the very character of “Harold (a.k.a. Harry, a.k.a. Happy) Hogan” is also an original character from Iron Man mythos.
Of course, Stark beds the reporter-ette down and, although it didn’t add anything to the movie, the interplay between the slut and Stark’s secretary, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), was also fun. Unfortunately, the annoying slut and her indignation were brought back for several scenes which upon the 3rd or 4th viewing I found more and more obnoxious.
I’m definitely not a big glamour-queen pop-tart groupie. In fact, the casting of Paltrow caught me by surprise. I wasn’t tracking it until some time into the movie when I asked myself, “Is that her? Nah. Couldn’t be.”
I didn’t think it was Paltrow because she didn’t exude the glamour-queen aura, which I actually was very pleased with. I guess the fact that her looks and reputation were what annoyed me the most about her rather than anything I’ve watched that she was in, also helped keep me from having preconceptions about pretending she is someone else (or the fact that she popped out a kid out of wedlock—not that anyone in Hollyweird would’ve called her on it!!). She definitely does not deserve her reputation, though. There were a couple of scenes that I really felt were under-done and a couple of others betrayed the giddiness that I detect when shallow people act. She was adequate.
Next we are entertained to a Stark weapons demonstration that is probably 98% pure Hollywood but still fun to watch. Even the wife knew that you don’t have VIPs in close proximity of either a weapon detonation or even launch (backblast noise, debris, etc.) but it was good movie-making.
The new munition (the “Jericho”) would soon become Stark’s downfall.
The movie lurches us back to the present where the viewer watches Stark either being tortured or operated on from ambush wounds (perhaps a little of both). It turns out that it was more “medicine” than torture but with an extraordinarily odd outcome; a Stark Industries missile was able to penetrate Tony Stark’s body armor with shrapnel and a well-meaning co-prisoner has implanted an electro-magnet powered by an external car battery into Stark’s chest in order to keep the embedded shrapnel from migrating to his heart and killing him.
For you uninitiated it comes across as pretty gross but it is a foundational part of who the historical Iron Man is. Soon Tony and fellow captive “Dr. Yinsen” (Shaun Toub) begin building a miniature “arc reactor”, a smaller version of a power source previously invented by Tony’s father, Howard Stark that powers “the shop back home”, and they replace the car battery with it. But it’s tremendous over-kill. What could we do with all that extra power?
Tony is introduced to his captors and given the proposition of making them a “Jericho” to free himself. He kindly declines and is then treated to some “persuasion”.
The similarity to “waterboarding” is a bit obnoxious and I can’t help but think there may have been an agenda there but, whereas “Tony Stark” was not being permitted to breath in his “torture”, actual “waterboarding” subjects only have a sense of drowning.
Stark finally figures out, “This isn’t working,” and agrees to build the missile for his captors. But the “missile” ends up looking a lot like a full suit of armor, powered by Stark’s new mini-reactor and complete with arm-mounted flame throwers. Pretty cool.
“Dr. Yinsen” ends up sacrificing himself to give Stark the extra time he needs to complete his build-up and this is consistent with the original comic story. Before perishing, Yinsen adjures Stark to not waste his life nor his regained freedom. Stark emerges from his underground prison where a semi-circle of terrorists shoot at him for several seconds and stop in disbelief at the lack of effect. Then, from behind his armor, Stark says, “My turn,” and roasts them all.
In fact, the few times we hear Stark’s voice through the armor are very cool. I don’t even think it’s Downey but it perfectly fits what I think Iron Man’s voice should sound like.
He then gets overwhelmed with weapons fire and has to use the suit’s doomsday weapon: some kind of rocket-fired detonation which hurls him up and away from the camp where he lands in a sand dune and recovers enough to say, “Not bad.” Well written and fun.
Stark is then rescued by Rhodey, again, true to an original comic story—although, in the original, Rhodey is a Marine Corps helicopter pilot, not Air Force (and this was one changed I wasn’t thrilled about).
He is reunited with his inner circle (including director/driver Favreau/Hogan) and demands from Ms. Potts “an American cheeseburger” and “a press conference”. Again, nice patriotic touch even if it was exploited to give Burger King a plug.
Before the conference begins, Ms. Potts is asked to intervene for an interview with Stark by “Agent Phil Coulson of the Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics Division,” to which Ms. Potts retorts, “That’s quite a mouthful.” Agent Coulson informs us that they’re “working on it”. If the minds at Marvel have their way, it will be the incarnation of “S.H.I.E.L.D.” —an “espionage/law enforcement” agency (sort of a black-ops combination of the FBI and the CIA) that is well known in Marvel comicdom. Many Marvel superheroes and superhero groups have worked for and against “S.H.I.E.L.D.” at one point or another, including Tony Stark/Iron Man.
The acronym originally stood for Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage, Law-Enforcement Division. It was changed in 1991 to Strategic Hazard Intervention, Espionage Logistics Directorate. In the 2008 Marvel Studios films Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk, the acronym stood for Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division.
This is also an idea that had its genesis in the mid 60’s (1965) when “spies” like James Bond and “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” were the rage. Creator Stan Lee borrowed “Nick Fury” from a WWII comic, gave him some grey and an eyepatch and made him the face of “S.H.I.E.L.D.”
In recent Marvel lore, Fury is bumped from heading S.H.I.E.L.D. and is replaced by, you guessed it, Tony Stark. Again, 40+ years gives you a lot of story variety. There is this alternate universe Marvel created in order to just radically alter some characters without the fuss and muss known as “creative writing”. Through one such alteration, Nick Fury was altered from the flat-top, cigar-smoking white WWII veteran with an eyepatch to a bald black guy with an eyepatch. Unfortunately for me, the older Nick Fury is the one I will always remember as “Nick Fury”. But the “new” one seems to have been desired by Marvel movie-makers.
The “news conference” does get “touchy-feely” because Stark has had his “eyes opened” about the lack of accountability his company has after seeing American soldiers killed by the weapons he built to defend them. In the real world, no one company monopolizes the Defense industry and “accountability” is there. Is it enough? That is a subject for a different debate.
But as for our story, “Obie” Stane quickly jumps in to mollify the sensationalism of the moment. Can anyone who isn’t a dunce not know that Stane is the one who is double-dealing Stark armaments? Sorry if I ruined it for you.
I might as well take a moment and discuss the whole “weapons, armies, war” thing. The Left has traditionally used “peace” as a reason to protest the U.S. military and arms industry. What they never bring up is the reason for those weapons and soldiers: bad people who don’t like us and want very much to do us harm. It’s as old as human nature, itself. In fact, it’s a direct result of human nature. That’s why “gun control” will never work nor will “nuclear disarmament”. As long as human beings remain inherently selfish and predatory, there will be a need for guns, police, tanks and soldiers. Did you ever wonder why “Code Pink” never goes to Tehran to protest? It’s so much easier to lay down in the doorway of a San Francisco Marine Corps recruiting office.
In Tehran, “alternative lifestyle protestors” like Code Pink do their “protesting” in a jail cell…or at the end of a rope.
In a gross moment, Stark “upgrades” his mini-reactor after enlisting the help of his assistant. It’s both funny and nasty but a little touching when Stark has to admit that Ms. Potts is all he has.
But Tony is still going through his “transformation”—finding his sensitive side. He shows up at a fighter pilot briefing being given by his friend “Rhodey” and, a shock about as big as the one I got from the male-dominated military in Transformers hits when you realize, there are no women being represented as fighter pilots! Again, I’m not writing a referendum on women who serve (G-d bless them), just the ludicrous policy.
Stark tries to share with “Rhodey” his new project but, when Rhodey finds out that it isn’t for the military he tells Stark to “get his mind right.”
Honestly, that’s pretty cool. A very superficial reading of this would be, “This Rhodey guy is just a war-monger.” But a deeper reading would be, “Without Stark’s weapons, a lot of vital military missions are going to collapse around the world and he’s not interested in anything but accomplishing those missions.” In the sense that Rhodey could’ve been telling Stark in the midst of his “growing up”, “grow up again, back into a better version of what you were, but still being you,” would’ve been a great plot twist and a great segway into Rhodey using Stark/Iron Man technology on behalf of the military to bring in his “War Machine” alter ego. But it wasn’t picked up on.
Now Stark gets to work upgrading his break-out armor to the “Mark II” version…but his desert enemies have found the remains of “Mark I”.
There are some humorous moments as Iron Man takes form. The holographic tech is fun to watch and Stane develops as the focal point of Tony getting forced out of heading up “Stark Industries”.
The final “Mark II” product is pretty darn cool.
The initial test flight sets you up for something big during the movie climax.
Now the notes are in for an upgrade to the “Mark III” and this one will finally bring the world-famous red and gold look. There was a little techno-jargon regarding the use of a “gold/titanium alloy” to control weight which was OK, but there is another reason for a gold alloy. A factoid that rolls around in my head (amongst many hundreds of other useless factoids) is the employment of gold in the canopies of Navy electronic warfare aircraft (such as the EA-6B “Prowler” shown below) to protect the crew from jamming radio emissions
Tony then crashes his own benefit where Stane is obviously annoyed to see him and the godfather (Stan Lee) gets his cameo impersonating one of my all-time favorite people, Hugh Hefner (now there’s someone who’ll have a lot to explain when he stands before the Judgment Seat).
I don’t know if Stark was ever involved with “Pepper Potts” but this was built some during the “benefit” but not before another run-in with “Agent Coulson from the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division.”
I guess to increase romance the producers felt the need to put Paltrow’s skinny body in a ton of make-up and wisp of a dress. A little obnoxious for an old prude like myself but certainly not a shock coming from Hollyweird.
The slut from “Vanity Fair” returns with more righteous indignation to point out an Afghan-looking town that was wiped out by, you guessed it, Stark weaponry. Very annoying, but it gives Stark a mission for his new armor—blow up misused stockpiles of his weapons. And the people misusing them.
Before he leaves, he confronts Stane and the truth is out—Stane has taken the company from him and is double-dealing weapons to the U.S. and her enemies.
A quick perfection of Iron Man’s signature weapons: “repulsors” from the palms of his gloves and it’s time to suit up.
It is a sequence that is really well done.
Our hero arrives just as the village is being sacked and he quickly repulses 3 badguys until 5 more all take hostages. We see his “head’s up display” target all 5 and munitions from his suit pop up and simultaneously take them all out. Very cool. He finds henchman #1, yanks him through a wall and turns him over to the villagers with, “He’s all yours,” and flies away.
Again, the voice that comes from the Iron Man suit is just perfect. Maybe I heard it before in a cartoon and liked it, I don’t know but it is a “10”.
Iron Man then goes to target the remaining stockpiles of “Jericho” missiles but, before he can destroy them, he gets knocked out of the sky…by a shot from a tank’s main gun.
It is the most ridiculous scene in the movie but it still has entertainment value. The tank is entirely fictitious. I don’t know, maybe we’re supposed to believe it’s a really advanced Stark tank that can shoot a man-sized target, moving fast, right out of the air with it’s main gun. Sure. Willing suspense of disbelief (only I’m not so willing when it’s this outrageous a stretch).
He recovers and dispatches the tank in great Hollywood fashion after side-stepping another main gun round. Again, fun and entertaining and absolutely ludicrous. The most devastating tank ammunition in modern arsenals is a depleted uranium dart (“kinetic penetrator”) that travels, on average, almost 6,000 feet per second.
Iron Man finishes off the remaining missiles and is headed back home but he is intercepted by a pair of F-22 Raptors. This scene is also great entertainment.
But now Stane is onto him and he immediately meets up with his customers in the desert where he “appropriates” Stark’s Mark I and quickly begins to backwards engineer his own version in best Soviet fashion. Only one catch; he needs power and Stark has kept his mini-reactor a secret.
So he sneaks up on Stark and incapacitates him, stealing his chest reactor and leaving him for dead. But sweet Pepper Potts has preserved his obsolete reactor even though he told her to scrap it. He manages to rescue himself and suit up for the final climactic battle.
Who wins? You’ll have to watch and find out.
But watch until the very last credit has rolled.
Hell, like I haven’t told you every nuance of this movie already. Samuel L. Jackson makes a guest appearance as the alternate Nick Fury, speaking to Stark about an initiative he has going. I really do hope Marvel can pull of their ambitious scheme of doing a Thor movie, a Captain America movie and then putting those 2 heroes with Iron Man and the Hulk for a crowing glory—the Avengers.
Apparently, Downey is given a guest appearance in the latest incarnation of The Hulk (which I have not yet seen). But I am deeply concerned with what the Marvel/Hollyweird Left will do with my beloved Captain America.
 Gender Norming Update, Walter Williams, Capitalism Magazine, 04 April, 1997.
 As I noted in my review of FF:ROTSS, to this day I don’t understand the fixation of hatred the Left has for a missile defense shield given the alternative of someone who hates us annihilating one or more cities in a mushroom cloud. But, then again, I often think that’s exactly what so many Leftists really want anyway.
 “Iron Man 2”: Terrence Howard’s Out, Don Cheadle’s In, Gary Susman, EW.com, 14 October, 2008
 For more, read my column on Sarah Palin here.
 S.H.I.E.L.D., Wikipedia
 I am greatly annoyed that, after showing her to be an empty slut, she gets to come back with more indignation. This is the Left (and especially Hollywood) in a nutshell: empty lives filled with opulence and luxury with false justification for your existence found in taking issues you really have no vested interest in and making them seem outrageously more important to you than you really are.