Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Straying From the Party Line: The Easy Second Quarter in Iron Man

Just one real problem I see, but it was potentially disastrous...
  • Deviation: The scene we looked at (from the 2nd quarter)  didn’t really flow from the previous scene or into the next scene, indicating a lack of momentum.
  • The Potential Problem: This signals a much bigger problem. The hero takes it very easy in the 2nd quarter. He spends the whole time making the armor while his enemies move against him without his knowledge. But wait, if he’s unaware of the threat, then why is he making the armor? The implication is that he intends to use it to retrieve his errant weaponry, but he seems to think he’s already taken care of the problem, because he’s shocked at the midpoint to discover that the terrorists still have his weapons, and his bosses are still selling them. When he uses the armor, he’s reacting to new information, not a pre-established plan. (In fact, there are implications that he decides to weaponize the armor against his better judgment at this point.)
  • Does the Movie Get Away With It? Remarkably, yes ...more or less. I suspect most viewers don’t really spot this massive motivation hole until subsequent viewings. Why? Partially because the process scenes are so much fun. We’re focused on the step-by-step how-to of building the armor, so we never step back and ask why.
Still, this problem could have been eased if we had something like, “next time I find out that people are dying because of me, I’ll be ready”. Also, it would good to add a scene that made it clear that Tony didn’t trust the US Army to find and/or confront terrorists using his weapons. Superhero movies should always have an element of “It’s up to me now”.
One more rule tomorrow, before we move on...

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