Hollywood Unoriginality Ratio: Iron Man

May 18th, 2008

Be forewarned: this is not a review of Iron Man, the latest comic-book-turned-blockbuster-film Bevin and I went to see last Sunday at Regal Davis Stadium 5. It is completely irrelevant that the movie was a delightful action-packed romp that didn’t suck like all those other comic-book-turned-blockbuster-films thanks in no small part to Robert Downey Jr.’s acting chops and Jeff Bridges’ having been totally awesome in Big Lebowski so it always rocks to insert his Dude lines into every movie he’s in. We’re here to talk about the trailers!

The Dark Knight
Apple hasn’t put up the trailer I saw yet, but this should get the fact across that the Joker is in it. (Update: correct trailer linked) The Joker’s in it. I’m sure this movie will get a lot of extra asses in seats on account of it being Heath Ledger’s posthumous celluloid appearance, but I was excited about the latest entry in the fat bloated puss-seeping Batman series before his untimely demise. Batman Begins was a wonderful movie despite anything that starts with the word “Batman” being an ADAPTATION of the comic book series of the same name, and its SEQUEL is shaping up to carry on its grittier depiction of Gotham City and its inhabitants with aplomb.

You know what? Normally I wouldn’t give Will Smith a second glance beyond seeing his movies because they’re so shit-tastic, but… I think this one looks like fun. Certainly they’re capitalizing on the general success of superhero movies (more on that below), but taking a comedic slant without it being Superhero Movie is an admirable goal, and Jason Bateman has settled quite comfortably into his stiff Michael Bluth typecasting and made it work for him. And to top it off? ORIGINAL. This is the rare diamond in the rough I love to find amidst all the also-rans.

The Love Guru
God! Please! No! Not another movie where Mike Myers plays a sexy dude that the ladies all desire to have sex with and also he’s a walking stereotype with a crappy accent! I think this movie might actually be my fault; there was a distinct moment where I was walking down the street and thought to myself: “it sure is a good thing Mike Myers ran the Austin Powers franchise into the ground, and that we will therefore never see another movie like that collective pile of dreck”. Clearly Fate is a cruel mistress that listens in on my internal monologue. Bitch. ORIGINAL, with more offensiveness than you can shake a midget at. And they do. Shake a midget at offensiveness, that is.

You Don’t Mess With The Zohan
Here’s the one I forgot to mention before. My unconscious mind had almost successfully removed it from memory, but I had to be curious and ask too many questions, and it all came pouring back. At this point I remember asking “Why only one comic book movie trailer? Are no more coming out any time soon, that we have to sit through this bullshit?” One thing is for certain: Rob Schneider will never want for employment as long as Sandler continues to star in movies. ORIGINAL, except for the Prince of Persia/Assassin’s Creed-evoking wall-jumping at the beginning of the trailer. Oh yeah, also it will blow. Adam Sandler and all. (fun fact: Bevin and I simultaneously turned toward each other and grimaced after both this and Love Guru. Great minds, I suppose)

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Yay! Somehow the still-bitter taste left in my mouth from the Star Wars prequels has not affected my excitement for this long-rumored SEQUEL to the Indiana Jones series. Maybe I’ve got faith in Harrison Ford, maybe I think Steven Spielberg has the ability to cancel out George Lucas’ immense shittiness, or maybe I’m just really happy to see Marion Ravenwood again, but I have a good feeling about this one. The trailer is pretty generic, and it felt weird to watch a preview for a movie due out in four days, but screw it, Indy is so cool. Lucas had better not fuck this up.

Total: 40% (2/5)

To sum it up: as of a May 18th screening of Iron Man at Regal Davis Stadium 5 in Davis, CA, Hollywood is poised to be 40% unoriginal. Oh, and I didn’t stay ’til the end of the credits, because I knew that the footage couldn’t possibly meet all the hype everyone gave me. I was right. Spoiler alert I guess:


Does anyone actually care that there might be an Avengers movie? The Avengers weren’t cool; I would have been much happier with a straight-up Iron Man sequel, though one isn’t strictly necessary. All it shows me is just how bottom-of-the-barrel they’re getting with the Marvel/DC properties. I’m still holding out for the Aquaman movie. It’s coming, just you wait.

This really just exemplifies the whole reason I keep track of things like Hollywood’s unoriginality. If I hadn’t just dropped $7.50 on a movie ticket, I would talk about how we need to stop going to see comic book superhero movies, so that they stop making them. Please, do your part like I didn’t do.

Oh yeah, one more thing about Iron Man: there were several scenes that would have been better places to insert “Iron Man” then where they put it. I get it, he says “I am Iron Man” and then you play the song, very cute and all, but that riff was begging for an ass-kicking scene.