Its not the Bat costume… its the self-assembly kits.

IM3Its a guy (or lady) who dresses up in a funny costume and solves societies problems not by tackling world hunger, social inequality or even corrupt politicians, but rather by beating bad guys up. Of course modern films make it look very realistic and grounded in reality, but superhero films are inherently, well, silly; childhood daydreams and fantasies brought to $120 million+ life. A billionaire dresses like a bat and beats up poor people who have been forced/compelled by circumstance to turn to crime, or genuine certifiable nutters who dress up like penguins or scarecrows or clowns and try to have a good time by being both mad and bad. Daft, but the films are made with such sincerity and sophistication we just seem to accept them and they are often received with such praise and huge box-office.  It just makes it difficult really to criticise them.

My question is this: Where to draw the line with superhero films? There is a line, surely. Come on,admit it, its there somewhere. Even the most hardcore Marvel/DC fan knows what I’m on about. I mean, ignoring the inherent daftness of radioactive spiders or Norse gods or big green men with anger issues, where exactly does one draw the line and say, “beyond this point this film must not cross, otherwise I’m standing up and screaming NO! NO! NO! at the screen”. There has to be some point at which the natural laws of credibility finally snap.

For me its IRON MAN 3 and the flying suit parts that reassemble all by themselves, parts that fly 842 miles at one point, if my incredulous ears got it right, to save the day. Did the parts ‘see’ where they were going/turn round street corners/fly around unwitting pedestrians/cars/buildings as they sped to their owners aid? Parts that leap onto the hero and snap into place without quickly crunching bones or breaking spines. Why, after seeing everything else in that movie, it was the self-assembly Iron Man kit that delivers Anytime Anyplace Anywhere that finally crossed the line I don’t know. But it did. I could even accept him collecting all those unfortunates who fell out of Air Force One at thousands of feet, or those On Demand Auto-Iron Men that make our hero Tony Stark redundant, or those glow in the dark super-villains with an unfortunate habit of exploding taking buildings out in an instant. But those flying self-assembly Iron Suit bits… just, well…

2 thoughts on “Its not the Bat costume… its the self-assembly kits.

  1. gregory moss

    I was right with this movie up to that point – how ludicrous! (clearly some coke-fueled executive’s spur-of-the-moment decision). But then all of Marvel’s films have ridiculous – if not formulaic – third acts. I’ve decided not to review them anymore – as it’s kinda’ pointless. Those who love these films will see them anyway, while those who don’t – will stay away. It’s about as pointless as reviewing Transformers movies.

  2. I often put what many people will accept in blockbusters down to their lack of basic understanding when it comes to physics/biology/etc. If that sounds condescending then… well, I suppose it is. Equally, the self-flying snap-together Iron Man suit didn’t bother me much. There’s an element of “it’s a superhero movie, none of it’s real, let it go”, but I generally think that’s an abhorrent defence (it’s what Transformers fans use to excuse the fact that series is sound and light and nothing else, after all).

    I suppose it is, as you say, where people are prepared to draw the line, and I guess that’s slightly different for everyone. I enjoyed the vast majority of Iron Man 3, so was prepared to overlook some of the suit’s magic abilities.

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