Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Iron Man

The third-highest domestic-grossing movie of 2010 was Iron Man 2. I saw the original Iron Man when it came out, but all I really remember is something in the desert (Iraq maybe?), he builds the suit, and then somehow there's a bigger suit that he has to fight. So, as with Toy Story, I'm going to rewatch the original before watching Iron Man 2.

This is the first real action movie and the first superhero movie to be reviewed here. Since the movie actually has the word "man" in the title, it should easily pass the Reverse Bechdel. The Original Bechdel will probably be harder to pass for the same reason. I'm about to find out.

blug1.png blug2.png blug3.png Less than two minutes into the movie, Iron Man passes all three Reverse Bechdel tests. Tony Stark (the main character) says to a male soldier, "What, you're not allowed to talk? Hey, Forrest--" to which "Forrest" responds, "We can talk, sir."

A line or two later, the movie's first woman says, "No, you intimidate them." To which the ever-classy Stark says, "Good God, you're a woman. I honestly couldn't have called that." About a minute later, she dies in the attack on Stark's convoy, so I guess she won't be any help in passing the Original Bechdel.

pink1.png The second woman introduces herself as "Christine Everheart, Vanity Fair magazine." She's in Stark's bed about a minute later.

pink2.png pink3.png The next morning, she meets Pepper Potts, who gives Everheart her clothes back and tells her that there's a car waiting outside for her. Everheart says, "You must be the famous Pepper Potts," which Potts confirms. A little more than ten minutes into the movie, Iron Man has passed both the Original and Reverse Bechdel tests. Immediately after, the women trade some insults, referencing Tony Stark. However, the first part of the conversation, short as it is, is not about Stark, and so passes OB-3. It can even be argued that the references to Stark are more about insulting the other woman than about Stark himself, but that's not necessary for the movie to pass the Original Bechdel.

Even so, Iron Man is a heavily male-dominated movie. There are no other speaking women characters (besides perhaps one or two very minor ones at the dance), and Everheart has only two other small scenes in the movie. Potts is the only major female character, and she is Stark's assistant. On the other hand, Stark didn't defeat Obadiah-- Potts did. Granted, Stark told her how to do it, but without her help, he would have died.

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