I had already decided that I would not go see Iron Man, because it looked like just another multi-million dollar piece of shit. But David Denby has given my smug leftist heart a moral reason to avoid it altogether:
The director, Jon Favreau, and two writing teams, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, and Art Marcum and Matt Holloway, have enlisted Iron Man in the war on terror. Stark is now showing off his advanced missiles to American forces in Afghanistan. He gets ambushed by a mysterious group of burning-eyed men who hang out in caves and scream in foreign tongues. They are never identified, though their leader, Raza (Faran Tahir), says that they want to conquer the world. In any case, the freelance fanatics, or whatever they are, waterboard Tony Stark, which, considering what some American interrogators and their surrogates have done to suspects recently, is enraging to watch. Such are the ways of pop: we cast our sins onto others. The complaint sounds a little wan, but it’s worth noting that, possibly, more Americans will see this dunderheaded fantasia on its opening weekend than have seen all the features and documentaries that have labored to show what’s happening in Iraq and on the home front.
That said, I still haven’t forgiven Denby for recommending A.I. Then again, it was Kubrick. I’da seen it anyway.