Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I am Whiplash

I went to see Iron Man 2 last night. It was good. If you liked the first Iron Man, you will probably like the sequel (a bit less, perhaps). I'm not going to review it, however. Rather, I want to talk about the character of Ivan Vanko (aka Whiplash...or Crimson Dynamo...or something). This character was brilliant and a good template for DMs trying to come up with a compelling villain. [Minor Spoiler Warning]: I don't want to give too much away, but suffice to say, Vanko combines two elements that make a great villain. First off, he is the antithesis of the hero, Tony Stark, even though he comes from a similar place. His father and Stark's father were partners at one time, until that collaboration was harshly terminated. From that point on, the lives of Vanko and Stark went in radically different directions. Secondly, there is a definite "tail wags the dog" theme going on in the interaction between Vanko and the character of Justin Hammer (played by Sam Rockwell), a jealous rival of Stark. The dynamic of puppet and puppeteer has rarely been better presented.

One more thing, if there is ever a shortage of Awesome in Hollywood, blame Mickey Rourke. He is clearly hoarding it.


By the way, I notice it has been a full week since my last post. Shame on me. I risk losing my legions of fans. However, in my defense, I have been quite busy on my other blog.


A Paladin In Citadel said...

Mickey Rourke is a real treasure. It saddens me that his life went sideways for all those years. He was a favorite actor of mine in the early 80's. I'm glad that he now continues to find work in Hollywood. Same for Robert Downey Jr, though fate has been kinder to him than Rourke.

I've heard mixed reviews of IM2.

Rognar said...

Rourke really stole the show, in my opinion.

I've also seen mixed reviews. The biggest criticism seems to be that there are too many plotlines going on at the same time and there is some truth to that. However, several of those story arcs wove together pretty satisfactorily for me. The only thing that sort of stuck out from the rest is the Nick Fury/S.H.I.E.L.D. subplot. I understand the purpose of it, that is, to create a common narrative for the various Marvel movie properties, such as The Hulk and the upcoming Thor movie. However, it does little to contribute to the movie beyond providing an excuse for some Samuel L. Jackson screen time.