Tuesday, May 06, 2008

A Real Popcorn Movie

Do you have a guilty pleasure? Something of no redeeming social value that you just like to do? Mine is superhero movies. The newest one on the scene is "Iron Man." It is a great "popcorn movie" (although I don't eat at the movies that much).

"Iron Man" stars Robert Downey, Jr., an actor whose real-life struggles mesh well with those of his character, brilliant industrialist/inventor Tony Stark who seems to be addicted to the traditional vices--women, gambling, fast cars, and alcohol. In a life-changing experience, Stark (literally) attempts to reinvent himself with the help of a lot of high tech gear (think Thomas Alva Edison mixed with Bill Gates and add steroids).

This is a fun movie (with some significant plot holes) but it also gives us some things to consider (which will certainly be addressed in the sequels).

First, can a guy this deep into hedonism really turn his life around? It seems that his trusty "girl Friday" and his Air Force colonel buddy will have their hands full helping him to accomplish this, but we need to remember that real recovery and redemption only happens in community. Evangelicals don't like to hear that said, but it's true.

Second, can Stark really control the technology he has created? He learns in this film that the military technology that has made him rich and famous is used not only by those for which it was intended but by terrorists as well. Will his "Iron Man" creation be any different? There are some good questions of morality here.

Deep questions aside, "Iron Man" is a good way to spend a couple of hours on a summer afternoon (with or without a bag of popcorn). I hope you enjoy it.

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