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“Iron Man”: anti-war or pro-war?

May 5, 2008

iron-man-3.jpgWith “Iron Man” out wide in theaters — and out in a huge, $101 million opening box office way — it’s time to reflect around the water cooler on what the movie means and what, if anything, its makers were trying to say.

The war question: Is ”Iron Man” anti-war? Does Tony Stark (aka comic book superhero Iron Man, played by Robert Downey, Jr.) create his suit of hi-tech armor to stop a military arms maker run amok and tame an evil-doer?

Or, is it pro-war? Does Stark create a new weapon that will undoubtedly be used by the military arms maker he created to build even more lethal high-tech weaponry?

“I’ve heard it’s pro-war and that it’s anti-war, which means that I did my job,” director Jon Favreau told Reuters in a pre-release interview.

Favreau said his goal was to make the iron-man-2.jpgmovie neither, but to reflect the times. He said he has changed his own mind several times on the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Here’s all of what Favreau said in reponse to a question about the movie’s story set in the context of current times, the wars and the U.S. election.

“It was an opportunity to reflect the times a little bit. I think it’s a good moment now. It’s an election year. We didn’t try to take a position strongly on it, but to present the world as we see it in, sort of, a comic book version. And, set this hero against the times, instead of making it in some non-descript moment in history with a non-descript political landscape. We didn’t but we did want to present it that way.

“I think what superhero movies have always offered are very simple solutions to complex problems. If there’s a sense of powerlessness that people feel or a culture feels or certainly kids, there’s always been Superman to stop the train or stop a bullet. That’s always been the metaphor of the superhero. In a more complicated landscape politically, here’s “Iron Man” who can step in and solve problems with the blink of an eye through ingenuity and through resolve of character,” Favreau said.


The director and writer did a good job of portraying current issues an asking questions about or political landscape with out force feeding them to us. More importantly, it did not bash the troops in this movie making the U.S. military or its service members the “bad guy(s)” of the film, which I feel has been the main down fall of the crop of “war films” released. (Notice this is the first film to take on current events and be successful at it to any degree.) I felt this was very much an Anti-War film and a Pro-military film all in one. It is very hard line to balance on, and I applaud Jon Favrea for not disrespecting the military.

The bottom line, America needs it’s heroes.

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive

Iron Man was a practically flawless hero flick; its makers drop some pretty obvious sequel hints too… i’m thinking the next one should be equally great


This was a great movie that truly depicted the times we live in. Coming from a country that has to bear the brunt of both the American policy on one hand and the terrorists on the other, I’d say this movie gave out a well-balanced picture. I just hope that the world realizes soon enough how it is being pushed between a rock and a hard place…

Posted by JZ | Report as abusive

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