Metro Man vs. Iron Man

metroman

Remember Iron Man?

You know, the little Marvel Studios franchise about a charming-yet-ironic 21st-century superhero played by Robert Downey Jr.? You might have heard about it. Considering the two films have cumulatively grossed over a billion dollars in worldwide box office sales so far, it’s highly probable that you’ve even seen it. You couldn’t miss it.

Oh?

Really?

Somehow you managed?

Well, no worries. Here. A quick crash course.

Iron Man (2008) trailer:

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Notice the AC/DC track that opens the trailer? “Highway To Hell” has basically become the official theme song for Tony Stark. So much so, AC/DC even made a special Iron Man music video for the song with Marvel in conjunction with the release of the sequel:

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In fact, the band is so inextricably tied to this superhero franchise, the very first scene of Iron Man 2 — which came out just weeks ago — uses yet another AC/DC tune for its score:

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So now, suppose you’re watching a preview for the new animated DreamWorks movie, Megamind, and, exactly 1 minute into it, you see THIS:

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And you think, seriously?? Is this actually happening?!

The Megamind wiki page says that originally Robert Downey Jr. himself was slated to be the voice of the supervillain (now voiced by Will Ferell), which would have, perhaps, made it more obvious this was supposed to be a parody. And, yes, DreamWorks is big on the satirizing of established literary  conventions and characters, like with Shrek poking fun at familiar fairy tale tropes, etc. Hence Megamind’s “borrowing” of the Superman origin myth, no doubt, and even the whole Unbreakable dealie-o with the story being driven from the villain’s point of view. But whereas with Shrek the satire was immediately apparent, Metro Man’s appropriation of not only Tony Stark’s charming-yet-ironic personality but his freakin theme music!? just comes across like a poorly-made knock-off.

Even Dimension Films’ genre spoof, Superhero Movie, suddenly seems less derivative:

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What do you think? Megamind’s Metro Man: nuanced spoof or not-so-subtle imitation?

 

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