As Iron Man gets closer and closer to arriving on our collective cringing doorsteps, there is a part of me that wishes to be proven wrong. To have my first impression vacated for what turns out to be the surprise K-drama of the century in terms of awesome. I remember joking with other K-drama lovers years ago about the possibility that K-dramas would have the budget and production expertise to venture into new genres. Space travel missions like Battlestar Galactica, fantasy anime as a live action Robotech, and of course the superhero genre that is a proven winner across any culture or country. Everyone wants to see someone with amazing powers doing amazing things, a very childhood onward wish fulfillment fantasy. I never imagined I would actually be wishing that Korea not attempt it now after seeing just how godawful all the teasers and stills from IM looks. Oh yes, the whole concept is weird as well and this is coming from me being a consumer of Western superhero dramas where people get bitten by radioactive spiders, hit by gamma radiation, wear a cape and underwear to save people, or pretend to be a giant bat.
When the special effects are chintzy in K-dramas, I find it quaint in most of the stories since it’s not a genre where the special effects are critical to the world building. IM is totally not able to skate on bad special effects since Lee Dong Wook‘s character is in so much emotional pain that he sprouts knives from his body. He’s supposed to look dangerous and fierce but instead in the first teaser where he’s climbing a building using his body knives I swear he looks like a rabid human porcupine. The second teaser has just been released and the four facial stills of Lee Dong Wook above speak for itself. I can say there is a serious case of whiplash when you watch the first teaser with the tense music and the scary crazy man climbing a building with knives compared to the second teaser which is all comedic and heartwarming. Or at least it’s trying to be comedic and heartwarming but instead left me jawdropped again in wonder that the two leads can act in this drama without losing their marbles. Shin Se Kyung got a lot of screentime in the second teaser and there is nothing I see that would make me change my mind about her. She still can’t act and still has no chin.
Second teaser for Iron Man: