Today, Janna and I decided to watch Iron Man 2 today using Comcast/Xfinity’s On Demand Pay Per View service. We spent $6.00USD and we were able to watch a new, streaming, HD movie that was Closed Captioned — so Janna can joy the show — and boy, did we get a censored earful!
Iron Man 2 is a ridiculously bad movie. We root more for Bad Guy Mickey Rourke than we do for Good Guy Robert Downey, Jr. — and that is the dramatic death knell for a SuperHero movie franchise.
I first noticed something wasn’t right in the scene early in the movie when Robert Downey, Jr. was visiting Mickey Rourke in his holding cell. Robert says something in the Closed Captions about Mickey selling his Whiplash device “to the North Koreans or Iran or on the Black Market” — but the spoken dialogue only said “Black Market.” The references to North Korea and Iran were missing from the spoken word.
I thought that strange — I read the Closed Captions and also listen to movies and television shows — just because my eye can’t leave the Closed Captions alone and, for a moment, I thought I was hearing things, and so I wrote off the missing references to North Korea and Iran as a misread anomaly.
Then, a few scenes later, when Mickey has a sit-down dinner with Sam Rockwell in the airplane hangar, we had another strange incongruity with the Closed Captions and the spoken dialogue. Sam asks Mickey, in the Closed Captions, if he wants his bird actually picked up — “in Russia” — but the spoken word “Russia” is scrambled, as if pronounced backward, to be heard as some sort of incomprehensible and burped: “Aissur.”
I knew then that something was amiss in the movie. There was a politically correct hacking up of the film’s dialogue to remove definition and tone and it was a sloppily performed bludgeoning. I decided to take notes to mark, on-the-record, all the political censorings of the dialogue from a terrible movie that doesn’t deserve half a turn of anyone’s attention, let alone a dialogue splicing done with a hacksaw.
In the next evidence of censorship, Sam Rockwell, in his Queens laboratory, once again makes reference, in the Closed Captions, to the bird being — “from Russia” — but the spoken dialogue gives us the messed-up backwardly burped pronunciation that means absolutely nothing. That was especially funny because Mickey Rourke spent the entire movie speaking in a heavy, and deliberate, Russian accent.
When Samuel L. Jackson and Robert Downey, Jr. are talking on the beach, “Siberia” is clearly seen in the Closed Captions, but it was “pronounced” on screen as a mumbled and mangled, unrecognizable, mess.
When Sam Rockwell is furious Mickey Rourke isn’t getting his work done, he instructs his goons to take Mickey’s two pillows, boots and his bird from “Russia” — in the Closed Captions — but we hear a backward-edited no place voiced instead.
Finally, when it is discovered Mickey’s drones are programmed in a unique language, and the team cannot decipher the code, Sam yells — in the Closed Captions — “Try Russiaaaaaaaaan! TRY RUSSIAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!” The spoken version of “Russiaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!” is, of course, the backward stuff that gut-busting hilarity is made of on the big, HD, screen.
I have no idea who ordered the political censorship of Iron Man 2 — or what the point of it was — but it was a job lousy done; and if you need to needlessly censor something, you should do it discreetly and quietly, and with a bit of charm, and not chance mockery. Above all, you need to make sure you censor the Closed Captions, too, just to ensure the text is just as ridiculously ruined as the spoken word.