“Shoot To Thrill” is the true Tony Stark Theme

That title alone probably angered a large number of you. Your memory may have been sparked by this and shot you back to 2008, when you sat in that dark movie theater with your significant other, group of friends or just yourself (there’s nothing wrong with that). That very moment when you witnessed the beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. You were overjoyed with the casting of Robert Downey Jr. as he nailed the portrayal of billionaire tech genius Tony Stark. To you, Jon Favreau became a directing God by taking this character and propelling him to his highest levels of fame and popularity. And of course, you cheered at that moment where Tony dons his suit and Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” blared through the theater’s enormous sound system. So, I understand that you may read the title to this article and view me as a disrespectful, blasphemous false prophet.

 

    Stick with me on this. I mean no disrespect to that iconic song. However, if you break down Black Sabbath’s song and then break down AC/DC’s “Shoot To Thrill,” there is no denying which one leans more toward the essence and style of Mr. Stark. I hope by the end of this article, you will realize the truth that has been before you all this time: that the true Tony Stark theme is AC/DC’s “Shoot To Thrill,” not Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man”.

 

    First off, I will bring up the usage of both these songs in the Iron Man franchise. Of course, Black Sabbath’s track is used in the first film. The title alone grants it that privilege. Yet, where the tune helmed by the vocals of Ozzy Osbourne starts the series, it is the track that carries the screaming sounds of Brian Johnson that last throughout. The soundtrack to Iron Man 2 is a collection of classic and new songs by AC/DC. Moreover, not only is “Shoot To Thrill” used for the trailer and in the beginning of the film, when Tony makes his exciting entrance at the Stark Expo, but it is also featured two years later in The Avengers, blaring from the PA system on Tony’s suit as he aids Captain America in detaining Loki.

 

    In both of these movies, “Shoot To Thrill” is not just background music for an entertaining scene. It is implied that Tony Stark has specifically chosen this song for these heroic arrivals, since the films go out of their way to show that cheerleaders are dancing to it as he arrives (Iron Man 2) and Tony using it on the telecom while speaking to Romanov (The Avengers).

 

    See? Even Tony knows it.

 

    Still not enough? Fine. A simple internet search for the lyrics and meanings of each song will make it even more apparent. Black Sabbath’s tune is about a man who goes to the future and witnesses the apocalypse and the extinction of man. As he returns to present time, a magnetic field turns him into a man made of iron, his mouth forced shut, making him unable to speak. People mock him over his appearance. Since he is unable to explain to them what he has seen, he becomes frustrated, angered and decides to take vengeance upon the human race, thus bringing about the apocalypse he witnessed.

 

    A classic? Of course. One of the greatest heavy metal songs of all time? Easily a possibility, depending on who you ask. I’ll even admit there is a slight connection to Stark, regarding his need to protect people from the impending doom he feels the future holds. Yet, there is nothing else in the song that screams the style of the Genius/Billionaire/Playboy/Philanthropist; not the one I see on the big screen or in the pages of Marvel Comics.

 

    As for “Shoot To Thrill,” simply take a look at the first verse:

 

“All you women who want a man of the street,

But you don’t know which way you want to turn,

Just keep a coming and put your hand out to me,

‘Cause I’m the one who’s gonna make you burn.”

 

    Now, the chorus:

 

“Shoot to thrill, play to kill.

Too many women and too many pills,

Shoot to thrill, play to kill,

I got my gun at the ready, gonna fire at will”

 

    These lyrics alone describe perfectly the essence of Tony Stark. He has an ego. He is a playboy. The pills can easily be substitutes for his history with alcohol. And of course, he has quite a thrill while flying in his suit, shooting away at his enemies. The connections continue into the second verse. The lines “I’m like evil, I get under your skin, just like a bomb that’s ready to blow” ring true throughout the character’s cinematic run. Whether it be Loki, Captain Rogers or Senator Stern, many have fallen victim to Tony’s incomparable ability to be that annoying prick that finds its way to poke at the right time.

 

    Lastly, there is the tempo of these tracks. Black Sabbath’s track is slow-moving. It is a strolling song. It takes its time as it develops, but the tempo never gets too out of hand. Now, with AC/DC’s track, one can visualize Marks 2 through 43 streaming through the skies. The speed of “Shoot To Thrill” is perfectly aligned with the attack methods of Stark while he pilots his creations. 

 

    Basically, it is one of those badass songs to play while you are being a badass. Maverick has “Danger Zone”. Tony has “Shoot To Thrill”.

 

    My statements speak for themselves. “Iron Man” will forever be a classic heavy metal song. It has gone down as one of the greats. However, just because it shares its name with Marvel’s wealthy Avenger, that does not mean it earns the title of being his theme song. It is not the name that matters here; it is the song’s feel and meaning. In the case of Tony Stark, he has womanizing tendencies mixed with a love for alcohol and the enjoyment of flying around, shooting energy beams out of his hands at his enemies, all while thinking up something funny to say. With that sort of an attitude, it is only logical to choose AC/DC’s “Shoot To Thrill” as the true Tony Stark theme.

 

 

 

                            - “The Azorean One” Anthony Esteves

                                of The Capeless Crusaders.

Wonder Woman Review - "Reign of the Amazon"

It had been a tough ride for the DC Cinematic Universe up until 2017. Since its start four years ago, while making a noteworthy amount of money at the box office, Man Of Steel, Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice and Suicide Squad had failed to win the hearts of critics and were only able to generate mixed feelings from their audience. The films could not capture the critical acclaim, box office success or the hearts of the audience the way Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy did in 2005, 2008 and 2012, those films receiving the Rotten Tomatoes scores of 84%, 94% and 87%, respectively. While this writer can sit back and enjoy aspects of the DCCU films, in no way do they compare to Marvel’s best, like Iron Man, The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier or Guardians Of The Galaxy.

And then, just when one could think that all DC can succeed in is their animated films and CW television shows, one hero not only stands out, but makes an impact in her debut film. It is only right that this woman also happens to be a goddess.

Wonder Woman came thundering into theaters this past weekend, riding high on positive reviews (still sitting high at 93% certified fresh at the time of this post) and collecting a whopping $223 million at the global box office; just over $100 million in the domestic box office. Not only was this a success for a female-lead superhero film, but it was also the biggest weekend take for a female-directed film. This marks not only a victory for the DCCU as a whole, but also a personal victory for the team behind this film, having dealt with premature critiques and judgments about the steps taken in making this film. Everything ranging from complaints on Gal Gadot’s figure and acting chops, rumors of a state of uneasiness on set, the early change in director and even complaints on lack of armpit hair.

Seriously, though? Armpit hair?

There was nothing more satisfying than being in the newly renovated theaters of Lodi Stadium 12, sitting oh so comfortably in my leather reclining seat with my wife and watching all those rumors and complaints melt away as I experienced the beauty of this film develop on screen. From the second the story began on the Island of Themyscira, my attention was captured by the strength, independence and beauty of the Amazons who inhabit it. Connie Nielsen and Robin Wright are wonderfully cast as Hippolyta, Queen and mother of Diana, and Antiope, Themyscira’s greatest warrior. It was no shock seeing Nielsen easily embody this role, having a history of playing royalty (Gladiator), but it is the performance of Wright, known for her dramatic work in Forrest Gump and Netflix’s House Of Cards, that surprised me most. Watching her performance would make one believe she has made a career playing warriors on screen.

And this brings us to Gal Gadot. Previously known best for her role in the Fast & Furious franchise, Gadot had received acclaim for being one of the bright spots in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. Even then, there were still those who questioned her casting. Reminding myself of this made me even giddier as I watched her make the role her own. Gadot’s performance was nothing short of genuine and heart-filled. A mix of honesty, strength and devotion that could be best compared to Christopher Reeve’s debut as the Man Of Steel in 1978’s Superman. Her chemistry with Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor is undoubtable, the two trading off on their own fish-out-of-water experiences in both Themyscira and London. When Diana deals with the restricting female outfits of the early 20th century and does battle with a tricky revolving door, it is Gadot’s honest delivery in those moments that connect the audience with her. You laugh because it’s funny but also see the humanity in this princess who has never had to deal with any of this. Yet, you are reminded of her strength and power when she saves Trevor from a bullet and easily handles four assailants.

No moment symbolizes the selflessness and devotion of Diana than the now famous “No Man’s Land” scene.

Inspired by moments like Clark revealing the S and saving Lois from the falling helicopter in Superman, and Bruce donning the cape and cowl and thwarting Carmine Falcone’s plans in Batman Begins, the “No Man’s Land” scene is the powerful and beautiful moment where Diana reveals herself as Wonder Woman. She not only reveals herself in her suit, but she leaves the trenches and crosses the dangerous territory, blocking every bullet with her braces and shield. This act inspires the soldiers to cross with her and free the village from German occupation. From this moment, we see Diana become the legendary hero she is meant to be.

In my opinion, the pose of Diana crouched, shield on her left arm and her right fist clinched as the bullets go whizzing by will easily be one of the most symbolic and inspiring shots in film history.

With beautiful cinematography, a well-paced story and the vision of Patty Jenkins as director, all these elements together created the successful blockbuster that is now reaping its reward at theaters around the globe. DC and Warner Bros have already confirmed Jenkins to direct the sequel. The DC Cinematic Universe has finally received the big hit they have been waiting for, and it came in the form of their Warrior Goddess; the glue of DC’s Trinity. There is no doubt a new energy surrounding the studio regarding their next release, Justice League, due out this November. One can only wonder if this will lead to continued success for DC.

For now, let us sit back and enjoy the news of the day. We live in a world where the number one motion picture, both critically and financially, is a female-directed film about one of the greatest superheroes of all time, and she is a strong, intelligent, independent (and yes, beautiful) woman. 

All hail Princess Diana, the Wonder Woman. The savior of humankind…and the DCCU. 

 

- “The Azorean One” Anthony Esteves of The Capeless Crusaders.