(This was written for a political science class. See also a fifteen-minute video version here.)
The 2010 American superhero film Iron Man 2, sequel to the 2008 Iron Man, is in its purest form a fantasy appealing to the white male demographic. While the film makes some attempts to be respectful to its black male and white female characters, ultimately it is the white male characters that are the ones given power and respect in the plot of the movie. White male protagonist Tony Stark is a womanizer and self-identified narcissist who forms the basis of the male fantasy by presenting an exaggerated figure with which the male viewers can identify to enjoy power, respect, and the ability to ogle attractive women while simultaneously having the traditionally feminine and stable love interest Pepper Potts. Tony Stark’s black friend James Rhodes appears as a similar powerful masculine figure, presumably with whom the black male audience is supposed to identify, but he takes a secondary sidekick role to Stark. Ultimately, the movie truly pays respect to white men, while leaving all others in a secondary position.