He wields a mean whiplash. Iron Man 2
stars Mickey Rourke
as Ivan Vanko, a brilliant technologist and inventor who is unfairly branded a "villain" by an arrogant billionaire in a metal suit (Robert Downey Jr.
). Oh, there's other people in the movie, like a rival billionaire weapons dude (Sam Rockwell
), a stiff military man (Don Cheadle
), an uptight business chick (Gwenyth Paltrow
) and a foxy yet humorless vixen (Scarlett Johansson
), but, make no mistake, it is Vanko who is the true hero, ready to lay down his life to defend the honor of his family, especially his fallen father. Toward that end, Vanko invents a wicked electronic whip that smacks the ground like thunder, slices fine European race cars in half, and puts the hurt on Tony Stark.
Vanko's whips are the latest variation on a movie tradition that dates back to silent movie days. Whips were widely used to urge horses to run faster, faster
in a multitude of Westerns in the 30s -- John Ford's Stagecoach
comes immediately to mind. Charlton Heston reclaimed the whip from the bad guy (Stephen Boyd) in the famous chariot race in Ben Hur
in the 50s. Harrison Ford defined the whip for a new generation in the 80s. Who can forget the iconic image of Indiana Jones
cracking his bullwhip?
Where do you stand, whip-wise? When you think of movie whips, can you avoid thinking of the beating handed out in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ
? Or do you prefer your movie whips to be of the cinematic fantasy variety?