Iron Man, Speed Racer and the Future

The summer's first two blockbusters provide glimpses of the future of movies

Warner Bros.

Emile Hirsch stars as Speed Racer

Tony Stark tinkers in his lab to build a gadget that will keep him alive and a metal suit in which to house the artificial organ: the media dub him Iron Man. Speed Racer drives the car built by his dad to win the big rallies and in the process becomes one with his souped-up T180.

Maybe it's just a coincidence, but the first two big movies of the summer season are about men fusing with their machines. And instead of being conquered or corrupted by their ambitions, the new machine men triumph. The implicit message of Jon Favreau's Iron Man,...

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