Like everyone else under the age of 30 and with a penis, I have been eagerly awaiting the release of Iron Man 2 since the credits rolled at the end of the first one over 2 years ago. Well I was welcomed back to the country and uni life with a trip to see said film, and while I won’t spend ages on a review, it’s pretty damn good. What I was highly dissapointed with however, is the flick’s International one-sheet poster…

Designed by BLT & Associates (a design firm that specialises in stuff for the entertainment industry), I saw this for the first time in the actual cinema (I’ve been out of the country for over a month so I’ve been pretty out of the loop with this stuff) and felt absolutely no extra enthusiasm for the movie whatsoever. You could argue that a movie like Iron Man 2 doesn’t need a poster to entice people, as the name alone does the job, but Marvel and Paramount probably paid these people a small fortune to create some kick-ass promotional items, and they delivered a re-hash of the first movie’s poster, just with more floating paraplegic cast members.

A quick look at BLT’s stuff reveals a body of work that’s about as varied as can be. They’ve done great stuff in the form of the ‘Why So Serious?’ Dark Knight Joker / glass poster or the US one-sheet for Up in the Air, and then a complete lack of imagination with stuff like Seven Pounds and Perfect Stranger. I guess like most large design companies, it just depends on who they give the project to. Either way, I think the Iron Man 2 stuff is pretty basic to say the least. I don’t usually mind the chliched action movie all-the-cast-blended-into-one-image poster, but I don’t understand how you can take a movie like this, with interesting characters, metal suits, tight spandex and explotions and make it look BORING.

What’s even worse, is that not only was a great deal of money paid for this, but there are literally hundreds of struggling REAL graphic designers and illustrators that could have done this flick justice, and probably for a fraction of the cost. Case in point, Tyler Stout. I’ve been a fan of this guy for a while now (thanks mainly to Aint it Cool News), and yesterday I came across his Iron Man 2 poster:

Now compare this to the one above, and if you’re like me you’ll wonder just how stupid these movie execs must be. This happens time and time again with films. Decent illustrators just do stuff because they enjoy it and stick it online, usually for no reason other than they dig the subject matter, and 99.9% of the time it’s a gazillion times better than the one that’s adorning cinema walls all over the world. Why? Because these guys aren’t being forced to churn out some abortion that’s devoid of personality and charm, they’re free to do what they like. The movie is full of charisma, batshit action and is just plain fun, and Stout has captured that really well. BLT & Associates on the other hand, failed.

Please check out Stout’s other work, the dude has mad skills and his posters for The Warriors, Robocop and The Thing are among the coolest pieces of film-related art and design I’ve seen and make the original’s look like utter crap.