Thursday, May 08, 2008

Movie Review: Iron Man

While the action, SFX, and plot are serviceable in this most recent comic book flick, it is Robert Downey Jr.'s performance as billionare industrialist Tony Stark that places this movie among the the best of the genre. Not since Christopher Reeve in the 1978 Superman, has an actor so embodied the role of the superhero protagonist. Stark's transformation from arrogant, carefree genius to arrogant, hero genius is handled by Downey and director Jon Favreau with the right mix of gravity and fun. The supporting cast of Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges, and Terrence Howard is also excellent. If they can bring everyone back, there's no reason not to make a sequel.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'll agree with you that the plot was "serviceable." It was there for really no other reason than to provide excuses for cool-looking things to happen. But this is how it is with all comic books and comic book movies for the most part. If you have an ugly coat rack with a really good looking coat hanging on it, it's a lot harder to notice that the coat rack is ugly. I thought that action was better than serviceable. The special effects were far beyond serviceable in my opinion. That whole scene where Iron Man goes back to Podunkistan or wherever it was and takes out that militia group was one of the better action sequences in a comic book movie in some time. Sure, it wasn't over the top, but I don't think it has to be. What this scene had that so many comic book movie action sequences lack is a believeable reason for it to happen.

I'll agree wholeheartedly that Robert Downey Jr. was made by God and formed by an adult life of bad choices to play this part. You nailed it with your description of his transformation. His motives changed, but his personality for the most part remained the same. I think there's nowhere else in the movie that shows this better than the last line before the credits started. Stark admits that yeah, he's a hero, but he seems to do it for the ego rush.

And speaking of the credits, I heard too late that if you sit through the credits there's a quick scene afterward that shows Stark working on a new suit of Iron Man armor that I've heard is his Hulkbuster suit. Guess I'll have to go see it again. I'm gonna be a poor man at the end of this month with a second screening of Iron Man, Narnia, and Indiana Jones in my future.

The fact that this movie was done so well gives me hope for the Hulk revamp. It also makes me look forward to some stuff that's coming down the pike from the new Marvel Studios. They've already got a sequel to this on the map for 2010 or 2011. But they've also got a Thor movie in the works. I'd love to see them do the Fantastic Four correctly (i.e. do The Thing in CGI so he doesn't look so stupid that it ruins the movie). I'm not holding my breath for the Punisher revamp later this year. I didn't think that the last one was so bad that it needed to be ditched and restarted from scratch. And am I alone in wanting a movie version of Power Man and Iron Fist? Sweet Christmas that would be far out!

And is Favreau still slated to do Princess of Mars? I think he has more than proven that he can handle a big budget, work with good special effects and still maintain that ever so elusive quality in movies these days - pacing.