Ok… Yes, I saw Iron Man on Friday. Yes, I loved the movie. Yes, I loved Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. Yes, I loved Gwenneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts. And yes, this was the kind of comic book movie you only dream about. And Mr. Favreau, you’ve got my attention as a director now (though I didn’t really like the part he played in the movie itself, but oh well).
I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention Terrence Howard as Rhodie. I thought he did a great job in the role. And I hope the brief glance at the Mark II armor means War Machine is going to be in one of the next couple of films!
(Here‘s the IMDB link.)
That said… If you’ve been under a rock for the last several months, Iron Man is a comic book movie from Marvel Films about the origin story of the Marvel Comics hero Iron Man. (I know, hard to believe that a movie called “Iron Man” would be about a superhero named “Iron Man.” Go figure.) Tony Stark is kind of like Bruce Wayne of Batman fame. He’s a billionaire playboy. And he’s a tinkerer. That’s about where the similarity ends I guess…
Tony Stark is a drunk, brilliant man with attachment issues on a Jimmy Dean-like road to self destruction. It doesn’t hurt that he runs Stark Enterprises, which manufactures some of the most advanced weaponry on the planet. He cavorts around with supermodels and movie stars in fancy cars at all the best events, drink in hand, and enjoys his fame and fortune far too much for any mortal man.
And as in all good hero journeys… the honeymoon must end at some point, right?
Well, the movie starts with the end of the honeymoon and flashes back so we know how he got there. The bang happens in Afghanistan at the hands of a terrorist group known as the Ten Rings (which I’m sure will figure prominently in the future). He gets captured and put to work building weapons for this group. Out of that hell, he forges the first Iron Man suit and it just progresses nicely from there. I won’t spoil it for you.
That said… What blew me away totally was the seamless integration of computer generated imagery and physical props. I know Stan Winston was involved in creating the physical suit. And I believe ILM was involved in creating the CGI suit. But it was so seamless that it was tough to tell which was which. That’s a testament to the teams doing both sides.
I absolutely loved Stark’s workshop. I want some of his toys! Who wouldn’t want 3D design tools, intelligent robotic helpers, and several billion dollars to fund all of his cool cars?
The one thing I didn’t like was Jon Favreau’s character Hogan. I don’t know anything about Hogan except that he acted like a bodyguard for Stark and drove one of his vehicles. But he might as well have been a piece of furniture for all he added to the movie.
That said, I loved the interaction between Stark (Downey Jr) and Pepper Potts (Paltrow). She hasn’t been this good an actress since Shakespeare in Love many moons ago. And I think Downey Jr. had a grand time with this character. Who wouldn’t?
The bad guys were bad and knew it. The good guys were good and knew it. I’d say all was good with the world.
Oh, and before I forget… If you see the film, you must stay to the bitter end of the credits if you are a comic book/Marvel Universe fan. There’s a fun cameo that really sets off what might be an amazing series of movies to come. SHIELD lives.
So did I like it? No, I loved it. Want to see it again. 5 out of 4. We can only hope that The Dark Knight (Batman Begins sequel) and Hellboy 2 can live up to the competition. (I think the Incredible Hulk is going to be a pale green in comparison, but we’ll see.)
Go see this movie!