Sunday, May 04, 2008
Movie Reviews: IRON MAN
Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is a billionaire industrialist whose forte is building weapons of mass destruction. When he's severely injured while testing one of those weapons in Afghanistan, he's kidnapped by insurgents and has to build a suit of iron armor to escape his captors. After returning to the U.S., Stark refines his iron creation and transforms himself into a flying metallic repulsor-ray-firing superhero. When his biggest business rival, Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges), gets his hands on Stark's original plans, he creates an even bigger iron adversary to defeat Stark once and for all.
Cast Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Bridges, Terrence Howard, Shaun Toub, Gwyneth
Director(s) Jon Favreau
Writer(s) Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Art Marcum, Matthew Holloway
Status In theaters (wide)
Release Date May 2, 2008
Running Time 126 minutes
MPAA Rating PG-13 - for some intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, and
brief suggestive content
Summer movie season starts off well with Robert Downey Jr. donning the red and gold Iron Man armor. Jon Favreau does the smart thing in this film and allows Downey Jr. to hold court; Downey Jr. repays him in spades. Robert Downey Jr. is just fantastic here and feels so naturalistic from the moment he hits the screen. Iron Man is at its best when Downey is on screen, his Tony Stark is perfectly charismatic and egotistical but he still has a sense loneliness and frailty. To say that Downey is a natural for this part is a massive understatement and he just keeps the movie moving at pleasant pace, rarely does this film ever drag even though it's a fairly typical year one superhero plot. The action is typical superhero goodness and the CGI is well done throughout the larger action set pieces. The only problem is that once Tony suits up were robbed of Downey wonderful banter. The rest of the supporting cast is strangely muted throughout. It's a bit of a let down mainly because the supporting roles are filled with great actors capable of doing more with their roles if given the opportunity. Paltrow's character gets the biggest amount of screen time but her character just feels more and more clichéd as the film heads towards the finale. Jeff Bridges character is typically evil, oh that shaved evil head, and it comes as no surprise that he double crosses Tony. Terrence Howard that's the biggest hit here as not given anything to do except react to Stark. It feels like a bit of a waste but given Downey brilliance I still notch it as a small complaint. Another complaint I have is that Iron Man isn't genre defying or tries to break any new ground on the superhero genre. It's truly a testament to Jon Favreau's talent that he's able to take such a standard superhero origin plot and make it thoroughly engaging and enjoyable for its two hour run time. Iron Man isn't going to change how we look at superhero movies but it does provide an extremely fun experience.