Iron Man: Movie Review
Iron Man, played by Robert Downy Jr and opened to theaters April 30th (May 2 on some parts of the Globe) is the Marvel-related offering from Paramount Pictures. I must say. I’m terribly impressed by the movie as a whole as well as to the minor details.
Erm.. I haven’t done a movie review in a LONG while so please bare with me as I touch only the essential stuff and don’t go in depth with the background of the story. I’m not even THAT familiar with Iron Man’s back story. On with the review
I was swooned over to the filmed versions of Marvel Comics classics ever since Spiderman entered the stage and set the standards (it’s up to you whether that’s a good thing or bad, it’s hollywood after all) for the 2D superheroes into the silver screen. Sure we’ve all seen Batman (who hasn’t there’s so many “beginnings” that I’m wondering if there’ll be multiple “endings” too) but he’s a DC character and not nearly as enjoyable as the Marvel guys (sorry if I’m biased on that DC fans but it’s true the Batman is a stiff). Iron Man, while not as morally appealing, is a dream come true to most geeks who just love tinkering.
Like most Marvel-related films, Iron Man is a straight forward superhero film. You know who’s the good guy and the bad (well, that is if you watch a lot of movies) within the first group pan of the camera.
For clarity’s sake, here’s the roster of important characters and actors.
Robert Downey Jr. – Tony Stark / Iron Man: The man behind the technology of Stark Industries. Tony follows in the footsteps of his father who help develop the Atomic Bomb in the Manhattan project.
Terrence Howard – Lt. Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes: A pilot who befriends Stark when Iron Man saves his life after a plane crash left him stranded behind enemy lines, and is the liaison between Stark Industries and the military in the department of acquisitions. It’s been confirmed that he’ll be playing War Machine in the sequel. His scene with the first Iron Man armor and his dialogue “Next Time Baby” proves as much.
Gwyneth Paltrow – Virginia “Pepper” Potts: Tony Stark’s Assistant and love interest. I can honestly say, I mistakenly identified her as Kirsten Dunst. It’s probably the hair as the latter is a red head too on Spiderman.
Jeff Bridges – Obadiah Stane: Second-in-command at Stark Industries, who wants control of the company and the main villain of the story.
Iron Man tells the story of how one man turned from Merchant of Death to the technological lifesaver. Centered around the main characters, the plot is pretty straightforward. No hidden agendas except for a couple of hints that a sequel is to be expected.
Iron Man can be divided into two parts, the before arc and the after arc. The before arc pictures Tony Stark as this billionaire playboy who fancies what he wants, who he wants, when he wants. The typical a$-hole in comic standards up to the point that he got kidnapped by a terrorist group called the Ten Rings (reference to Mandarin, a Marvel Villain) to duplicate his latest work for them, the Jericho missile. The after arc shows a completely turned around Tony Stark who tries to undermine the merchanting of death by his own company to save the people and himself (metaphorically speaking).
As a whole, while I respect Gwyneth Paltrow and admire her for her effort for her role as Pepper, I can’t help but wonder if she’s been miscasted into the one or the director, Jon Favreau, intended the aura of awkwardness around Robert and her.
The movie is fun. I caught myself laughing at a few intended puns and gags and I appreciate the fact that you don’t need to be a Marvel fan to understand them. It’s really annoying when you see something funny in the film and you’re the only one who gets it.
There’s quite a few gems scattered around the movie for those attentive enough. To name a few: the latest model for Audi A8, Stan Lee being mistaken as Hugh Hefner, Tony Stark’s first test flight and his interaction with his robotic helpers.
Iron Man is a bit wordy and there are two or three scenes that you wouldn’t really get the conversation because you have two or three characters talking loudly at the same time. Mostly it’s due to Tony’s dislike of getting reprimanded.
For anyone expecting LOTs of action, you’re in for a disappointment. There are only 2 battles in the movie, one in Afghanistan and one with the final boss, Obadaih. While they serve enough of Iron Man’s glistening armor in action, it’ll definitely lacking if you consider the length of the movie. Whether that’s intentional or not, it’s another reason to wait patiently for the sequel.
Despite its linear story, it’s a refreshing change to see a superhero movie where the hero a geeky teenager who’s an outcast of his generation. Tony Stark is a mature figure, one with deep and colorful background that makes his character all the more interesting. It’s too bad that the movie (according to my friends who have followed the comics series) didn’t delve deeper into Tony’s personality. But while that upset some of the hardcore fans, it’s still quite baited with all sorts of geeky references hinting at things to come. IMHO, Iron Man will be a good series (or franchise as the industry calls it) to look forward to.
It’s not the movie of the year, but it’s definitely something you shouldn’t miss.
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