June 9, 2008

Iron Man - $8

Despite predictions to the contrary from one of my favorite readers, I did enjoy Iron Man immensely and I line up with the many critics who are praising this entertaining movie. I can't wait for the sequel.

Iron Man is based on the Marvel comic by the same name and is the story of Tony Stark, the head of a US weapons company who is taken captive in a war zone and forced to make weapons for terrorists. Rather than making them a weapon, he makes himself a nearly indestructible weaponized metal suit and escapes. This experience changes the arrogant and greedy Stark and inspires him to focus on improving the suit rather than on weapon sales.

Stark's right hand man at Stark Industries, Obadiah Stane, turns out to have been selling their weapons to the enemy for years and a stand off between the two becomes the climax of the movie.

There were a few things I didn't like much about Iron Man. The initial scenes, where Stark is first making the suit and his captors think he's making a missile for them, are hard to believe at best. There are cameras on him at all times in his cell and yet they can't tell he's making a suit of armour? He's trying stuff on at one point, who tries on a missile? There is also some very cheesy humour in Iron Man that would have missed the mark completely if not for the delivery of Robert Downey Jr.

With that let me transition into what I liked about Iron Man. Robert Downey Jr. is fantastic as Tony Stark. He made the transition from jerk to hero believable and he brought a lot of charm to a movie that could have been merely a special effects showcase if not for his performance. The cast is rounded out well with Jeff Bridges (Stane), Terrence Howard and my favorite - Gwyneth Paltrow.

The special effects in Iron Man are spectacular but they aren't in isolation, there is some surprisingly good directing here from Jon Favreau.

Big budget action movies are pretty hit or miss with me, especially in the comic book adaptation genre, but Iron Man hit the mark. It was entertaining and it's weaknesses were overcome by good casting.

I'm putting Iron Man on the 'Watch It' list and giving it a rating of $8. You may ask; why not a higher rating considering the praise I've lavished here? It's simple, this is still a comic book movie and the best of those can never be the greatest of movies.


jon said...

I'm surprised and now strangely compelled by your review to give this movie a chance. If you were a big comic-book genre fan I might right the positive review off . . . but I suppose I can't do that . . .

Also didn't realize Gwenyth and Bridges were in it, so . . .

But still, it will be a blue moon rising when I feel like renting a comic book movie (especially when my list of movies to watch is already backed up).

Good review. I suppose I can't judge every movie by its presentation. The ads for this are horrible and R Downey Jr seems cheesy. But I'll take your word for it and keep an eye out for that blue moon.

Trev said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I couldn't agree more; as an avid marvel comics collector, I've been waiting for a "marvel" movie that doesn't suck. I rarely watch a movie twice in theatres, but this one did it for me.

However, I don't fully agree with your sign-off line. Tim Burton's rendition of "Batman" easily makes it into my top 100 movies list. But I'm terribly biased in this department, I'll admit.

Great review Toni.

Tony Tanti said...

jon, I hope that blue moon rises soon, it's worth a watch.

trev, I loved Batman too, top 100 I'm not sure but even if it were, a movie has to be at least top 25 to be truly great. I just don't think a comic book movie will ever produce a screenplay that makes it worthy of greatness.

jon said...

batman was good, i'll give it that.


Tony Tanti said...

Unbreakable is incredible, one of my all time favorites. While it is a superhero movie in a way it's not a comic book adaptation so it doesn't count.