PavCo Multimedia Synergistics Weblog

May 4, 2008

Movie Review – Iron Man

Filed under: Entertainment,Movies — CPav @ 9:03 pm
Tags: , ,

May is traditionally a time for endings and beginnings. The school year ends amid club banquets and celebrations. Sweeps month marks the end of television seasons (and often series), and the publication of the next season’s schedules. And the beginning of May ushers in the first of the summer’s blockbuster movies.

This year, that first blockbuster is Iron Man, the adaptation of the Marvel Comics character starring Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jeff Bridges. Iron Man is probably the longest-running Marvel character who hasn’t yet gotten the tv or movie treatment.

Munitions manufacturer Tony Stark is injured in an attack in a war zone (in the comics, it’s Vietnam; the movie transplants the events to Afghanistan) and implanted with an experimental device that keeps his heart going. He forges a crude suit of armor to escape his captors, then forges a more high-tech version back at home, to attone for the harm his weaponry has inflicted upon the innocent. A new pacifist tilt to his “civilian” attitude puts him at odds with Obadiah Stane (Bridges), his second-in-command at Stark Industries, and James “Rhoadey” Rhodes (Terrence Howard), Stark’s military liaison, with only his ever-faithful girl Friday Pepper Potts (Paltrow) standing with him.

Technologically, it’s probably a good thing that this movie wasn’t made until now. The CGI is fantastic, making the later versions of the metallic suits believable as armor, weaponry, and something that a human could feasibly move about in. Stark goes through multiple versions of the armor, and some of the most fun in the movie comes in his working out the kinks of the system.

Script-wise, the movie is solid. While I haven’t thought about it in great depth (and tend not to with these kind of movies), there weren’t any glaring logic holes, and Stark’s epiphany and search for redemption are well handled. There are some things that will resonate with comic book fans as sequel fodder, not the least of which is the “Easter egg” scene at the end of the credits. As a long-time comic book fan, I was beside myself with geeky delight, but the older couple behind me looked at each other and said “We sat through the credits for that?” Some of these things are more obvious (Rhodey looking at a spare suit of armor and saying “Next time”) than others (the name of the terrorist organization that captures Stark), but none are so blatant that they detract from the tale.

The casting is impeccable, with Bridges bald and menacing, but also palpably paternal to Downey’s callow CEO. Paltrow, in her first major movie since 2004’s box office disappointment Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, is beautiful and spunky with dyed red hair and knowing glances. In fact, by attracting respected actors to the four major roles (and appearing himself in a minor one), director Jon Favreau gives this blockbuster more depth than most, simply through the abilities of the cast to bring out the nuances of their characters.

This is true especially of Downey, who probably wouldn’t have been anyone’s first choice to play an action hero, but he brings a special humanity to the man in the iron mask. He is equally believable both before and after his transformation, and exhibits a joyous geekiness as his experiments bear fruit and his aromor comes together.

Like many May releases, this one may be eclipsed by later blockbusters, but for this weekend, at least, Iron Man is golden.

The 300 Project: 14/89

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2 Comments »

  1. nice, interesting (and very long) post you’ve got here..
    i have not watched the movie yet,
    but this post makes me wanna watch it.
    thanks for the great post.

    Comment by dabinl10 — May 5, 2008 @ 5:28 am | Reply

  2. Iron Man was practically flawless as a super hero flick; it drops pretty obvious hints that would indicate a sequel as well… i’m thinking the next one should be equally great

    Comment by patrick — May 6, 2008 @ 9:15 pm | Reply


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