Monday, May 26, 2008

Movie Review - IRON MAN

Well, I waited a few weeks to see Iron Man, primarily for 2 reasons. My wife wanted to see it with me, and I didn't want the experience ruined with the moronic masses in the theater. Finally we went to see the flick at a nice 10:30 am showing today, and all I can say is.... Perfect! This movie easily gets a 10, which a hypercritical guy like me almost never gives a film. In no particular order, here are some of the reasons this movie was so perfect.

Robert Downey Jr. (and the other actors) - I know that comic book movies aren't made for academy awards consideration, but dammit, RDJ is absolutely perfect. I am a comic book geek, have read comics for well over 30 yrs now, and RDJ is the embodiment of Tony Stark. Genius level IQ would be an understatement, with an immature, callous , somewhat superficial exterior, Tony Stark is a man without a purpose, until he faces his own death in the desert, at the hands of those who have benefited from his arms shipments. A merchant of death who finds a purpose, RDJ shows the cliched "heroes journey" (check out Joseph Campbell, if you don't know what I'm talking about.)

However, the character of Tony has some good friends, and you have to believe they see something in this man worthwhile. His 2 closest are assistant Pepper Potts (Gwyneth paltrow, and I forgot how damned good she is onscreen, its been so long since I've seen her. Hey Gwyneth, leave Apple with the babysitter and make some more movies.) The chemistry between Paltrow and Downey Jr is phenomenal, and the way they interact had a strong vibe of the Moneypenny/James bond sequences I've seen over the years. Great stuff.

Also in Tony's corner; James Rhodes, played by the always terrific Terrance Howard. An honorable military man, he sees potential in Tony to be better, and then watches it rise to the surface.

Finally, every good hero needs a great villian, and Jeff Bridge's Obadiah Stane is perfect. Jealous and greedy, he is clearly a man with some envy. Notice the large cigars, the big glasses of booze, the shaved scalp and full beard. This dude (pun intended) definitely wants to be at the top of the heap, and Tony Stark, son of Stane's deceased partner Howard Stark, is in his way.

Now for the fun bits for a comic geek like me:

James Rhodes looking longingly at a suit of silver armor, a different prototype in Tony's lab - can you say War Machine?

Faran Tahir's Raza, the villian in the desert, leader of a group referenced on a tv telecast as the group of the 10 rings - there is often a lot of camera attention on a large ring on Raza's finger, and any good comic geek could see early on that the next villian will most definitely be: The Mandarin, a great villian for Iron Man, probably one of his most famous in the comics.

How about the agent for SHIELD (with a few jokes re: the lengthy name until they realized they have the acronym for Shield - followed by that kick ass final scene, after all the credits roll by, when the 1 and only Sam Jackson steps out and introduces himself: "Nick Fury, director of Shield. I would like to speak to you about the Avengers Initiative!!!! (geek orgasm) - (for you non geeks out there, like my wife, who was puzzled because she thought Nick Fury was white, he is. But in the Ultimates, an updated, revamped version of the Avengers, Nick was drawn by Bryan Hitch to look exactly like Sam Jackson with an eyepatch, and that is exactly what we got.)

The Pacing of the film was perfect, the soundtrack was great, hell, the tie in action figures is terrific. Hell, even the audience was quiet!

This is a must own, and I will definitely see it in the theater again, which I do very, very rarely. Usually for Tarantino flicks and I did it for the last Batman flick -


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