Friday, May 09, 2008

Iron Man

By Shawn

Marvel's first summer blockbuster Iron Man is an iron solid hit.

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Bridges, Terrance Howard, Gwyneth Paltrow
Directed by: Jon Favreau
126 minutes

“Heavy boots of lead/fills his victims full of dread/running as fast as they can/Iron Man lives again.”
Those lyrics were never more relevant than they are today.  Marvel Comics’ first big release of the year comes in the form of Iron Man, directed by Jon Favreau and starring Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Bridges, Terrance Howard and Gwyneth Paltrow; and it does not disappoint.

The film introduces us to Tony Stark, played by Downey; the cocky, brash weapons manufacturer.  The film doesn’t necessarily deviate from its source material, instead updating to reflect the current state of international affairs.  Instead of the Viet-Cong, we have what has become the defacto standard in evil in Hollywood today, the Arab terrorist.  They capture Stark and force him to build a weapon for them but Stark instead constructs the prototype for the Iron Man armor. 

The action is fast paced and well choreographed.  Favreau showcases why he’s one of the top directors in Hollywood.  This is as much his film as it is Marvel’s and Downey’s.  While his films have been critical they were not commercial successes but Iron Man appears ready to break that mold.  The supporting characters are wonderfully acted with Bridges’ Obadiah Stane standing out the most.  As a comic reader, I have a general knowledge of Iron Man, and they have taken all of the best qualities of his worst enemies and were able to turn Stane into a proper villain.

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Paltrow and Howard are fantastic as Pepper Potts, Stark’s loyal assistant and Jim Rhodes, military liason to Stark Industries.  Paltrow’s character is witty and attractive and the film rightfully teases the audience with their relationship and at its core, the film seems to be about relationships.  Stark’s relationship with not only those around him, but the very world itself are represented on film and that’s the character building that these types of movies need.

Whether you’re looking for the next great superhero film or just a great action movie, Iron Man delivers on all fronts.  Two thumbs up.


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