Friday, May 2, 2008

Ten Thoughts Of Varying Depth On Iron Man

THE SHORT AND SWEET REVIEW: It is good. Robert Downey Jr. is perfection. He really makes Tony Stark a sympathetic figure and that's coming from someone who usually can't stand Iron Man as a concept or character. Well worth seeing on the big screen. In fact, I imagine it won't look half as impressive at home. Also, be sure to stick around through all of the credits.

1. Yes, they do use the Ozzy music.

2. The final words of the movie are "I am Iron Man"

3. Robert Downey Jr. is perfect as Tony Stark. Not a bad thing to say about him.

4. All the casting, in general, is great. They picked a great actor for Rhodey for the inevitable sequel when War Machine shows up. (They're already hinting at it.) And Jeff Daniels - as the big baddy - manages the impossible in playing a comic book villain who doesn't chew the scenery.

5. Gwyneth Paltrow is great as Pepper Potts. Yes, I know what you're thinking - why such a big, respected actress to play Tony Stark's secretary? Trust me: the movie will make it make sense. And here's to them sticking true to the comics and not forcing a romantic relationship between the boss and the loyal secretary but keeping the tension there.

6. Something they didn't stay true to? Jarvis - rather than being a sarcastic British butler - is Tony's electronic personal assistant. I don't know if they thought they were already too heavy on supporting cast (Pepper, Rhodey... even Happy Hogan for Pete's sake!) or if they thought people would say "Oh - he has a butler doing everything for him just like Batman!" Either way, it's a little thing that only the most die-hard of fan-boys will complain about given how much they got right.

7. Something else they didn't stay true to from the comics? The Mandarin, in this case, is a Genghis Khan admirer who runs a terrorist group called "The Ten Rings". Presumably they were afraid of offending people with the portrayal of a magic-ring wearing Chinese warlord.

8. That brings up the one flaw with the movie. Tony Stark is forever changed and decides to get his company out of weapons manufacturing after he sees the lives that are being ruined by the weapons he designed and sold all of his life. And the Iron Man suit is his way of trying to create a non-lethal solution to armed conflict - rays that knock people down but don't cause lethal damage.

Great. Super. Wonderful... except that what he does in an effort to make amends really does nothing to address the large number of people who wouldn't have turned to terrorism/freedom fighting had it not been for his warmongering in the first place. And all of The Ten Rings are killed off before any attempt at rehabilitation/reconciliation can be made, so it's a moot point.

Still, it seems odd for the movie to bring up the issue without trying to rectify it at all. Then again, how can it? It really can't. There's no easy solution to how you make something like that better. Which is actually the first honest step anyone has ever made to making Tony Stark a sympathetic character in any medium. He knows that he's screwed up and he knows that he can never make up for what he has done. All he can say is I'm sorry and move on.

9. The best Stan Lee cameo ever as Stan Lee stretches his acting chops and plays a non-speaking Hugh Hefner. Seriously.

10. So why should you stick around during the credits? Three Words: Samuel Motherloving Jackson.


  1. D'oh!
    I knew that. I really did.
    I also type Ingrid Bergman when I mean Ingmar Bergman too.

  2. Loved, loved, LOVED Samie at the end of the credits!
    I saw it last night. I really wish that Cody could have been here. What with this, Speed Racer, Indy, and all coming out for May, it's such a bust he's not here. He would have loved the film Iron Man. Although the thing was a bit graphic at the beginning. Really made you feel like you were there...
    Well, I loved it. And I cracked up when Stan Lee turned around. I totally agree, that was the best one for him yet.
    And I didn't recognize Jeff Bridges at first, then I started to realize it, and I was blown away. When did he get so old, or was the make up just that good?
    And of course, Robert Downey Jr. is Iron Man. He really did the character justice. I loved his acting, his looks. Yay!
    What's next in Marvel universe? So far they seem to be getting better and better (minus the last two X-men and the last Spiderman, but you know...).

  3. What's next in Marvel universe? So far they seem to be getting better and better (minus the last two X-men and the last Spiderman, but you know...).
    Incredible Hulk comes out in about a month. Ed Norton as Bruce Banner.

  4. No worries. I figured it was just a goof.
    AS for the movie. I really loved it. I think as far as films go, it is the best comic book movie. Great script, fantastic acting all around(the only other guy I thought could be Stark is Charlie Sheen, I still think he could do it, but Downey made it his). As far as best super hero flicks? Spidey 2 is still better, it is better spectacle and such, more fun. But not as good as Iron Man.

  5. Wah?! Noooooooo!
    Well, they aren't getting the same director, so that's good. But I actually liked the casting in the last one, I just really hated the script and directing. It's odd they are doing another so soon though. I hope it's good.
    Mmm... I think I'm just really hopeful for the next Fantastic Four. I hope they don't pull another Spidy3. With two really good films and a WTF to follow.
    Here's hoping! ^_~