Friday, May 2, 2008
Ok, the first of the summer “blockbusters” is out, IRON MAN, in the latest version of Marvel Comics takes over Hollywood. IRON MAN is based on the Marvel Comics super hero and I must say plays true to the true super-hero philosophy. Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) is a wealthy brainchild industrialist/scientist/protégé like his father before him. He owns Stark Industries, which is a huge corporation that builds military weapons. The cast also includes Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) as the #2 in the corporation, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) as Stark’s assistant, and a host of well cast bad guys.
The movie starts right off with our hero being captured by insurgents in Afghanistan who insist that he build them a copy of a new weapon he has developed. Then the film goes back to what led to the present situation. With that done, we come back to the present situation, Stark’s escape from the insurgents by building the Iron Man prototype (not giving anything away here, it’s in the previews!) and return to the good old USA.
Once home, Stark has had a change of heart in what direction his corporation, and his life, has been going in and wants to make changes, but the board of directors (those always nasty unscrupulous people) want to lock him out. So, he spends his spare time building and perfecting his Iron Man suit, since he has nothing else to do.
There are great sequences during the building and testing of the suit where Stark’s only friends are his computer and all the robotic helpers with which Stark carries on constant conversations with a lot of great shtick. Stark’s first venture into the real world is a great sequence and makes you want more.
This movie is fun, with more than ample special effects that are very well done, a lot of sight gags, a lot of great dialog, and a lot of great cars. The cast, as mentioned before is well cast and Downey is a perfect fit for the part of Stark. Other good supporting cast include Shaun Toub as Yinsen (the assistant during his capture) and Faran Tahir as Raza (the bald bad guy). The only character I didn’t like was Col. Jim Rhodes (Terrence Howard), who was supposed to be Stark’s friend, but his character was never developed or relationship really established. To me he just seemed to get in the way.
I have to mention that I do not recall a single profanity is this movie and the “romance” was limited to one brief scene only to develop part of Stark’s personality and playboy image at the time. That’s refreshing.
I certainly won’t say that this is the blockbuster of the summer … we still have the new Batman movie, Wall-E, Indiana Jones, Journey to The Center of the Earth, to mention just a few, yet to come. But, I will say this is a fun movie and great entertainment. I am torn between giving this a 9 or a 10, but my humble rating system says I’ll give it a 10. By the way, I just LOVED the ending!!! I’m sure there will be sequels.