Monday, July 13, 2009

Iron Man Review

Yes, I saw Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.  Yes, I will tell you all about it.  But, as with any good show, before the Main Event there is always a preliminary event - in this case, my review of Iron Man.

I had heard many good things about Iron Man; so much so, that it created a certain amount of hype that it failed to live up to.  It was a good movie, that I enjoyed, and really want to buy, but it had serious flaws, the most notable of which is that it was an origin movie.  The first X-Men, Spider-Man and Batman movies all suffered of this flaw.  It just can't be helped.  Origin movies are forced to explain a large amount of information which tends to make the movie a little slow and/or boring.  Ideally, a sequel - because it doesn't have as much necessary exposition - can be more exciting.  This was the case in all of the above movie series, and I expect it to be so with Iron Man as well.

As for the movie content, it was - for the most part - very strong.  Robert Downey Jr. was outstanding in his role as Tony Stark/Iron Man.  I mean, just fantastic!  He really controlled every scene he was in - as he should.  In some ways, the characters of Stark and Bruce Wayne (Batman) are similar: both are rich inventors that live almost fake, playboy-esque lives while secretly being superheroes in the background.  In this way I compared Downey's Stark with Christian Bale's Wayne (from Batman Begins and Dark Knight) and Robert Downey Jr. really comes away looking strong in that regard.  He was more believable and enjoyable to watch in that role than Bale, and was clearly the best actor in the movie.  It is no surprise that after Iron Man, Downey's career has been revitalized.

The supporting cast was similarly good to very good.  Gweneth Paltrow in particular stood out as Pepper Potts.  Most of the other cast members played their parts well - or at least didn't hurt the movie.

The effects and the suit were very pretty to watch.  It didn't look overly fake (most of the time) and there was just enough banter in fight scenes to make it enjoyable.  Sometimes too much talking can be distracting.  As for the story; it was a typical superhero fare - and a standard Iron Man origin.  The switch to Afghan terrorists (in the original comic - from the 1960s! - the Chinese had kidnapped Stark and induced him to create his armor) made the movie more modern and easy to relate to and the subtle hints to classic villains and other characters (Mandarin, Jarvis, War Machine) gave longtime fans something to enjoy without taking away from the main points of the movie.

Overall, if you enjoy superhero movies then this is a solid but not great movie.  However, the characters are all well-established and a sequel, either in the form of a second Iron Man movie or an Avengers movie, will really allow for a much better movie.

No comments: