REVIEW: “Iron Man”

Posted: May 3, 2008 by V in Review
Tags: , ,

(Arterial Spray’s first original review! This is exciting! Here we go! Word at the comic store on Weds was that since the filming dates of “Iron Man”and “The Incredible Hulk” were so close, they both have cameo appearances in each other’s self titled films. So If you go to see the movie, keep an eye out for Edward Norton, no one I know has spotted him yet, but we’re still trying. -v)

“Iron Man”, unlike most action movies that I enjoy watching, was good. Surprisingly good! ESPECIALLY for a superhero action flick. I went into the movie feeling cranky and put out (it was just one of those days), and came out spouting excitement and rainbows.

Romance factor. Thankfully slight, with Gwyneth Paltrow on the payroll, I wasn’t expecting that!
Ludicrous technology. Through the roof. Oh, the magnficient range and types of techno-crap!
Aerial dogfights. Just the right amount of high speed whooshing. (Unlike some movies focused on their amazing but hollow and unfulfilling battle CG, thank you, “Transformers”)
Explosions. I bet the pyrotechnicians had a blast. (I apologize.)

These are only a few of the factors I currently care to tap.

I am trying to take care to avoid spoilers, although I’ve had a bad track record.

Summary: Tony Stark is a brilliant, arrogant engineer billionaire . A genius in his own right, he also had the good fortune of inheriting “Stark Industries”, the massively successful weapons manufacturing company from his dad (comic hero style parental exit). He’s snappy, snarky, cool, and a jackass. Did I already mention arrogant? He’s played by Robert Downey Jr., who at forty something, looks pretty damn good. Oh, he does a damn good job acting too.

In any case, he’s on a demo spin for a weapons sale to the US military in Afghanistan when he’s abducted by terrorists. They force him to re-create the missiles he was out selling to the army, (I don’t know what they thought he could do without his lab, the best materials and equipment, while working in a cave and with a laughable time scale, but okay, AS’s motto, I’ll bite). Taking the terrorists up on their “You make a missile, we set you free deal”, Stark cobbles components together to make himself an armored suit, and flies his ass on out of there.

His triumphant return home heralds a change in Stark, and how he wants to run Stark Industries. His stint as a prisoner confronted him with a stockpile of Stark weaponry in enemy hands and changed his profiteering and “bigger stick” theory-ing ways. In any case, he makes a finalized iteration of his suit. The entire sequence of painstakingly constructing, testing, and polishing versions of his suit is the stuff of engineer dreams. For those who aren’t into the technological hoedown, its spiced up with humorous accidents and amusing dialogue. If engineers could have kings, Tony Stark as portrayed by Robert Downey Jr, would wear a coronet dripping with bling.

One of the best shows of the 90’s, was a show called Xena: Warrior Princess. The opening had a scene slowly panning foot to head of her bucking up her armor. Xena’s armor scene is to standard audience as Stark’s armor scene is to technophiles. That suit is a techno-geek’s wet dream. I should know.

Final score: Four 1/2 out of five bullets. Only very small problems with this hold the rating from a 5/5. The ending felt a little hurried and slightly anti-climactic. Although I can’t think of a single thing they could have done to make it better. Slight inconsistencies between villain words and actions. In any scenes with Paltrow, I was convinced her stiletto heel would slip through the grating and she would break an ankle. I refuse to believe anyone can run that fast in those shoes.

Graphics were amazing: the suit looked incredible, aerial scenes were exhilarating, explosions full of fiery wrath, fight sequences like a titanic battle. Um, product placement, obvious. (Looks like Burger King is trying to make a name for itself as maker of the quintessential American cheeseburger). Also, Stan Lee gets cuter every year, this year he played Hugh Hefner, complete with pipe and slippers. A well balanced film, all the right proportions of action, plot, buildup, and humor. Best opening sequence I’ve seen for a movie in years. Stark is just the right amount of snap, charm, and arrogance — he’s the sort of character you love to watch, but would hate to know.

In short: if you want to see it at all, you should see it in theatre, your TV wont do it justice. This means you, Susanna. Fork up the monies. If you don’t like it, I’ll mail you a refund.

P.S. Marvel fans, stay for the credits. Samuel L. Jackson makes an appearance as Nick Fury. You know they’re going somewhere with S.H.I.E.L.D.

  1. Thoth says:

    And then he killed Captain America.

    …the end.

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