Archive for May, 2008

06 May 2008

Iron Man

No Comments Reviews

im-14109r.jpgMegatron and the rest of the Transformers can kiss Iron Man’s gold-tinted ass, because Robert Downey Jr. (“Charlie Bartlett”) and Jon Favreau (“Zathura”) have created something Michael Bay has never heard of – a clever, engaging blockbuster.

In “Iron Man,”Downey Jr. stars as Tony Stark, the world’s most illustrious weapons manufacturer/ playboy. On the verge of his latest missile release, Stark is captured and forced to build a new weapon for an elite terrorist group.

During the capture, however, Stark is attacked and hit by multiple pieces of shrapnel from one of his own bombs. In order to stay alive, a powerful magnet is placed in his chest in order to prevent the shrapnel from going to his heart. Realizing that he cannot give into the terrorist’s demands, he builds a giant armored mechanical suit powered by his magnet and quickly escapes.

Once home, Stark realizes that his weapon manufacturing industry is contributing more to terrorism rather than peace. In an effort to make things right, he decides to build a more technologically advanced suit that will help him rid the world of his deadly creations and any other evil that threatens humanity.

Over the past 30 years, filmmakers have been trying to create the ultimate superhero movie. In 1978 Richard Donner undoubtedly brought the genre popularity with the first “Superman.”Tim Burton gave viewers a gritty look at the first human superhero in “Batman”in 1989.  After a long drought, Sam Raimi brought comic fans back to the multiplexes in 2002 with “Spider-Man.”Today, Favreau has topped what all the others have done by creating the new, defining superhero movie of our generation with “Iron Man.”

“Iron Man”retains a median between the typical summer blockbuster and an intelligently developed superhero movie.

While it may not be as brilliantly structured as “Batman Begins,”it knows its comic roots by being cheesy when needed, but not completely ridiculous like the two-hour eye candy fest that was last year’s “Transformers.”With great action, humor, visual effects, hot cars, hot babes, cool gadgets, a perfect leading role and everything else on the typical blockbuster checklist, this film is defined by its simplicity.

As much as Favreau deserves all the credit for making “Iron Man”the blockbuster masterpiece that it is, Downey Jr. is arguably the main reason why this film works. By mixing the personalities of Dr. House, Neil Patrick Harris, and of course, Robert Downey Jr., he creates the perfect superhero alter ego.  With his intelligence and wealth complemented by mass amounts of cockiness, he makes Bruce Wayne’s dark ambition look “emo.”

With Downey Jr. stealing every scene, the other actors struggle to find any depth with their inferior characters. Gwyneth Paltrow (“The Good Night”) plays the comic book adaptation of Pam from “The Office”with her character Pepper Potts. Half sexy, half nerdy, Paltrow floats around the movie with no solid footing on where she is taking her character.

The same can be said for Terrence Howard (“The Perfect Holiday”), who plays Stark’s sidekick, Jim Rhodes. Since Howard is usually only seen with Downey Jr., he only seems to accomplish enhancing the coolness of Tony Stark.

Outside of the acting and the plot, the movie is filled with an abundance of pop culture references, cheap marketing ploys and unforgettable cameos.

In unquestionably the greatest marketing of the year, war survivor and American hero, Tony Stark is seen eating a Burger King Whopper while exiting his limo during his welcome back press conference.  Since when did the Whopper become the defining American burger?

Along with the Marvel studio logo automatically comes comic book legend Stan Lee.  Over the past few years, Lee has made sure he is seen in the movie adaptations of his greatest works.  In “Iron Man”he is given the cameo of a lifetime by appearing as man-god Hugh Hefner.

It may also be worth your time to stay after the credits for quite possibly the greatest 15-second cameo of all time.

When all is said and done, and for some reason if you are a tasteless bastard who thought the movie was worse than your own pathetic life, you can at least be happy that you got to see the new orgasmic-worthy “Dark Knight”trailer that precedes the film.

‘Iron Man’
Release Date: May 1
Director:  Jon Favreau
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges and Terrence Howard
Genre: Action, Adventure
Rating: PG-13
Grade: A-