Wednesday, May 28, 2008


"Let's be honest, this is not the worst thing you've caught me doing."

Tony Stark, played with a hip insouciance by Robert Downey Jr., is a multibillionaire playboy weapons manufacturer industrialist. When he is captured by the very renegades his weapons are being used against, he gets some first hand realization of the reality of what his empire is built upon (i.e., violence death horror). He manages to escape his captors using a handbuilt suit of armor, and upon his return to CA decides to make some amends by streamlining the suit and becoming IRON MAN, defender and all that.

IRON MAN the movie manages the unique feat of being an entertaining comic book movie that doesn't suffer from Tortured Hero Syndrome. Yeah, IRON MAN's Tony Stark goes through some ugly times and all, but he isn't burdened with the Survivor Guilt and High Moral Quandaries of BATMAN's Brooding Bruce Wayne or SPIDERMAN Self-Pitying Peter Parker. Director Jon Favreau brings a light touch to the proceedings that is sorely missing from franchise films in general and the current incarnation of BATMAN in particular. We're not talking Lubitsch here, by any means, but the assorted mishaps attending Stark's development and use of the Iron Man outfit, and Jude Law's cool voice issuing from the improbably advanced computer aiding him in the process are genuinely amusing in a way that nothing in recent action franchise movies have been.

Good fun, for the most part.


Michael said...

Hey, we're in rare agreement when it comes to comic book movies! I also dislike the teeny-bop angst of Spider Man and Batman, et al., and have some affection for the Fantastic Four movies which are just good old "Silver Age" comic book adventures. I also mostly like the X-Men movies even though the angst level is higher there; it doesn't seem as pretentious as it does in the other films. I liked Iron Man OK, though I won't necessarily be lining up for a sequel.

Pooji said...

The ads for this movie do nothing for me. It just does not look interesting to me at all.

And yet, people that I like and respect keep seeing the movie and giving it good reviews. I will have to go see it now.

Roscoe said...

It isn't the angst per se that I object to in comic book films. It is the way the angst overwhelms the story that gets on my nerves.

A little angst in a story can deepen the story, make it more interesting and vital. There's plenty of angst in Burton's BATMAN RETURNS, to my mind easily the finest of the comic book films to date. But the angst doesn't become an end in itself the way it does in the unspeakable BATMAN BEGINS or in the terribly whiny SPIDERMAN flicks.

I cheered Michelle Pfeiffer's transformation into Catwoman. I thought Christian Bale's Brood Wayne was in dire need of a good therapist, and all of Peter Parker's problems could be solved by his simply developing a spine.

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