Friday, 15 December 2017
Iron Man
Written by Sandra Fitzpatrick   
Thursday, 15 May 2008 00:00

 

ThumbnailLet the blockbuster season begin! Iron Man gets things off to a kick-ass start by being the best comic adaptation to come along since The Dark Knight, proving that he may be iron clad but he’s no dead weight!

There have been a string of disappointing comic adaptations lately, most notably Superman, Spiderman 3 (featuring that unfortunate Saturday Night Fever strut scene) and my favorite punching bag The Fantastic 4 movies (proving yet again that Jessica Alba really is just a pretty face). Rest assured that Iron Man rises above the mountains of comic book recyclables and hovers somewhere between genres, becoming a movie that anyone can enjoy. No previous comic book knowledge required.

So what raises this film above so many others in its class? Well, I’ll give you three little words: Robert Downey Jr. In a fit of inspired casting Downey Jr. has once again been thrown the gauntlet of mainstream stardom after recurring bouts with drug and alcohol abuse should have ruined his career. But against the odds he continued not only to work as an actor, but to consistently churn out great performances in smaller budget films like Wonder Boys, Fur or Charlie Bartlett. One could argue that Downey Jr. has a lot in common with is Iron Man character Tony Stark… a life of decadence leads them into very dangerous territory, but they put on their armor and move forward.

Tony Stark is a genius weapons manufacturer who lives the high life of a silver spoon fed bachelor; a media darling with a private jet and a different girl every night. Stark Industries is known for protecting the US with the most advanced weapons technology, but what he doesn’t realize is that his own inventions are falling into the hands of terrorists and being used against the people he thought he was protecting. After a weapons demonstration in Afganistan he is kidnapped and forced to create a super-weapon for his captors. Instead he builds a metal suit that makes him damn near unstoppable, and fills it with gadgetry for waging war against the bad guys.Thumbnail

Iron Man isn’t bogged down by too much story, and is mostly an introduction movie. It’s not hard to tell a sequel is in the plans, especially if you stay through the credits for the bonus scene at the end. But thankfully there was enough attention given to the script to make it a smart and often laugh-out-loud funny movie. It helps that Robert Downey Jr. has great comic timing and delivers his lines with just the right touch of wryness and sarcasm.

The rest of the cast is great too! Jeff Bridges was almost unrecognizable as Obadiah Stane, Starks business partner. He cuts an imposing figure with a bald head and full, white beard. Gwyneth Paltrow is Starks besotted assistant Pepper Potts, who doesn’t do much except stand by her man. But surprisingly, even this works well in the film and you really feel for the sweet, brave woman who looks past Starks many flaws and sees someone worth loving.

To wrap up, Iron Man is the perfect way to start the big-budget season. Smart, exciting and downright hilarious, it’s an all around crowd pleaser.