Friday, May 2, 2008

Who is Iron Man?

Promo pics from the new GI Joe film had Stan Lee fuming

One of the least likely superheroes to see feature film gold had to be Iron Man. The least likely actor to lead a multi-million dollar blockbuster about Iron Man would have had to be Robert “rehab” Downey Jr. Why then would director Jon Favreau campaign not only for this film, but for Downey Jr. to be the lead in his ticket to the big time? The character, the film, the director and the lead could all be considered underdogs in the glitzy, glamorous world of Hollywood.

Yet there they all are, big and shiny as Hollywood can make them, collaborating on the first of many mega-action blockbuster movies out this year.

So who is this Iron guy any way? That would be Iron Man and he’s a superhero of course. Marvel’s favourite Avenger’s big screen romp begins with billionaire weapons manufacturer Tony Stark travelling through the desert in a military convoy with star struck American soldiers. He’s cavalier, drinking scotch and dressed in a suit, the cost of which could pay my rent for a couple of months. The convoy is bombed and so begins the rapid fire back-story, action and mayhem that is Iron Man.

Casting Robert Downey Jr. as an alcoholic billionaire who loves the ladies and who forgot what the word ‘accountability’ means was a stroke of pure genius. In a quote from the set published in Empire Magazine’s May issue, Downey Jr. recalls a time during filming where a crew member yelled out, “How does it feel to be playing Iron Man” and he thought for a moment, “What do you mean? I AM Iron Man”. That pretty much sums up his performance in this film. Stark’s not a nice guy and he never changes who he is, just his agenda.

Stop! In the naaaame of loooove...

You can’t go passed the cliché’s here. All Superhero films have them and Iron Man is no different. There is the perky assistant/potential love interest Pepper Potts played, surprisingly well, by Gwyneth Paltrow. There’s the sleazy business partner with loose ethics played by Jeff Bridges, who could be mistaken in this film as the love child of John Malkovich and Nick Nolte. There are the stereotyped Arab henchmen and the realisation and redemption of Tony Stark himself. It’s all there, you don’t have to look very hard.

Iron Man has brilliant special effects, a cast of actors that actually act, a director who clearly adores the subject matter (his office is apparently littered with Iron Man memorabilia) and one of the best leads to come out of rehab, well, ever. Loads of movies have a similar winning combination, yet what comes out the other end is a tried and true stinker. However, Iron Man has enough heart, laughs and true diversity to make it a stand-out action and comic book film, resting comfortably on the strong and arrogant shoulders of Mr. Robert Downey Jr.

Want me to sum up this movie in one sentence? Iron Man will make you want to take your panties off.

4/5 Stars

2 comments: Admin said...

I agree with you that Iron Man is a good movie. Robert Downey Jr. is perfect for the part, no matter what his past may dictate. I look forward to seeing him in The Incredible Hulk and also see how he does in the Ben Stiller's comedy, Tropic Thunder, where Robert plays the role of an African American.

Jen Reviews Movies said...

I know! If you type in Tropic Thunder in the search window of my blog, you'll find what I've written about it. It seriously looks incredibly funny and Downey Jr will steal the movie. No doubt!