5.01.2008

IRON MAN: The Movie: The Review

by Jon Quixote

Well, I just got back from Iron Man and like any good nerd, I am on the internet in minutes so that my disgust may be heard throughout the world.

I will start my review with a list of my criticisms.

Criticism 1: There were too many Iron Man trailers and these many trailers had too many scenes from the movie, thus spoiling the joy of seeing it for the first time tonight.

That is all.

Wow, I had a great time at the movies tonight.

The Mighty Marvel Movie Machine is back on track. Iron Man is cut from the same cloth as the Spider-Man franchise: It's brightly colored, bombastic with heaping doses of both character-driven pathos and summer humor (including a couple wonderful running gags). The plot is driven by the protagonist's clean character arc, regularly punctuated by huge action set-pieces. And the whole production drips with star power and gobs of cash. It's neither cheap & flimsy like the Fantastic Four movies, nor is it mottled with stupidity, like Daredevil. Or the Fantastic Four movies. Damn, did those suck.

I always thought that Iron Man was Marvel's most cinematic property, with the possible exception of The Hulk. It's basically The Aviator meets Robocop, so even before the big comic book movie renaissance, it felt like a natural fit for the silver-screen treatment. So I had high hopes and they were met tonight; the transition is seamless. Iron Man is a summer blockbuster that's very comfortable in its own skin, and the story of an Alfred Nobel who parlays his guilt into a second career as a superhero is not only engrossing, but it looks like the movies get the character even better than the source material does. It's not only a good comic book movie, it gives us the definitive take on Tony Stark. This is the Iron Man that I'd like to see more of, in all mediums. It's a simpler, more streamlined version of the character than we get in the comics, but it hits all the right notes and it has the right focus.

Robert Downey Jr. is a big part of that. Tony Stark is the role that he's has been studying for decades to play (in your face, Raging Bull), and the casting here could not have been better (although Charlie Sheen has got to be slapping his agent right now). In fact, the star wattage throughout is a huge part of what makes Iron Man work. (Insert Cast Iron joke here) Lines like "You're violating protocol!" just sound so much more authentic coming out of Terrence Howard than they would Tyrese Gibson. Howard, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jeff Bridges really help power the flick through its few weaker moments. You made me believe, Ms. Paltrow, that Pepper Potts really was conflicted about whether or not to push that button.

But I'm a life-long nerd, and I'm geared to gush over an Iron Man movie provided it's half-decent (I'm still haunted by the glowing review I gave Ang Lee's Hulk over on Ain't-It-Cool a few years back). So I'm probably not the best judge as to whether or not it will play in Peoria.

However, I took the Boy and the Girl to see the movie with me. The Boy is 12, and while he doesn't resist my attempts to mold him into a super-hero junkie, the addiction hasn't really taken hold. The Girl is 15, which means she's a 15 year old girl. Which means I had to tell her that Iron Man was about a horse in order to get her to come along for the show.

On the ride home, they were both talking about how they'd tell their friends about the movie the next day at school, bragging about getting to see it early and making plans to see it again.

That means you don't just have to take my word that Iron Man is worth your entertainment dollar and will leave even the grouchiest moviegoer entertained and satisfied. It also has the endorsement of the harshest of cinema-critics: kids and teenagers.

So what are you still sitting around your computer for? Go see Iron Man. And often. Help make sure that there will be an Iron Man 2. It'll be your good deed for the day.

Oh, and stick around after the credits. Easter Egg!

9 comments:

Vocal Minority said...

I'mseeingthistonightandwillnotreadyourreview

I'mseeingthistonightandwillnotreadyourreview

I'mseeingthistonightandwillnotreadyourreview

Brandon said...

Jenn and I probably won't be able to see this until Sunday, but we're looking forward to it. Even she wants to see this!

Liana said...

Dan's taking a half-day from work so we can go see it before the theater is flooded with teenagers.

Cantwaitcantwaitcantwait!

Doug Smith said...

Saw it last night. It's everything Jon said it is.

Jon, once we're able to discuss the movie with spoiler warnings attached, I'd like to know what you thought of the last four words before the credits. Myself, I loved them.

Liana said...

Save the spoilers for next week's roundtable!

Doug Smith said...

The last four words of the movie:

It's all Liana's fault.

Brandon said...

Last four words speculation...

"Word to your mother!"

Dan said...

So good. So good. So good.

Brandon said...

Fantastic film! Probably the best Marvel film thus far!!!