Monday, May 5, 2008

Movie Review - Iron Man

This past weekend, the 2008 Summer Movie Season began with a BANG! Iron Man is a fun ride, mainly due to the top-notch performance of Robert Downey Jr. and his super-cool suit of armor. Downey takes the role of Tony Stark and makes it his, so much so that is difficult to imagine anyone else needed to audition. It has been a long while since I've seen him in a leading role, but he plays the part with such confidence and charisma, well worth the price of admission. And he gets one of the best props in movie history - a super suit!

IMHO, Adi Granov's armor design is the best in the character's 45 year history and it looks amazing on the big screen! The action sequences in this movie made me understand for the first time the appeal of this character. You will believe a metal man can fly!

I found most of the other aspects of the movie to be adequate. The modern interpretation of the origin works very well and seems quite fresh, though the main conflict is fairly by-the-book. The supporting cast is fairly one-dimensional, particularly Gwneth Paltrow, who often looks lost in the role of Pepper Potts (not sure she is as much to blame as the writers though). Jeff Bridges wonderfully chews up the screen in his over-the-top performance as Obidian Stane and it left me wanting more confrontational scenes between him and Stark outside the suits.

My only other complaint is the music. The score was dramatic enough, but once again I lament the loss of character themes in recent movies. Did the fine work of John Williams and Jerry Goldsmith teach today's film composers nothing? How lazy is it to not have a powerful new Iron Man theme during the end credits, but instead rely on classic Black Sabbath to do the work for you?

And speaking of the end credits... The "bonus" scene was well worth the wait! A very awesome fanboy moment which gave me goosebumps! I hope it comes to fruition during my lifetime!

As the first entry in this summer's blockbusters, Iron Man delivers and sets the bar for this season. Not only did I enjoy it a lot, but my girlfriend who is not a superhero fan, was absolutely giddy leaving the theater. I would hardly call it the best comic movie ever, but it is a fun ride. And here's a fun fact: one of the executive producers was Peter Billingsley (Ralphie in A Christmans Story).

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