Random thoughts on most things from A. M. Craig.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Review: Iron Man

I wanted to see Iron Man opening night. I've been looking forward to this one for a long time. It certainly gets my award for best trailer of 2007. For a year I've been revving up for this, ever since reading about everything they showed at Comic Con last year (ya, I'm that dorky). But I ran into a few snags. First, I didn't have the usual entourage to go with me. It's Summer, people are home while school is out. Also, I was heading out of town for Landon's wedding, and just didn't think it would be possible. But lucky me.

After the wedding, we found ourselves with a few hours till the reception, and what-do-you-know, the IMAX theater in Boise, just a couple miles from the temple, is showing an opening day matinee of, you guessed it, Iron Man.

The story is simple enough, and standard fare for a comic book movie (of which this is a shining example). Tony Stark, the billionaire playboy tycoon genius, heir to the Stark Industries fortune, is demonstrating a new missile in war torn Afghanistan. After a stunning show to the top military brass, Stark is kidnapped en route back to his private jet. His captors are, unsurprisingly, Middle Eastern terrorists (the original comic book placed him against the Viet Cong, I guess whoever the present national threat is). Their demand is that he build for them, with stolen Stark Industries hardware, the missile he had just demonstrated. Stark comes up with a better plan. He builds a suit of armor and weapons. He wipes out the terrorists. He finds a new mission in life.

There is more to it than that (including a really great interplay between Tony Stark and Pepper Potts, his personal assistant) but I hope this is enough to get you to the theater.
The casting was purely inspired. Every role was filled perfectly, even though the parts weren't exactly intuitive. Robert Downey Jr. is Tony Stark; cocky, charming, intelligent, and very funny throughout. Jeff Bridges was amazing as Obadiah Stane; only showing you what best suits his needs. Gwyneth Paltrow reaffirmed my long time celebrity crush; as Pepper Potts she was as adorable as anything she's ever been in. Terrence Howard is good in everything I've seen him in. I am especially looking forward to him as Jim Rhodes suiting up in the sequels (count on it). Director Jon Favreau makes an on screen cameo as the limo driver, Hogan. There's even a surprise celebrity appearance at the end (the very end).

It was fast. It was funny. It was everything this kind of movie should be, which is fun. There isn't any science, there isn't any stunning plot. There are a lot of explosions, rocket packs, guns, funny lines, and cool machines and special effects. You'll like it, even if you're not into the whole super hero thing. It's just a lot of good time.

Rumor is all the actors have signed on for two more films. Downey will make a cameo as Stark in the upcoming HULK movie (they take place in the same Marvel universe). Dave and I agreed that we wouldn't mind having access to the wardrobe of Stane and Stark, respectively.

A.O. Scott of the New York Times gave it a favorable review, though I held off reading anything more than the headline till after I saw the movie myself. They also offered a little something extra on the development of the suit.

We were lucky enough to see this on the way out. While I don't think it was really a movie for little kids (Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action and violence, and brief suggestive content), but I just couldn't pass them up.

P.S. Stick around for after the credits, you'll be glad you did.


Nancy said...

Can you believe that I also saw this on opening night? I wasn't as enthusiastic a participant as you, it was after all my anniversary date night and I did not want anything to do with a comic book movie. But I do love my husband (as noted in my eighth wedding anniversary) and admit to also begrudgingly loving this movie. Two thumbs up, way up! P.S. I was horrified by how many people had their young children in this movie theater, what are parents thinking? This is not a movie for kids!

Emily said...

Gwyneth Paltrow has always reminded me of Toria Cutler.

pam said...

I read about this movie in the paper and knew it would be one you would see and rave about. Do you think I should see it?