Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Man in the Machine: Iron Man

Here is a movie that Transformers doesn't hold a candle to. In fact, it doesn't even hold anything to it. An exhilarating blast from not only the past but the future as this great summer movie employs techniques used before and mixes them with extreme landscapes, architecture, and action. Robert Downey, Jr. is at his absolute best as Tony Stark, a billionaire weapons dealer whose father apparently built the atomic bomb. The son isn't doing to badly either, rolling in big bucks, with a huge, gorgeous house in Malibu and some great cars. Then, during one of his trips to Afghanistan to demonstrate his new missile creation, the "Jericho", the tank he is traveling in explodes, and he is almost killed, and is also kidnapped by a terrorist group (The Ten Rings). He is forced to build another Jericho but instead, with the help of the guy who saved his life by keeping the shrapnel out of his heart (Shaun Toub), he builds a supersuit which he uses to escape. He makes it back to America with a whole new mindset about weapons and their dangers, and decides to build a bigger, better suit to destroy his weapons. But, of course, there has to be a villain, and that villain comes in the form of Obadiah Stone (Jeff Bridges), Stark's longtime partner who gets angered when Stark makes a speech that makes the stock drop 56 points. He decides to go to Afghanistan and resurrect the suit to fight off Stark. This proves to be an on target plot to add up to greatness. Gwyneth Paltrow co-stars as Pepper Potts, Stark's associate. She has some great scenes, and hits her spots very well. A great thing about this movie is the stylization. "Back in Black" at the very beginning when the tanks are coming forward fits the movie perfectly and sets the whole adrenaline rush in motion. Although Tony Stark's amount of "toys" is a bit on the exaggerated side, it still fits well with the movie. The only scene that I was impartial to was when Potts is performing a sort of surgery on Stark's body. It is the worst written scene in the movie, and it is the stupidest. You only hear the sounds of Potts' hand sloshing through the hole in Stark's body, plus it is dumb that Potts doesn't know what Operation is. The jokes, especially about Stark going into cardiac arrest briefly, are off target. This scene is the only scene that does not flow. Bottom line: this is an extremely humane and personal summer movie that is about a picked destiny instead of some sort of inflicted powers. Downey, Jr., as said before, turns in a wonderful performance, and Jon Favreau has a great vision of FX that few directors have achieved before. A-

Iron Man has violence, and a brief scene of sensuality.

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