Analog Thoughts on a Digital Age

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Movie Review: Iron Man (2008)

Looks like we've got another good one with John Favreau's take on the Marvel superhero Iron Man. I can honestly say that I haven't had this much fun in the theater since Transformers.

Tony Stark is a billionaire playboy/ military weapons supplier with a glass of brandy on one hand and no sense of nostalgia whatsoever. He is played pitch-perfectly by veteran actor Robert Downey junior. Stark is full of the character flaws that makes him the charming hero/anti-hero that he is, plus with Downey's quick wit adds another dimension to his already endearing, man's man persona. Think of Clooney, only a hundred times richer.

As Stark goes through one of his routine weapon demos in the Afghan desert, his detail is raided and killed as he is almost fatally wounded by one of his own missiles. He is abducted by local rebels where he is held captive and promised freedom only under the condition that he build a missile just like the one he demoed for the US Military. Instead he builds an armor with guns and torches, which he uses to escape the clutches of the rebel soldiers.
With his escape comes a newfound respect for life. He swears to protect the people he means to save from the very weapons he created. Thus we have an upgraded version of the desert armor, later to be known as the Iron Man.

The supporting cast is in every way as stellar as Downey. Terrence Howard is great (and funny) as Rhodes, Stark’s best friend ally in the military. Gwyneth is gorgeous as Pepper Potts. The onscreen chemistry between Downey and Paltrow is undeniable as they fumble through their awkward employer/employee dynamic. Jeff Bridges is surprisingly good as a comic book villain.

There are also a bunch of little surprises and winks at hardcore fans that will catch your attention once in a while (look for Audioslave and RATM’s Tom Morello and Stan Lee’s cameos). But all in all, this movie is just a great story told well, set in the great amazing Marvel universe.

Rocketboy’s Rating: 5 out of 5 (*****)