Thursday, May 1, 2008

A Frank Review of Iron Man (The Movie)

There are a wealth of lengthy reviews of Iron Man available online right, but I'm too tired to contribute formally. Instead, I'll try to stick with spoiler light bullet points:

  • At two hours and six minutes, the movie still feels short. A good time is had all the way through, without any of the tiresome padding usually found in super-hero movies.
  • Tony Stark's facial hair and posture are overstated to distraction.
  • Good sound effects, but some really dodgy music cues, especially that weak ass un-rock score during Iron Man's first flight. The 60's cartoon theme riff helps salve the wound.
  • Jeff Bridges is outstanding and highly effective.
  • Terence Howard's voice bothers me a lot. He didn't sound like Jim Rhoades so much as Theodore of Alvin & the Chipmunks.
  • Gwen Paltrow reminded me for the first time in a great many years why I found her attractive. Her charm brings more to the role than the script, though it is blessed with an avoidance of much of the usual cliche. However, her skits are too long to be so tight, forcing her to waddle through set pieces in a most unbecoming manner.
  • The effects are wonderful in that you not only believe these constructs inhabit their space, but you can actually watch them perform without overly frenetic cuts. The mech combat is phenomenal.
  • Some of the comedy is surprisingly broad and slapstick, and it manages to work without eroding the more serious and realistic aspects of the film.
  • Jon Favreau's cameo as Happy Hogan works well without seeming forced, plus he fairly looks the part, poor bastard. Expect this man to earn a lot of money in the coming years with his deft handling of the diverse expectations of this script.
  • A wealthy playboy used to having his way with the world is humiliated and imprisoned under terrible conditions for months. He then builds a suit of armor, obliterates his captors, and returns constantly to its power and freedom of flight in place of all previous pursuits. Psychoanalyze away.
  • The virtual incarnation of Jarvis is magic, where a human would have just been an Alfred Pennyworth rip.
  • I think this flick will play better with the uninitiated than most any other super-hero movie in history.
  • The movie consistently takes the material a step beyond, making it an all-ages action comedy that can actually play to adults without insulting their intelligence or sensibilities.
  • Above all else, Robert Downey Jr. FTW. He's so witty and generally enviable in his ability to manipulate emotions like putty in his hands, you'll have difficulty finding fault in any aspect of the film bearing his touch. That said, there's an awful lot of Downey wisecracking that wins the audience but loses sight of the character at times. Still, I read a review that compared the performance to Johnny Depp's effect on "Pirates of the Caribbean," and it truly was strong enough to have carried the whole production on its back, if necessary.


DamonO said...

WOW -- if YOU give it a good review, it must be the movie of the decade.:-)

I'd better go check it out -- NOW.

Diabolu Frank said...

I am a harsh critic, I must admit, especially when it comes to super-hero movies. I saw it again today in IMAX, and it holds up pretty well. Love would be too strong a word, but it's definately on the Spider-Man/X-Men/Blade side of the Marvel movie quality spectrum. Again, be sure to stay after the credits, as there's about a minute of Afro-centric super-cameo action there.


Blog Archive


Surrender The Pink?
All books, titles, characters, character names, slogans, logos, and related indicia are trademarks and/or copyright of their respective rights holders.