Sunday, May 4, 2008

Iron Man Scores!

Just got back from the Sunday afternoon showing at the local cineplex of Iron Man, I have to say that it rocked! I'd definitely put it in the upper part of my top 10 all-time super-hero flicks and, for me, certainly the best Marvel super-hero film to come down the pike in years.

First, the casting was 1000% perfect. Robert Downey Jr. is Tony Stark. He played the conflicted man trying to rectify his life superbly, and he should - he's been down that road in his own life. His charm and skills at doing both the drama and the humor were right on. Gwyneth Paltrow played Pepper Potts with the right balance of confidence and sensuality. Jeff Bridges as Obidah Stane had the right mix of swarm and wickedness. Terrence Howard was a good fit for James Rhodes, who I am certain will play even a bigger role in the eventual sequel. Jon Favreau not only did an awesome job as director, but in a Hitchcock-like nod does double-duty as Happy Hogan.

Next, the story - a perfect origin tale tweaked nicely for the Hollywood adaption. It had a nice balance of intrigue, action, realism, humor and morality lesson too. Everything critical was there, plus it set up some nice foundations for the franchise to come. The introduction of a certain government organization was nicely done too.

Finally, the special effects complimented the film and did not overpower it as they often have done in Marvel's film efforts. This was a story about the characters, not the ooooh-aaaaaah of the effects' wizards.

My whole family loved it. I knew my son would - he's into the whole Marvel Ultimate Alliance game so he gets the characters. And, of course, I loved it - even if most of my exposure to Iron Man growing up as a kid was as his role on the Avengers line-up. I'm pleased to have all those Iron Man books on DVD-ROM though so I can dig deeper into the character's history. Finally, my wife even liked it - and super-hero flicks are not always her favorites (she goes to see them to indulge me). Still, she and I are both huge Robert Downey Jr. fans - always have been - so we hope he can keep his life turned down the positive road so that the franchise can grow and prosper.

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