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Iron Man

A 2008 movie starring Robert Downey Jr.

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Back in Black, baby.

  • Feb 11, 2011
Rating:
+4
***1/2 out of ****

I admittedly state that I'm no comic junkie. While I often times will read something that's going to be or has been adapted into film, seldom do I actually read such forms of literature. Nevertheless, I like it when a director rises up to the challenge of making a huge, epic superhero movie and succeeds. And by "succeeds", I of course mean that they successfully make it for both audiences; the comic book fans and the non-associated. What makes John Favreau's adaptation of Marvel's "Iron Man" so special is that it can successfully appeal to so many people. Its one thing to appeal to an audience with action, explosions, and CGI, but it's another thing to offer up a solid amount of spectacle on top of those things. "Iron Man" is a seldom seen rarity in the comic book movie genre; a near-perfect film. It's impossible not to like both the film and Tony Stark's character, who is presented nicely by Favreau in his vision. Robert Downey Jr. is up to the challenge in more ways than one, and offers one of his finest performances as the now-memorable Stark. The character alone should make "Iron Man" worth seeing, but the fact that it has completely kick-ass action sequences, a pretty solid story, and a great supporting cast makes "Iron Man" a must-see for just about any movie fan. It's what all us nerds, comic junkies or not, have wanted; a solidly made, smartly written superhero flick. It's like a dream come true for someone like me who just can't seem to see the beauty in most superhero movies these days. Perhaps Favreau simply has a lot more style than most directors, given that his "Iron Man" might as well be one of the better superhero adaptations to grace the big screen. I'm not saying that it's completely perfect, I'm just saying that as far as action films go, I freaking loved it. It's one thing to look at a comic book film for its visual spectacle, but it's another thing to look at it for its craft. This may not be the best comic book adaptation of all time, but for once it's one that is non-pretentious and widely appealing. Action fans are going to love it, nerds will too, and comic book fans will love it the upmost. If I had but one complaint, it would be that the film should have had a LOT more ACDC music than it already does. That wouldn't have made it perfect anyways, but what the hell. It is but a suggestion.

Tony Stark, a big name in world-wide weapons manufacturing, is suddenly kidnapped by terrorist who demand he replicate, for them, his newest addition to the weaponry family. The missile, to be precise, is to be made in about two days, and Stark gets help from but a man who also knows his way around mechanics. Stark must put aside his riches and learn to cope with challenge, and soon he isn't creating a missile anymore; he's creating a suit. He manages to escape custody with this very suit, which turns out to be a mere prototype compared to what he has coming next. Soon, Stark is back home creating a one-man-army suit, which he will go flying about in from now on. He is not the "defender of the universe"; nor is he the perfect hero, but his likable qualities make for one hell of a guy. But the real problem doesn't lie within Stark's emotions and whathaveyou. Instead, there are bigger problems. Tony's business partner, Obadiah Stane, is planning to take Stark's place as the big name in weapons manufacturing for Stark Industries. He confronts the terrorists and discovers that they still have Stark's prototype. Stane uses this base design to create a bigger, better suit for himself. And then...yeah. That's about all I have the right to spoil. You can probably guess whatever the hell happens afterwards as it is. What makes this a "good movie" with a "good story" is the writing. This film is surprisingly well written; taking an unoriginal base for a story (rich guy's mind is changed because of near-death experience and is soon interested in the welfare of others) and turning it into something very, very interesting. The plot has some complexity although it should have had more emotional substance. There's a little bit of a love story going on between Stark and his assistant "Pepper". It's nothing too flashy although as it stands, it makes for a decent life-saver (you'll know just what I mean once you've seen the film). Nevertheless, I have few complaints when it comes to "Iron Man's" story. The characters (especially Tony Start himself) were all interesting, and the plot is worth following. In the end, it's a pretty satisfying experience. Perhaps it isn't perfect, but then again it doesn't need to be. It's not a manipulative superhero flick nor is it generic in any way. It's "Iron Man", and it's bloody proud of it.

Robert Downey Jr. is a great actor. In "Iron Man", he pretty much invents his character. It's impossible not to like Tony Start, even if he's a self-absorbed rich man from start to finish. Even if he's a flawed man, he's still genuinely entertaining to follow. Robert Downey Jr. provides even more interest to such a fascinating man who before now was never really fascinating. This really is one of his best roles yet. And I'm bloody glad to say that he made "Iron Man" all the more worthwhile to watch. Jeff Bridges plays a mighty good villain overall. When I first saw "Iron Man" in 2008, I knew who Jeff Bridges was but I simply didn't notice that it was him. Now I know. And I feel proud of myself for knowing so. Gwyneth Paltrow is Stark's love interest, and I admit freely that she is as lovely and talented as ever. Despite her 2007 misfire in "The Good Night", Paltrow proves that she can still stand strong as a solid actress. Terrence Howard also lands himself a good supporting role, which is both a funny and intelligent one. There are even a few good cameos thrown in there, some of which include Stan Lee and director John Favreau himself. It's a party!

If anything, "Iron Man" is visually impressive and so much more. Superhero flicks are pretty much made to "wow" the crap out of the audience with their impressive visual spectacle...but that's just with generic superhero flicks. "Iron Man" manages to have some considerable depth and strong visuals as well as a kick-ass soundtrack and steady pace. When all is said and done, there's nothing really "wrong" about the film, but I just can't call it perfection. The films visuals consist of CGI and strong camera work. CGI is, for the most part, impressive in most modern day superhero films. The CGI in this film, however, feels interesting and somewhat new. It's something that keeps getting cooler every time you get the chance to see it, which is why it feels so special. The cinematography is good for the most part. Most of the shots are actually pretty interesting but most of the time it's appropriately main-stream. The soundtrack consists of ACDC (although not quite enough of it) and other such tunes. Most of it is rock-and-roll, since such tunes really do fit in with the atmosphere of "Iron Man". This film is a fun, wild ride throughout, which is probably why it opens with ACDC's "Back in Black". Fans of "wild cinematic rides" should check out this cinematic equivalent to an on-going action sequence CGI extravaganza. What simply cannot work in most action films works in "Iron Man", since John Favreau's direction is smart and the acting is good. These great qualities set "Iron Man" apart from most superhero films and make it epic in more ways than one. It's wild, in the best sense of the word. I'd recommend it to just about anybody, since just about anybody can enjoy it. I can't decide if the film is a classic or just another superhero flick. What I do know is that it simply isn't forgettable. And that's that.

Well would you look at that. I actually LIKED "Iron Man" the second time around. To be honest, I wasn't astounded by it at first. But upon watching it again, I can say that I really did enjoy it. Some may find Tony Stark's character to be too obnoxious, although I think that most will agree with me when I say that he was pretty darn interesting. With a great supporting cast to back up Robert Downey Jr.'s wonderful performance as well as state of the art visuals, "Iron Man" could be called art, since good filmmaking is artsy. There was effort put into it for sure, and I'm now convinced that John Favreau is multi-talented to so many extents. The guy can do so much with his talents, and finally he has created his so-called masterpiece. Indeed, I feel that this is Favreau's best movie. It's not a masterpiece, but as far as his filmography goes, it's a John Favreau classic. Easy to recommend considering its wide appeal and extensive action sequences. If you are indeed a film buff then listen up: see this movie. It's worth your time by all means. It's not perfect, but what the hell. It's not meant to be (or maybe it is, I don't know). And that's about it for complaints. I dislike bashing mostly wonderful movies that are well directed, to "negative" criticism essentially stops there. Now to watch "Iron Man 2", which I'm sure is fun but inferior to what Favreau has done here. Well I've got to congratulate the guy for sticking with his superhero-movie franchise which he has now created. It takes a strong man to do that. A strong man indeed.

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More Iron Man reviews
review by . May 02, 2011
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review by . August 28, 2010
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Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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Wiki


Iron Man
tells the story about a wealthy man who becomes involved in building an armored suit after a life- changing experience, and then begins to use his new suit to fight evil.

Directed by Jon Favreau, Iron Man was released on May 2, 2008, and won two awards at the Golden Trailer (Summer 2008 blockbuster), MTV Awards (Best summer movie) and was nominated for 3 other wards.  The film stars Robert Downey Jr., Terrance Howard, Jeff Bridges, and Gwyneth Paltrow.

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Details

Director: Jon Favreau
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Release Date: May 2, 2008
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 2hrs 6min
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