Guest Author - Jamise Grace Liddell
Movie Reviewed: Iron Man
Directed By: Jon Favreau
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Terrence Howard, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges
Rated: Rated PG-13 for some intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, and brief suggestive content.
Runtime: 126 min
Studio: Marvel Enterprises
Second, third, fourth and fifth chances, Robert Downey Jr. has had a host of opportunities to get back into the game. The superior actor turned ex-con, turned barely working actor, was cast in the virtual Powerball lottery of comic book characters as Iron Man. The first of the Summer blockbusters, Downey’s film will not only restore his wealth (it made $200 million in its opening weekend), but Iron Man gig will also provide the talented actor with yet another opportunity to prove himself reliable.
Cool yet ironic isn’t it? The infamous Downey Jr. has been cast as America’s main crime fighter. Laugh or feel justified concern when Robert Downey Jr. comfortably depicts Iron Man’s human half, Tony Stark, an irresponsible, womanizing, functional alcoholic, corporate executive for a major military arms company that his father founded. Stark’s claim to fame is selling weapons to the highest bidder, whom ever that may be. Eventually, the greed associated with that endeavor turns friends into enemies, and forces those without conscience to muster some.
In the midst of all the comic book bravado is a message about war, and how the manufacturer’s of war weaponry, complicate the industry war by ensuring missiles and bombs land in the clutches of the anyone who can pay the price.
The beauty of Iron Man is Downey Jr.’s performance. He is not too over the top, nor does he portray his character too straight, Stark and Iron Man are played in the perfect key. But no one questioned Downey’s mastery of his craft, he is in many ways an everyman’s superhero if you just focused on his brilliant acting abilities.
Gywneth Paltrow, was pitch perfect as Stark’s loyal, red-headed, meek and sexy assistant slash sidekick slash sequel love interest Pepper Potts . But the award for “big surprise” in this film goes to Jeff Bridges, who isn’t immediately recognizable with his “Mr. Clean” bald head. Bridges is Obadiah Stane, Stark’s business partner and eventual nemesis. Terrence Howard is Jim Rhodes, Stark’s best friend, who meanders through the film like his character shouldn’t have died in the first 20 minutes.
Casting was just one powerful Iron Man element, costumes were another. The audience was so hyped when the sexy red and titanium Iron Man superhero ensemble was unveiled, they went wild; clapping and cheering, and that was before the suit saw any action.
During the big Iron Man fight scene against Iron Monger, the essence of several other robot movies was apparent, if not forged. Transformer déjà vu crept all over my visual psyche, and Robocop nostalgia came to mind as I watched the hunks of metal clank and fight.
As for the film Iron Man? The hype is real. Director Joh Favreau’s version of the Iron Man’s adventures are funny, exciting, explosive and ultimately satisfying. Iron Man is entertainment, true entertainment. Leaving the theatre fulfilled, yet wanting more is a rare feeling indeed in this age of movie mediocrity. For the first time in a long time you’ll feel like you got the cinematic adventure you paid for, and then some. In fairness, most of the superhero films do well, but I think Iron Man will give them all a run for their money. Take a deep breath in. Can you smell all of the sequels?
Chances galore for Downey Jr, and Iron Man.