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Iron Man(2008)

What we've been waiting for


My personal vote for best super hero movie of the onslaught of Marvel movies that have hit the big screen in the last decade. With a combition of great action, story and witty/entertaining charaters, this movie even makes my list for one of the best movies I’ve seen in the last few years as well. This is definintely one of the most entertaining times I’ve had watching a movie since the podrace in "Star Wars: Episode I". The movie is bright, up-lifing, and a great adaptation of the comic. Robet Downy Jr. is the heart of this film and since no scene is complete without him, the film beats hard and strong for the etire two hour duration. A must see.


Robert Downy Jr. is simply sensational in his role as Tony Stark. Women love him and men want to be him. The character alone is entertaining enough to fuel the film, but add a couple of action sequences and you have a movie that has story to support the explosions, always a good combo. For those who don’t know Iron Man, you don’t need to. The movie never once relies on a fan basis for understanding the story. Another check in the "Pros" box.

The plot
A world reknowned weapons designer, Tony Stark is kidnapped by terrorist while doing a weapons demonstration in the Middle East. He is held for ransom by the organization of insurgents, the Ten Rings, in an obscure cave in the desert. Though Stark is told to build the terroist a weapon of mass destruction, he builds a suit of armor instead. He uses the suit to escape the caves and returns to America. There he decides to wage his own personal war on terrorism with a new and improved body suit capable of everything just shy of teleportation and time travel.

Reasons to see it
Robert, Robert, Robert. A phenomenal performance by a great actor. Downey Jr. was meant to play Tony Stark and you could convince me that Tony Stark was written to be played by Downey Jr. Nuff said. Though the movie relies a little heavily on his presence, the fact that the movie is about him, makes this point moot.

A suit of armor, and a terrorist army in the same movie. Need I say more. This set up is a recipe for a series of great action sequence. And this is where the movie does things really well. I’m not just talking about the sequences themselves, but their placement and number in the movie. Director Jon Favreau (Mike from swingers) knew not to make the same mistake that "Spiderman 3" had made before it; attempt to cover up a weak storyline with random action sequences. Instead "Iron Man" tells a rich story that uses action for enhancement, not focus. So, though some will argue that there are not enough action sequences in the film, I would argue quality over quantity. Maybe you could convince me that the film could use just one more sequence, but I’m pretty content with the awesome-ness that is present.

A great script and story. One thing that really helps this hero movie is that it does not rely on a fantasy premise. No gamma rays, radioactive spiders, or solar flares. Though I’m not claiming that the creation of an armor suit is the most realistic scenario, it is the closest that we are likely to get for a hero film. Aside from this reality basis, the film also makes use of contemporary issues that make the villain someone the audience can inherently hate. Thus we don’t have to suffer any silly, gimmicky twists in the plot like kidnapped girlfriend, hurt little kid, or anything else that is meant to make us hate the villain as much as the hero.

Great supporting performances. Everyone plays their roles perfectly, giving us a cast of characters that we can become fond of and become invested in.

The Negatives
You see the movie and send me some (if there are any). I’m too blinded by the greatness of the film to find them.

In summary…
…see the movie. With a witty script and strong performances, it will be time well spent.

Spoiler Grumbles
WARNING: Please do not continue reading unless you have either seen the movie or do not mind having aspects of the plot spoiled.

I love this movie too much to mention the petty complaints, but I will mention the only major one I can think of, Gweneth Paltrow.
Do not get me wrong, I like Gweneth and think she is a very capable actress; however, the role she is given in this movie can never make up its mind as to whether it is 'strong female' or 'damsel in distress'. I don’t mind either character, but I get confused when one minute Pepper Pots (Paltrow's character) is barking orders at Shield Agents and then the next she's screaming “I just can’t do it.” Now please don’t think me too dense to understand what the script was trying to do--it was trying to get the both of best worlds. Tyring to create a strong, independent damsel in distress. I understand this, but until it becomes a common charcter in action movies, I’ll have trouble reconciling the bi-ploar charatersitcs.

I suppose it comes from the years of being conditioned with one of two action females: the strong female who is laying men out left and right to prove that she is an equal, and the women who is so helpless that she even offends guys. One type of character I have seen with Farvre’s style of female is the type from the TV show "24". This is the women who is strong and independent to a fault such that she becomes a damsel in distress. Ex. She is so strong that she will bring down the terrorist single handedly, but when she arrives, she is captured and used as bait for the hero, Jack Bower. Jack then has to sacrifice himself (or something ridiculous) to save the women, when he would have just blown the place up initally if the women hadn't interferred. Foolish.

But then again, I’m just a dude, what do I know.

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