Review: Iron Man

I've never really known much about Iron Man. I've mentioned in earlier posts that Iron Man is a dick, mainly because of the stuff he did in Civil War, but the movie takes place before all this, so I can't hold it against him in Jon Favreau's Iron Man. How did Favreau do? Pretty damn well actually. I went into the movie with expectations fostered only by the trailers and hype that has slowly been building surrounding the film. As I mentioned earlier, I don't know much about Iron Man, but what I do know Favreau did right. For example, he worked in the heart issue, which is pretty crucial to the character of Tony Stark/Iron Man, as it creates a sense of mortality and weakness in him. If that wasn't there, he'd be next to impossible to stop, so its good to know he has a weakness. He also had Jarvis in the film, the ubercomputer that runs Stark's life (in addition to Pepper Pots). Even the traditional "fight the bad guy at the end to redeem yourself" was pretty good (albeit somewhat short), and the movie didn't feel too long at two hours. Speaking of Tony Stark, Robert Downey, Jr. should just change his name to Tony Stark. He was perfect as the Merchant of Death, and delivered the lines impressively. There were also a ton of great exchanges between him and his robots, really giving you a sense of his brilliant mind and eccentricities. I'm really glad to see Downey get his life in order, because he's a phenomenal actor when he wants to be. Gwyneth Paltrow was perfect as Pepper Potts, and Favreau was good to not ruin the potential for their relationship to really develop in sequels (there will be sequels...more on that later). Jeff Bridges is a weird bad guy, but I guess you need someone to be the villain. Terrence Howard was pretty underused as Colonel James Rhodes, but there is a great scene where he sees another Mark suit, and says "maybe next time," hinting that we may be seeing War Machine in the near future. Acting aside, Favreau did a great job in setting up the Iron Man mythos (within movies at least). Its always hard to do origin stories, because they're usually light on the action and heavy on the story. This is fine, and I think most directors know that the movie will be part of a trilogy so they can afford to do some of the setup initially. The visuals were cut together very well, and you'd swear that Iron Man could really be flying over your head as you sleep. Oddly, there wasn't very much in way of a soundtrack with the exception of Iron Man by Ozzie Osbourne, which I think everyone knew was coming. Overall, I was extremely pleased with the film. It had a great amount of comedy, and didn't take itself so seriously that the movie was brought down by a sense of dramatic intensity. The movie did have a sense of anti-terrorist undertones, but I suppose those are kind of necessary considering the day and age we live in. And honestly, there were very few instances where logic was suspended. What I mean to say is that the movie seemed completely realistic. Of course, the majority of the gadgets that Stark played with are years off from completion, but they all seemed perfectly realistic. I'd give it 85 out of 100, as it was an extremely solid introduction to Iron Man. Warning...SPOILERS AHEAD. Yes, SHIELD is in the movie. Yes, after the credits there is an extra scene with Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, approaching Tony Stark about the Avengers initiative. And yes, Tony Stark was 12 for 12 with the Maxim calendar girls, so you know he's a playboy. And speaking of playboy, Stan Lee's cameo has Tony Stark mistaking him for Hugh Hefner. Just a great cameo.