If Iron Man is any indication, this summer could be one of the best ever for movie buffs. The first movie of the summer tends to set the tone, and Iron Man has stormed out of the gates, earning rave reviews from both fans and critics, and washing the bad taste of last summer’s big May movie, Spider-Man 3, out of all of our mouths.
Iron Man is a Marvel comic book character that made his debut in 1963. The character is still alive and kicking in the comic book world, most recently as a central figure in Marvel’s Civil War mini series, as a member of the Mighty Avengers, and in two of his own monthly comic books.
Comic book fans have been anxiously awaiting the Iron Man movie ever since the cast was announced, and, especially after some footage was screened at the 2007 San Diego Comic Con. Well, the wait is over, and the movie is absolutely worth the wait!
Robert Downey, Jr., plays Tony Stark, a billionaire industrialist who has made a fortune developing weapons for the US government. He lives a lavish playboy lifestyle, with a scotch in one hand and a super model at his side. While in the Middle East for a weapons demo for the US government, his convoy is attacked and he is taken prisoner by bad guys using his company’s weapons. The bombing results in shrapnel slowly destroying his heart, so another captive, (a scientist/surgeon no less), hooks him up to a car battery and creates an electro-magnet to keep the pieces from killing him. Stark’s captors want him to build missiles for them, but he has other plans.
Long story short, Stark creates a suit of armor that helps him escape. Back in the U.S. and still reeling from the fact that his weapons have fallen into the hands of the enemy, he swears off weapons manufacturing and goes to work on a new suit of armor that will help him defeat the bad guys. Little does he know that the baddest of the bad is one of his closest friends, (see the movie to find out who it is).
Iron Man is one of the best super hero movies ever for a variety of reasons: First, Robert Downey, Jr., was born to play Tony Stark and he steals the film. He brings humor, drama and action to Tony Stark/Iron Man, and makes him a character that the audience can care about and identify with. He is surrounded by an A-list supporting cast, including Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, (Stark’s assistant), Terrence Howard, as his friend, Jim Rhodes, and Jeff Bridges and his mentor, Obediah Stane. All of these actors bring their comic book characters to glorious life on the big screen.
The story is simple, yet compelling, thanks to a great script and dialogue. There are some great moments for comic book fans, but you don’t have to be a fanboy or girl to dig the movie. *Note to comic book fans and regular viewers alike, make sure that you stay in the theater through the end of the credits for a very cool cameo that sets the stage for future Marvel movies.
The special effects are outstanding, most notably the Iron Man armor developed by Stan Winston Studios, (Aliens, Predator, Terminator, Jurassic Park). There is nothing that looks fake or hokey. The action sequences are well done and thrilling.
The one chink in Iron Man’s armor could be the music. The score is cookie-cutter Hans Zimmer fare, similar to what you would hear in many Jerry Bruckheimer films. There really is no Iron Man “theme,” but the score does function fairly well as background music and helps move the action forward.
This is the first movie financed completely by Marvel under their new Marvel Studios division, and it’s a home-run. One of the cool things that this sets up is the possible interaction among different Marvel properties in the same film, since certain characters are in films under the Marvel Studios banner. There are rumors flying that Tony Stark shows up in The Incredible Hulk, (another Marvel Studios film), due in June. And, Marvel announced future Marvel Studios projects this week, including Iron Man 2 and Thor in 2010 and Captain America and an Avengers film in 2011. The future looks bright for Marvel Studios and comic book fans.
Iron Man is rated PG-13 for language and violence and gets a solid “A” rating from me.