Iron Man My Reviews 21 NOV 2008

Iron ManSo I finally got around to watching this year’s big Marvel release, Iron Man a little while ago and damn it, I really should have made an effort to catch it on the big screen the first time around!

Iron Man tells the story of genius playboy and weapons manufacturer Tony Stark, who inadvertently gets caught in the middle of some Middle East conflict. Now near death, Stark must race against time to build himself a suit that not only will save his life – but also help him stop those abusing the very weapons he himself has created!

But all is not as it seems within Stark Enterprises as Tony is about to find out…

Surprise choice director Jon Favreau manages to craft a thoroughly entertaining movie that manages to keep you intrigued, make you laugh and then force you to clutch onto the edge of you seat as he cranks the action all the way up. The musical score and soundtrack selection complement the film’s visuals, tone and atmosphere perfectly, and the superb blend of CGI and special effects creates something that looks absolutely phenomenal (but surprisingly believable) on the big screen.

Admittedly the story isn’t exactly jam-packed with juicy material and suffers from a rather stinted and clichéd final section, but to be honest, the film is more about the journey to reach that end point and on this front it certainly doesn’t disappoint. Robert Downey Jr. captures the essence of alcoholic, free-spirited, genius playboy Tony Stark with a simple ease that is both joyous and astounding to watch. Long time fans of the Iron Man comic book series will immediately recognise their favourite character up in real life and this is a testament to just how well Robert plays his part.

Terrance Howard on the other hand didn’t put in a realistic or at least comic book faithful Rhodey performance and as such, I’m secretly relieved to hear that he hasn’t been offered the same spot for the upcoming sequence. Gwyneth Paltrow however delivered an excellent Pepper Potts and while Jeff Bridges shone in his role as Obadiah Stone, it’s a pity that the fairly weak script telecast his role from a mile away. Faran Tahir also puts in a particularly menacing performance, but one can’t help but wonder if as an actor he isn’t falling into that old typecast trap?

Another point to mention is the fact that Iron Man’s updated origin story is the first time I’ve actually not hissed and booed at the screen when confronted with changes to the comic book that I am already so familiar with. In fact, I must admit to being rather glad that the Mandarin was excluded from this first outing on the big screen! :)

So in summary, Iron Man is a popcorn-chewing, action-packed, laugh a minute and cliché ridden standard comic book adaptation that just happens to be better than most and will undoubtedly leave you feeling thoroughly entertained by the time the final credits roll.

Well worth the DVD rental then!

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.