Monday, May 12, 2008

Iron Man

Sheryl and I got out to see Iron Man Friday night and let me give the non-spoiler review first and then I'll get detailed and spoiler-filled.

It was great. Absolutely terrific. I'm a comics fan just in general, and really enjoyed Spider-Man 1 & 2 (not so much with 3) and Batman Begins. I've also seen the comics done fairly poorly in movies like The Hulk and the Fantastic Four. Thankfully, Iron Man didn't fall into the latter category. Beyond the visual effects, what really, really made this movie was the acting. All four of the major characters in this movie were portrayed by Oscar-nominated or -winning actors: Jeff Bridges, Terrence Howard, Gwyneth Paltrow, and most notably, Robert Downey Jr. Beyond all the effects and CGI, it was the acting that really, really made this movie. If you haven't seen it, go see it. If you have seen it, scroll down for my more spoiler-filled review.


Ok, first of all the effects were great. There are moments the movie like when Downey/Stark is being put into the suit by his robots where you know there's green screen work going on, but it looked so seamless that it's difficult to tell where it is.

But here's the great thing about the movie. It's really Robert Downey Jr's movie. Director Jon Favreau realized this and I think made a concerted effort to NOT make Iron Man the main character. He made Stark the main character. Iron Man never became a persona of Stark the way that Batman is a persona of Bruce Wayne, almost another personality. Iron Man is simply Tony Stark in a suit. And I credit both Downey and Favreau with this. Downey for being a great actor, especially vocally when his face isn't on screen, and Favreau for shots like Downey's face inside the Iron Man mask with all of the displays reflecting on him. It's a great directorial trick to help us maintain a connection with the Stark character. It's very effective.

The other part that really works is the story. Having Stark kidnapped in Afghanistan brings a real immediacy to the story. Even the idea that we've got a guy here that's a genius that can do all of the things that he does works in a similar way to how Batman Begins works. It's naturalistic, at least as naturalistic as a story about a guy in a suit can be. You find it reasonable that a normal guy with enough motivation could pull off the stuff that Stark does.

I really, really liked this movie a whole lot and so did Sheryl. She didn't like me keeping her afterwards as much to watch the scene after the credits, but hey. Sometimes you got to sit through the credits...


judy thomas said...

Doris Colvett and I saw Iron Man on Friday--we both really liked it! How's that for a pair of Later Day Saints? I thought Downey did a great job--it was the first movie I have seen him in that I really liked his acting.

And the special effects!!! No, not my "kind" of movie--but very entertaining.

Christy said...

Jeff and I saw it on Sat. night. We agree that it was GREAT. We talked about it the whole way home and the acting is phenomenal!!! I think art was mirroring life with Downey and Stark b/c they were both major screw ups who are now trying to put their life back together.

We didn't know to sit through the credits though--guess we'll have to see it again

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