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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Iron Man

**** Iron Man. Science fiction.

Directed by: Jon Favreau.

Starring: Robert Downey, Jr., Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow

We saw this at the Hercules, before our trip to the States.

Wunderkind Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) is the CEO of Stark Industries, a company that makes weapons. While in the middle east demonstrating the Jericho--a weapon so powerful it only needs to be used once--his convoy is attacked, and Stark is injured and kidnapped by terrorists. They saved his life by implanting a device in his chest that electromagnetically keeps the shrapnel fragments from entering his heart and killing him. In return, they want him to build a Jericho missile for them.

Instead, he uses the supplies they give him to build the first Iron Man suit and escape. Once back home, he decides to convert Stark Industries into less militaristic areas, much to the dismay of his right-hand man, Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges).

In the meantime, he goes to work on perfecting the Iron Man suit, with the help of his computer JARVIS. His friend LTC James Rhodes (Terrence Howard) and his assistant Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) also help when Stark decides to use Iron Man to battle the bad guys.

The only drawback to this movie is maybe more to do with me than with the movie itself. Maybe I've just seen too many movies, or too many superhero movies. It's interesting to see how the various superheroes got their start, but it's also kind of slow, and there gets to be a certain sameness to it after a while: some sort of crisis gives the future superhero power, or determination (which is a power of its own), and then there's the developing of the power and working out the kinks, all of which generally takes the first half of the movie. The second half is then devoted to battling the fledgling superhero's first villain. You're right. I'm just jaded. Maybe I should hold off on superhero movies for a while... at least until next summer's crop of blockbusters.

Anyway, Robert Downey, Jr. is great in this role--as everyone knew already (except me, I guess--I really didn't know much about him other than that people raved about his acting ability). And I quite enjoyed Gwyneth Paltrow's Pepper Potts. Nice to see a superhero with a female sidekick for a change, particularly one as quirky, competent, and loyal as this one.

The action is fun and fairly clear (something I really appreciate given the recent trend toward confusing action scenes). There's a nice dose of humor, and the movie is visually stimulating, particularly the scenes with the revamped Iron Man suit.

Fortunately, one of Camden's friends had seen this before we did and gave us the heads-up to stay until after the credits. It took a long time to get to the extra scene, and there were only maybe a dozen other people left in the theater. If you watch it on DVD, you can just fast forward, but it's cool. Don't miss it.

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aw man, i missed the deleted scene?! i absolutely loved this movie and the last line was the best of all, in my opinion.
I thought he was fantastic in this too! Did you see TDK yet?
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