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Rest assured, Iron Man is an absolutely amazing movie. I won't dare
spoil any of this remarkable movie for you but I do recommend it as
highly as I possibly can. Marvel needed to get in to the solo movie
making business long ago. Instead of leasing out their characters to
other studios, they're making movies themselves. Most everyone knows
Iron Man is their first effort and what a great lead off film! This
movie helps take the comic book genre to the highest level. Just like
they did in the books, they reinvent standard epic adventure by
"Marvelizing" characters and making them more believable. The
Spider-Man and the X-Men movies did this to a degree but only as far as
their respective studios wished to stay true to the source material.
Anything added or amended was for the benefit of the live action
adaptation. Director Sam Raimi pulled this off by talking to the summer
crowd, not down to them with the Spider-Man series. Jon Favreau has
done the same thing here but I think he's done it even better. Raimi
intentionally threw in a little cheese. Favreau adds nice bits of humor
but not too much. He also grounds the action and the suit of armor in
firm reality. I've said it before but it's brave to reach for the
highest common denominator with a big budget film and Favreau delivers
a movie with as much feeling as it has action and intensity. Needless
to say, Robert Downey Jr. and company deliver the goods. It's a movie
that has a wonderful balance that delivers intelligence with its fun.
The amazing yet realistic action is paced by the plot and characters that keep you interested from start to finish. What absolutely blew me away were the phenomenal special effects. I know they built a practical, working armor. What I loved is the use of CGI was used to augment the real life armor and not create something from scratch. Most all CGI constructs feel fake somehow but the stuff in Iron Man didn't seem fake even for an instant. As great as everything looked, what really drives the movie is the emotional resonance and down to earth nature of the plot. Sure the concept is wild but it's all presented so that you really believe it could happen. I doubt anyone will find fault with this movie unless they went in trying to dislike it.
This is, without a doubt going to be one of my top 10 movies of 2008, quite possibly the number one film.
As an avid reader of the Iron Man comics, I was excited but also very
scared that this movie would flop.
While Robert Downey is not the biggest name in Hollywood, he plays the part perfectly and I was greatly impressed by how he portrayed Iron Man so well.
The humor works well for this film also. It's well-written and has a great cast.
What impressed me the most was the CGI! They're breath-taking, but aren't distracting enough to let you miss the finer points of this movie.
In conclusion, while not perfect, Iron Man lives up to its hype and my expectations as a reader of the comic.
Fortunately, I'm not one easily influenced by some users' negative
comments. These people should try to restrain their bias opinions and
try to review the movies as neutrally as possible.
Now I would say that this movie has slow but steady momentum-building. It is a movie for people who has never known Iron Man in the comic series. The characters are given names and personalities, true to their comic book counterparts.
Acting was among the best comic-turn movie I have seen so far. Effects were believable and not overwhelmingly CGI, except for the tank scene.
This movie, however, has sequel written all over it. We know that because there are many scenes that could have lead to more.
It's well worth its ticket price.
So the world premier of Iron man to regular movie going audiences
happened to be here in Seoul Korea on an army installation. I got to
check it out and I was delightfully surprised.
Much against the hype, I thought this movie would have been torrid trash acting mingled with cheesy fight scenes. I mean Robert Downey Jr as an action superhero? But I am glad to admit that I misjudged the movie completely. Downey played a very good Tony Stark, in generally every way. From his jokes to his obnoxious lifestyle he looked and walked the part very well. His banter with his right hand assistant Ms. Pepper Potts isn't mind numbing and actually found myself laughing aloud at some of the wit.
The movie itself moved at a very good pace. Mixing action, comedy and some drama to just about the right proportions. As with most superhero movies, its rather predictable, but in all the right ways you'd want a superhero movie to be. The animation used was almost seamless, and of course the Iron Man costume was kicking major ass.
My only gripe with the movie was the fact that several characters were thrown into the mix with little behind them other than 2D character attributes. Leslie Bibb's character, Christine Everhart, is pretty useless other than the two or three lines she has. Hardly worth a hardbody like Leslie Bibb to play. Several other characters didn't feel fleshed out at all. Raza (Faran Tahir), Obediah Stone (Jeff Bridges) , and even Jim Rhodes (Terrence Howard) feel hollow in the fact that they have little justification for many of their actions.
So All in all, I'd give this movie an 8.3. Fun for the whole family, great pacing, and a Superhero movie to give the next Batman movie a run for its money.
WOW WOW WOW.
This is the movie I have been waiting for for a very long time. I am an avid Ironman reader. I have collected the comics all my life (from #1 in 1968 to the latest in 2008)...40 years of Ironman. Since I was a kid, I used to say to my friends that they should make an Ironman movie, but everyone laughed and said that the special effects would look ridiculous...mind you, that was back in like in the early 1980's. But, now we are in the age of CGI, and what an age it is. Just for you Ironman fans, to see him come to life with such spectacular graphics is reason enough to spend your hard-earned $10. The plot is also pretty well thought out, and the acting is just fine. What better pick could you have for Tony Stark than Robert Downey Jr.? (just wait for the sequels when they can delve into his alcoholism...Mr. Downey has been there and beyond...that's probably why they chose him for the role...fore-thought)The rest of the cast is right on par, as well. The pace is brisk, and the whole thing works as a great addition to the Marvel Universe in the Cinema!! Enjoy!
There was a big question mark looming over the theatrical adaptation of
Marvel's Iron Man property. It was in the guise of director Jon
Favreau. Now, don't get me wrong, I love the Favs, but when I heard he
was helming a big budget comic book flick
let's just say I was a little
worried. Once his cast was set and the fanboys started humming across
the internet I started to ease into the decision with high
anticipation. Thankfully, after finally seeing the finished product, I
was not disappointed in the least. With a great mix of the
professionalism and stakes seen in both Spider-Man and X-Men and the
comic wit and sheer fun of Fantastic Four, Iron Man shows how a comic
can be brought to the screen successfully without all the added drama
and weight. We finally have a film with the essence of what makes these
picture books so popular, the action and mythology along with a sense
of adventure and humor. Favreau never bogs us down with overwrought
emotions nor speaks down to us with gags and poorly written jokes.
Instead he delivers on his promises and gives us a solid initiation
into what could be a great trilogy or more.
Favreau seems to have had an idea to get an origin story out while not boring us with long drawn out backstory. His ability to give us dual information at once is nicely orchestrated, showing Tony Stark in his basement creating while the TV in the background explains what is happening in the outside world of the Middle East and inside his own company. We as an audience are allowed to put the pieces together amidst the witty banter of Stark and the wonderful special effects. By the end of the film it is quite amazing how much information you will realize you now know, all culminating in a decent final battle, but more importantly a segue into the inevitable sequel. We are allowed entrance into the character evolution of Stark as he goes from war profiteer to man of action and cause, all while seeing the technology improve and advance before our eyes. Much like Batman, we have a hero here that needs help in fighting crime. He has no superhuman abilities besides his brain and being able to see his thoughts go from paper to reality is a feat of magic. Every stage is shown, every failure and success. It's quite the ride in and of itself, but when you add onto it the threat of global war and destruction, it can only get better.
The real success here is in the bold move of casting an actor over-40 to be a superhero. This takes guts, because no matter how appropriate it is, most studios would have said, "no, change the story and make him younger so we can churn out as many of these babies as we can." I don't know how he did it, but Favreau got Marvel to get Robert Downey Jr. to play Stark, a sarcastic lothario with the brain capacity of Einstein. I truly can't think of anyone better suited to the role and he proves it by nailing every single scene. I'm sure there was some ad-libbing, but even if not, his comic delivery and ability to switch on a dime to a sincere seriousness at will shows his masterful craft.
As for the rest of the cast, they all do well. Jeff Bridges plays the bombastic creature of villainy over-the-top, but appropriately so; Terrence Howard is nice as the friend and military liason, not given much to do, but definitely sowing seeds for the future; and Gwyneth Paltrow is good as the sweet assistant Pepper Potts who at times seems a little underwritten and more female prop than anything else, but comes through with some nice moments in a very comic sort of way. I also really liked Shaun Toub as Yinsen, Stark's savior, and Clark Gregg as the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. Good to see Favreau giving another actor turned director props, (Gregg's directorial debut comes out later this year in the form of Chuck Palahniuk's Choke). I just wish he would have shied away from putting himself in the film. It's one thing to be seen split-second, (like Stan Lee), but its another to give yourself a thankless role with multiple scenes, just adding fuel to the fire on people's opinions of egotism stemming from the drinking game created off of the TV show "Dinner for Five" and how many references to Swingers was made each episode. I'll forgive, though, because, once again, I'm a big fan.
One can't forget that this is an action film above all else, so we can't just praise the actors; every effect is also quite brilliant. Those scenes of Iron Man flying amongst fighter jets in the trailer seemed really lame, but when in context they deliver. The suit itself is amazing as well, through every mach stage right to the end. My main highlight, however, was with the computer systems that Stark utilizes. The multiple screens, instant holographic reproductions, and ability to actually interact with those 3D representations is stunning. We can create them in fantasy, but it's just too bad we can't yet in real life.
Now Iron Man is not a perfect film, nor even a perfect comic book adaptation. What it is, though, is a fun, comic actioner that should light up the box office. The final showdown is a bit of a whimper in comparison to the backstory and machine creation; a crucial element is saved from destruction in the one contrived bit of screen writing, (not quite utilized in the way I thought, although still for the same means); and some moments seem a tad campy rather than witty, but otherwise this is some topnotch cinema that should definitely be seen on the big screen. I can't wait to see how the story progresses in a couple years.
With a little tinge of shame and regret, my rare dalliances with the
Iron Man character stemmed from a few one off comic books, as well as
occasions during the teenage years of spending time in the arcade with
those Marvel games, where Iron Man was one of my preferred characters
because it came together with his incredible arsenal of weapons from
repulsor beams to this gigantic cannon which accompanied the execution
of some complex combo moves. There's something sexy about the red and
gold suit of armour, and having an array of weapons at the disposal of
a player, makes perfect sense for variety in dispatching your enemies.
This may irk the fervent fans of Iron Man, but face it, the superhero belonged to Tier B where superheroes are concerned, languishing behind easily recognizable peers who already have movie after movie being made. But thanks to the advancement in digital technology, bringing Iron Man to life no longer consisted of the prospect and worrying thought of having a man running about in a rubber suit passing it off as metal, the way Ultraman would have been done, complete with mechanical clicks and whirrs as sound effects to try and fool the visual sensory. Here, we have a very detailed rendering of the entire design from scratch to final modification, and we're in at every step of the way, with many cheeky and sometimes a tad implausible scenes just for cheap laughs thrown in.
I thought Iron Man the story worked because of stark (pardon the pun) similarities with Batman Begins, also an origin story which took its time to dwell on the man behind the suit, nevermind at the sacrifice of having less action sequences, or by not giving the fans what they want through the showcase of more than the basic powers. Advanced capabilities can always find room in the sequel, and as the first movie used to establish its characters, I felt that it succeeded, given too that it had a cast of capables (just like Batman Begins had) to pull the movie through without resorting to over the top and campy performances, starting of course with the lead in Robert Downey Jr.
In a nutshell, Downey is Tony Stark through and through. His affinity for the character shines, and no doubt it bore some parallels between his own personal, and Stark's life in the narrative future when he hits the bottle. He was allowed to become a Two-Face of sorts, on one hand being and later acting out his flamboyance self whose mission in life was the continuation of his father's legacy of Stark Industries, a weapons conglomerate, versus his personal mission in ridding his own weapons from the hands of the bad guys, now updated to be freedom fighters in the Middle East. The dialogue contained within each scene of Stark's, except perhaps during captivity, is full of one-liners done in double quick time, you probably would think it boiled down to a whole host of natural ad-libbing.
But while Starks spends significant amount of time in his unsecured basement building his masterpiece, his human interaction come in the form of faithful secretary Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) who actually, for the first time I admit, looked really good on screen as Stark's most trusted aide, bringing about some serious spark of sexual tension and chemistry between the two characters of opposite sex, more so than any other comic book movie I have seen. And good friend from the air force Jim Rhodes (Terrence Howard) complete the circle of trust who knows of Stark's secret identity, and you'd be keeping your fingers crossed at the toss of a teaser of a certain War Machine appearance should the sequel be out.
Who's the main villain in the movie? It points the finger at Corporations, or at least here, the weapons manufacturers and the shady deals that go through in the name of profit, the sole objective for any corporation's existence. And Jeff Bridges, in a rare villainous role, got to personify that greed and wrestle for absolute power just like the trailer already suggested. While his performance is refreshing as he disappears behind the ball head and bushy beard, you could see his motivation and how the plot would have been developed to introduced the ultimate fodder for Iron Man to duke it out in a, sad to say, ordinary finale which any audience would probably be able to stay a step ahead.
As mentioned earlier, there are plenty of similarities with the Dark Knight of Gotham in Christopher Nolan's reboot, but more so because of properties inherent with the likeness between Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark. Both are incredibly wealthy to devote time outside of the day job to pursue their "hobby", both have to suffer personal tragedies in order to wake up to the cruel world, and in the movie, both fall prey to the corporate raider type, spend time perfecting their suit of war, have assistants they would trust their lives with, and of course save them from impending doom, and a finales set at their facilities.
But Iron Man is still a special effects extravaganza offering a thrill ride especially when he goes into battle mode, and without a doubt, Robert Downey Jr probably should be credited for raising the profile of this once Tier-B character, to perhaps becoming more recognizable now, and obviously, expanding the fan base of this weaponry filled suit of metal, which of course, in this origin movie, we were only given a glimpse of its potential. can everyone now spell sequel and clamour for more please? Iron Man has set the bar for the other upcoming comic book movies to try and surpass this summer season!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
All too infrequently, a much hyped blockbuster hits the mark with such
power that it resonates above all others. Mark my words, Iron Man is
such a movie. I've been privileged enough to view an advanced screening
and, honestly, it's the best big budget movie that I've seen in many
years. It hits a high standard of excellence for mass audiences by
combining humor, a smart plot, breathtaking action sequences, a heavy
dose of self discovery and realization, betrayal, forgiveness, love and
puts it all together in one amazing package. The special effects and
CGI are probably the best I've ever seen in terms of relatable effects.
They're not over the top and don't overwhelm your senses. What's even
more remarkable is this movie will surprise a lot of people with its
depth while sacrificing none of the fun. The inner turmoil worked well,
the beautiful thing is that we can relate to each character, especially
that of Tony Stark. Stark's indomitable charm mixed with his flawed
character makes this hero more interesting then most. Iron Man delivers
action with great emotional moments and a movie that lives up to all
the hype it has generated.
The cast is obviously stellar but that doesn't always mean greatness. (American Gangster, Street Kings anyone?) I'm happy to say this amazing cast delivers in every way. Downey himself delivers one of the greatest performances in a comic adaptation film EVER. Maybe it's because the character itself is one of the most complex and intriguing that any genre has to offer but that doesn't diminish just what a home run Downey has hit. They took the character seriously but still remembered to include fun and humor. I almost can't convey how much I enjoyed his performance.
My only real complaint is the rumor of a Sam Jackson cameo was not fulfilled. He is even listed here as playing the character of Nick Fury. He did not appear in the cut that I saw. After browsing, it's been offered that his cameo was probably just removed for the early screenings. I hope that's true and they put it back for the final cut. This means I'll just HAVE to see this movie again. LUCKY ME!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
From the first moment Robert Downey Jr comes on screen as Tony Stark,
you know that this movie can't go wrong. We are in some desert in
Afghanistan and wisecracking Stark tells something about his playboy
life to some soldiers. Yes, this ain't no nerdy Peter Parker or
tortured Wolverine. Our hero is a person who generally enjoys life (and
women) and has no second thoughts on how he lives it. Without any
doubt, of all the superheroes that exist, Tony Stark is the coolest
person there is!
But of course his bubble bursts when Stark is kidnapped by terrorists and forced to reproduce his killing missile, the Jericho. The sacrifice of a fellow scientist makes him humble and after his spectacular escape Stark decides to better his life. No more manufacturing of weapons for Stark Industries. From now on Stark wants to help his fellow men. Although this decision impresses some (like Stark's secretary Paltrow) it also infuriates others (like Stark's partner Jeff Bridges). This all leads to a action-packed finale in which Iron Man must face a deadly enemy...
Iron Man is the big Robert Downey Jr. show. Downey not only brings humor and flamboyance to his role, he also manages to make you believe that an egocentric person can indeed change into a real humanitarian. The scene in which he realizes that someone is willing to make a sacrifice in order for him to escape is even a moving one. Well done. Downey is really a great actor with great charisma.
But there is a lot more to Iron Man. There are four or five big action scenes. The first four are so great (the escape from the cave and a sequence involving an Afghan village) that the last one - the big finale - disappoints a little bit. But that's okay. There are also a lot of smaller scenes to be enjoyed, focusing on the relationship between Downey and Paltrow and the development of the Iron Man armour. Jeff Bridges is always great to look at, although his role could have been played by several other actors. Maybe his storyline is the weakest of the film. His betrayal is no surprise, but his early involvement in this is hard to believe.
Iron Man is a spectacular and funny popcorn ride that not only has great action scenes, but also some great actors. Hopefully it will do very well at the box office, because I can't wait to see Iron Man 2. Enjoy!
PS: no Samuel Jackson in this version either!
8,5 out of 10
Since Marvel Comics and CGI started their mystical marriage in the late
1990s, we've had superheroes galore. Hulks, Surfers, Spidermen, not to
mention constantly renewed Batmans and Supermans. So what does Iron Man
have to offer that's different? A flawed character that becomes
honourable is the answer, triumphing in the battle of Good over Evil in
spite of being a bit of a prat.
Add to that some of the best features of Robocop, Batman Begins and Terminator II, and you have one of the more satisfying comic-books-turned-blockbuster that we've seen for a while.
Billionaire and genius Tony Stark with a personality vaguely based on Howard Hughes is a weapons inventor that gets captured by bad guys in Afghanistan. Forced to work for them, he has other plans. Stark, nicely played by Robert Downey Jr, fashions a hi-tech suit of armour - before going on to save the world in usual exemplary fashion.
This long build-up to explain how he becomes Iron Man is arguably the best part of the film. Ingenious special effects give Stark's futuristic Malibu mansion a sci-fi rather than fantasy feel. And the subtle build-up makes us more forgiving as the story slips slowly into comic-book reality.
There are, of course, compromises. It has to appeal to kids as well as adults, so there is none of the gutsiness of Terminator I (or similar adult-orientated sci-fi). And in spite of the heavy moral-political issues at stake, Iron Man stays politically bland this being the only way to get D.O.D. approval and hence associated goodies like fighter jets and military hardware.
One of the most interesting ideas for me in the film was the idea of 'zero accountability'. This takes the form of having all the wealth, brains and playboy attributes that fiction writers can imagine, but could also be a symbol for U.S. military might, for instance. Stark's first premise, of power being the ultimate deterrent (and hence a peace-keeping force) is undermined when the enemy gets hold of the same weapons and starts killing indiscriminately. Theologians might also muse how power itself has no moral authority. Good guys have to grudgingly beseech permission from whoever wields the biggest thunderbolt.
Iron Man, essentially a symbol of power, abounds in biblical references, even if these come more from the comic book creators than any learning on the part of filmmakers. Jericho, the name given to Stark's finest military weapon, was the city that had to be destroyed, 'as an outward display of faith.' Which makes for great symbolism. Until you consider that modern-day Jericho is in the West Bank of the Palestinian territories, and then Stark's 'rockets' start to look a lot more loaded.
Iron Man's technology has a special feature to avoid targeting civilians. Now this is one military development I would love to see.
The second half of the movie is pure action, but with a well-delivered script and sufficient plot-twists to keep you engaged. Out-of-reach love-interest materialises as Gwyneth Paltrow, who I found very agreeable to watch, and the excellent supporting cast also includes Jeff Bridges and Terrence Howard. This is a film that tries to please everyone and largely succeeds. It's a two-hour thrill-ride that offers a new action-hero for our CGI-sated palates.
On a personal note, my big disappointment was the title track or rather lack of it. Having heard one of the most famous heavy metal riffs of all time in the trailer, I couldn't wait to see Iron Man flying through the skies to the sound of Black Sabbath's rock anthem. Sadly, the riff is all you get (probably cos the words seem to be based on an altogether different story). But if you sit through the closing credits hoping for more, you do at least get a very important extra scene. So you've been warned: don't leave the cinema beforehand!
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