Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Pumping Iron Man

Over the weekend, I did my bit to contribute to making Iron Man a financial, as well as a critical, success.

I'm not a huge Marvel comics fan. And I was never a reader of Iron Man comics -- I much prefered the "girl with the hammer" (that would be Thor) and X-Men, when I had time for comics at all.

I've always been a fan of Robert Downey, Jr., though. Through all his personal problems, he has exhibited an amazing acting talent that always grabs me and holds me in my seat, making me watch, unable to look away. From his portrayal of the abused, drug-shattered and doomed Julian in Less Than Zero to the reluctant-hero-to-the-rescue, Jimmy, in Tuff Turf, to the confused, confounded, and crowded-with-personality Thomas in Heart And Souls, Downey always brings it home.

And then there was Chaplin. He shoulda got the Oscar.

So...Iron Man shows up on my preview screen, and it didn't take much to go from, "Gee, I'd like to see that," to, "Hey, it's playing just across the street," to, "I can catch the show that starts in two hours," to -- four hours later -- AWSUM!

It's not only a see-it-again movie. It's a buy-the-DVD-as-soon-as-it-comes-out-and-don't-wait-for-it-to-land-in-the-bargain-bin movie.

Nobody, but nobody coulda pulled off the role of Tony Stark better than Robert Downey. Apparently, he thought so, too. He (along with director Jon Favreau) not only lobbied for the part, but he submitted to a screen test. And once he had the part, he read every single Iron Man comic book in existence. Then, after reading the script, he tore it up and rewrote a lot of it himself, putting his own take on Stark into the role, and remaining faithful to the wisecracking, arrogant-but-magnetic(!) personality of the original character.

The action begins immediately and continues unabated for two hours. The dialogue is pure Marvel sass. Stan Lee has a cameo (watch for him -- Tony calls him "Hef" in a walk-past). The tech is geek (I want one o' them hologram computers!). The CGI is invisible. And the characters are purely in line with both the comic and the genius. All the characters. Including the machines (the fire-extinguisher hangs its head when scolded for being too enthusiastic in its job).

No plot spoilers here. Go see it for yourself. And...stay through the credits for a "bonus."


Blogger dez said...

Took the family to see it opening day. The theater was more crowded than I've seen in a long time, especially for an early matinée showing. But when we left, the line for the next showing was already looping around the corner of the building.

There is only one word that describes my reaction to the movie: geekasm. Seriously. Change of underwear time.

I was also a Marvel comics fan growing up, but Iron Man was always my favorite character.

Why? For the following reasons:

-- Tony Stark was not a mutant, he wasn't bitten by a radioactive spider and he was not born on another planet. He was a very smart man who invented technology that made him a lot of money, and then he used that technology to help people.

-- In spite of his success and genius, he was a very flawed man. He was prone to addiction and self-indulgent behavior, among other things that made him human. I can relate to that.

-- Quite simply, Iron Man kicked ass. He went toe-to-toe with The Hulk, Thor, and some of the toughest villains in the Marvel bullpen. He could probably have given Superman a serious challenge, if they had ever met. Again, just as a man in a high-tech suit.

What's not to like?

Tuesday, May 06, 2008 2:26:00 PM  

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