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The Iron Man (Movie) Review | Indignant Online
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The Iron Man (Movie) Review

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Heard good things about Iron Man? You heard right, its an odd, but faith-affirming instance of a movie that lives up to the hype. I’m going to break this into two parts, the meat of the film, and the allusions to the Iron Man comics and cartoons (much of which is laying the groundwork for the eagerly anticipated Iron Man 2).

Robert Downey, Jr. both stole and carried the show. If you were thinking method casting, that may well be, but it worked. Where Downey earned his money the most were the scenes where he explains his change in heart and acceptance of responsibility. A lesser actor could have spouted those lines as groan inducing clichés. Not the case here. Everything that comes out of Downey’s mouth is credible, in character, and maintains the tone of the film. Downey’s got himself a franchise.

Don’t get me wrong, the rest of the cast was good. The casting director gets a gold star. The effects were fine, but Downey carries it none the less. Heard good things about Iron Man? You heard right, its n odd, but faith-affirming instance of a movie that lives up to the hype. I’m going to break this into two parts, the meat of the film, and the allusions to the Iron Man comics and cartoons (much of which is laying the groundwork for the eagerly anticipated Iron Man 2).

Robert Downey, Jr. both stole and carried the show. If you were thinking method casting, that may well be, but it worked. Where Downey earned his money the most were the scenes where he explains his change in heart and acceptance of responsibility. A lesser actor could have spouted those lines as groan inducing clichés. Not the case here. Everything that comes out of Downey’s mouth is credible, in character, and maintains the tone of the film. Downey’s got himself a franchise.

A nuance of the film that may go unlooked, and this one is also a nod to the writing staff, is that Tony Stark acts like an engineer. He’s constantly fiddling with his inventions, looking to upgrade this and that. Looking for flaws to be fixed and nothing is perfect the first time out. A little bit of realism can go a long way to suspension of disbelief. 

Is Iron Man the new bar to judge super hero movies by? I’m not so sure I don’t like Batman Begins a little better, but it’s very close. Iron Man does do a little paint by numbers in the structure, not unlike Batman Begins. The origin, the underlings skirmishes, finally the big bad guy is revealed and the next film’s big bad guy is foreshadowed. Iron Man moves through these numbers with enough panache and earnest delivery of lines to avoid triteness. If you like the action movie, you should go see it.

Moving on the comic book tie-ins, we see elements of three different classic Iron Man story arcs. The origin story, updated to Afghanistan in the place of Vietnam. The Obdiah Stane/Iron Monger arc was from the Denny O’Neil/Luke McDonnell era of the mid-to-late 80s, and the emphasis of Stark Technology being used by the bad guys felt a bit like a touch of the Armor Wars arc of David Michellene/Bob Layton in the early 90s.

When a group of weapons dealers/terrorists talk about sweeping over Asia and call themselves the Ten Rings, you know that the Mandarin is lurking in the shadows waiting to pop up in Iron Man 2. (For those unfamiliar with the comic, the Mandarin is the primary re-occurring Iron Man villain and has 10 rings of power taken from a downed alien spacecraft.)

Likewise, Rhodey sees an uncompleted suit of armor in Stark’s workshop and says “next time,” so there’s a good chance he’s either the substitute Iron Man or War Machine, come the sequel.

SHIELD is alive and well in the Iron Man universe. Oh sure, they put a homeland security spin on it, but you see the traditional SHIELD logo twice. The first time on the wall as Pepper Pots and Agent Coulson leave the parking garage. The second time in the end credits. 

The Tony Stark theme song and cell phone ring from early in the picture is a jazzed up, Vegas style rendition of the theme song from the 60’s Iron Man cartoon.

And if you purists were wondering where Happy Hogan was, he’s driving the car.

Given how well the method casting worked on Tony Stark/Robert Downey, Jr., I’m going to throw one out there. Moan if you must, but if Iron Man 2 will feature Tony Stark’s high living, gambling debt toting, weasel of a cousin, Morgan Stark I’m thinking its Charlie Sheen time. And let me know when that wrap party is.

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1 Comment

  1. Oh! I love this movie! One of the MArvel flicks that I love and of course I do love XMEN too, my favs! I am sure this is just the first installment. …:)

    /Fendi

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