Sunday, May 11, 2008

Iron Man - A Movie Review

The start of the Iron Man movie kinda reminds me of that Jonah guy from the Bible. In the Bible, Jonah disobeys God's command, and ends up in the belly of a fish, only to seek forgiveness. He gets spit out from the fish and continues doing the task assigned to him.

In Iron Man, Tony Stark is a modern day weapons maker, one who doesn't really have a conscience, not losing sleep over the people who have died because of his weapons. He gets attacked by terrorists using the very weapons he created, gets captured and thrown in a cave, where he finds redemption, deciding to do something with his life and becoming Iron Man in the process.

Like Jonah, he escapes the cave a changed man. But unlike Jonah, the Tony Stark in the movie doesn't lament about the mission he sets out to do, otherwise there would be a plot device where he turns to drink as an escape, just like in the comics.

That point aside, Iron Man is quite a different kettle of fish from other superhero movies. For one, the casting is perfect. Even before the movie was announced, I always thought that Robert Downey Jr. would make an excellent Tony Stark, with his past substance abuse and his looks, and this movie was an Iron Man fanboy's dream come true.

The repartee and on-screen chemistry between Tony Stark and his assistant Pepper Potts (played by Gwyneth Paltrow) would make you forget about the suit(s). Not only that, the interactions between the characters, played by an ensemble cast that include not only Downey Jr and Paltrow but also Jeff Bridges and Terrence Howard is something to be marvelled (no pun intended) at.

Even Paul Bettany (of The Da Vinci Code and A Knight's Tale) is thrown in as the voice of Tony's sarcastic computer system.

The art of conversation is lost in superhero movies, but Iron Man brings that back, with some really cool action sequences and a bloody cool suit. The suit is kind of like the one in the Ultimates comic books, whereby it's like a wearable fighter jet and assembly is required. I actually prefer the Extremis enhanced version, but this movie version is so hot, even my girlfriend (who doesn't really watch superhero movies) wants one.

Iron Man fans will be in for a treat at the amount of fan service given... Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division, anyone?

So, what are you waiting for? Go watch Iron Man at a cinema near you!