Monday, June 09, 2008

REVIEW: Iron Man

Iron Man

Year: 2008
Director: Jon Favreau
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Terrence Howard, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges, Faran Tahir
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
MPAA: Rated PG-13

I was the only one in a whole crowd that wanted to see Iron Man get made. This was back in 03 when their were polls showing up online asking what Marvel superhero would you like to see get made? Obviously, the winners were Spider-Man, Hulk, X-Men and many more. Iron Man was the last on every poll that asked that same question. My hopes kept falling when each year went by and no Iron Man. That suddenly changed when Paramount Pictures hired director Jon Favreau to direct the film. Soon after that, Robert Downey Jr. was signed on as Tony Stark. Than came May 2nd, the movies release date. It was such a big day for Iron Man fans that have waited so long for this great superhero to finally come to the big screen. Iron Man proved to be a huge success making over $100 million on its opening weekend. Not only that, but the film has been very positive with the reviews averaging a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie to this day has grossed over $537 million worldwide and is still going. I'm laughing my ass off right now to those who ever doubted Iron Man in the first place. Its funny now how, I see comments like "oh, Iron man is my favorite superhero" or "oh, I just love Iron Man". I ask these people, where were you in the last 5 years?

Plot Outline:
Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is a wealthy billionaire and a brilliant inventor who is captured by terrorists and is forced to look at his weapons company through the other side. Escaping by means of a revolutionary invention, Stark returns to find that his business partners, primarily Obidiah Stane (Jeff Bridges), are concerned about the direction he has the company going in. With the aid of Pepper Pots (Gwyneth Paltrow), Jim 'Rhodey' Rhodes (Terrence Howard) and a collection of all sorts of robots, Stark begins to perfect his invention to put a stop to the misery that he helped create.

The film is based on the Marvel comics creator Stan Lee made. Now, Ill admit that I didn't read any Iron Man comics, but I did watch alot of the animated series that use to show on TV. I know the whole origin of him and how Tony Stark becomes Iron Man. The story stays faithful to that concept. I'm not sure if every little thing in the movie is true to the comic, but it comes damn close. Sure its not filled with super villains although seeing The Mandarin on screen would have made me piss my pants, but its got this nice telling of how Stark becomes a superhero. The characters that I grew up watching are now in real life form. It was nice to see them in action and to see celebrities portray them. I was alittle disappointed that we don't get to see Stark battling out his alcohol addiction. Iron Man would have been nothing if their weren't any action. We see him in the Iron Man suit in the sky trying to dodge military jets. I don't even have to explain the final battle with Iron Monger. These scenes are baddass and nicely done too. While I did enjoy the action in the movie, I couldn't help, but think how much more action packed the sequel will be.

The cast is even better than the story. I have to give the studio and creative team behind the casting credit because I enjoyed everyone in this film. Robert Downey Jr. plays as Tony Stark/Iron Man and he gives a fantastic performance in his role. Long ago, I honestly thought Tom Cruise would have been ideal to play Stark, but I can now see I was wrong. Robert Downey Jr. is just spot on as Tony Stark. Hes witty, hes charming and just fun to watch. Jeff Bridges plays as Obadiah Stane. While I didn't enjoy his performance like I did in The Big Lebowski, I still thought it was great. Hes nice clean look and pasture makes him a perfect choice opposite Downey. Terrence Howard plays as Jim Rhodes and he gives a nice performance in his new role. While I didn't enjoy his performance like I did with Robert, but hes still good in a way. He doesn't play War Machine in this film, but you can bet your ass he will in the sequel. We also have Gwyneth Paltrow playing as Pepper Potts. Shes very sexy and nice to see next to Robert. The two of them share some nice chemistry in a few scenes. Her beautiful looks and likable personality makes her perfect for this role.

The visual effects in Iron Man are simply stunning. I knew that if this film was ever going to get made, that the special effects would be pushed pretty hard and I was right. Everything in this film looks absolutely gorgeous. The films source is nice and clean with no grain. That's no surprise since the movie only came out about a month ago. Colors are bold and dazzling. Blacks are nice and inky especially during the night scenes. Detail is pretty high with things like the Iron suit being nicely detailed and really standing out. Faces also pact alot of detail with hair being the one very noticeable. Skin tones are also accurate and have a nice warm feeling to them. The animations in the movie all look wonderfully choreographed. Scenes were Tony Stark is in his Iron Man suit really push the animations, but they still manage to look amazing. A movie like this couldn't have been possible a couple years back. Its nice to see technology come this far. Judging from these visual effects, I guess I'm now glad that Iron Man came out later than I would have hoped because this movie is easily demo material.

The soundtrack in the movie is not mind blowing, but its good. The original music is done by Ramin Djawadi and he does a good job putting together some good music. The music mostly ranges from techno to some rock which is about right for Iron Man's tone. They all play in good order and sound great. I cant say the soundtrack was amazing as the visuals were, but its pretty good for a superhero movie like this. Bass is were Iron Man truly shows his skill. This movie rocks pretty damn hard. This is some of the best bass I have ever heard in some time. The action scenes sound so loud and really use the bass to its full advantage. Explosions have never sounded this brutal. This is easily demo material in my book. The sheer amount of scenes that I can use to show off my system is really amazing. Dialogue is up their too with some of the best I've heard. Its really crisp and clear that you can really hear everything. I cant fathom how great this movie will sound on your surround system.

Iron Man is one of the years best films to come out. The story is great with its entertaining plot that brings Tony Stark into becoming Iron Man. Its not perfect, but damn is it fun. The cast is outstanding with alot of them being great performances. Robert Downey Jr. is by far the best Tony Stark I have ever seen. The visual effects for the movie are simply amazing. I cant picture this movie looking any better. Everything is spot on and detail is pretty high up. The soundtrack is pretty good with some mixed music here and their, but its the bass that's going to rock your socks off. Easily demo material in my book. I wouldn't call Iron Man perfect, but its damn great. This is the best Marvel superhero movie I have seen this far. Spider-Man 2, I am so sorry, but Iron Man rules. I cant believe I waited this many years for this film to finally get made, but I can tell you right now that it was well worth the wait. I can easily recommend this movie to anyone who loves superhero movies or is just looking to have some fun and be entertained. Its not perfect, but Iron Man definitely rocks.

Grade: B

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