Saturday, May 03, 2008

Eight Thoughts On Iron Man


1. My already high regard for Robert Downey Jr. is just skyrocketing right now. As good as this movie could ever possibly hope to be on paper, Downey makes it better by a factor of ten. He has more charisma in a resting state than Brandon Routh, Tobey Maguire, and, yes, Christian Bale put together. He's an all-star.

2. Jeff Bridges ain't too bad either.

3. Jon Favreau might want to refrain from trying to say Important Things about the state of the world, but he creates the right kind of "anything's possible" environment around Tony Stark that seeps into the rest of the film. That said, his decision to ease the audience's way into the superhero stuff is admirable if not 100% successful, particularly when the payoffs seem a bit stunted.

4. About Gwyneth...this is probably the first time I've seen her in a movie since Proof, and I was surprised by how happy I felt to see her on screen again. She borders on being miscast here (not even that red hair can make me fully buy her as the overlooked and long-suffering personal assistant), but her Pepper Potts is also warm and resourceful, good enough to make me stop pining for Margot Tenenbaum the entire time.

5. I don't care if I was sitting in a room full of comic book geeks -- there is no excuse for applauding so much during a movie. Yes, yes, they said "S.H.I.E.L.D." Pipe down.

6. It's not a bad movie, necessarily. It's okay. Kind of slow going in spots, and some of the sound-bitey dialogue really got my eyes rolling. But a worthwhile time at the movies. That being said, I am at a complete loss as to how this managed a 94% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes. Make no mistake: it's not that good.

7. Iron Man: C+

8. Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark: A

8 comments:

That Bootleg Guy said...

Joe, you remain the blogosphere's youngest, curmudgeony movie snob and for that...I salute you. I'll be chuckling to myself over that "S.H.I.E.L.D" line all day.

Why would it not surprise me to find out that you stood up in the theater and actually said #5 out loud to the audience, before you whipped out a pad and paper, demanded all their names and wondered why they weren't in school?

jessica said...

I don't know, I thought it was absolutely that good as far as popcorn movies go. Totally, thoroughly enjoyable.

Grunt said...

Truth is, if i had read the script or plot outline I would have been underwhelmed. You knew instantly who the bad-guys were going to be and it all was very predictable.

Except...

Sometime predictable is good and okay if the dialog and acting can hold up the rest of the film structure, and that's what happened here. I remember being a little pissed about the plot holes in the beginning, only to be pleasently surprised when those holes were filled in later. In truth, it's not like you could significantly change the hacknied plot of the movie so you had to rely on smert scripting and an excellent cast to do that, and they did.

Also, how the hell does a 5'7" former dug addict look that smokin'? Seriously.

JA said...

I'm with you, Joe. I'm not getting the love. It was okay, and I'm being kind using the word okay. I was underwhelmed. RDJ was fine, but he was RDJ, just like he always is. Mind you, I like "the Robert Downey Jr. character" and am almost always amused by him, but this wasn't anything new or exciting.

And that was my problem with the entire film - what exactly was so new or exciting here that we haven't seen before? The effects of a man flying around in a robot suit were really beautifully done, but it just felt like a better CG'd version of something I'd seen a million times before. I never felt my jaw drop open in the way I expect from a big Summer Superhero movie. And that final battle between Iron Man Sleek Edition and Iron Man Clunky Edition was BORING as hell.

Joe Reid said...

I actually thought bringing "the Robert Downey Jr. character," as you say, to the superhero genre was something I hadn't seen before, and for that I was grateful. But I also don't have a problem with RDJ being essentially the same guy (with some gradations I don't think you fully give him credit for) in every movie he's in. We need our chameleon actors, too, but I can also appreciate an actor who kind of creates an archetype of himself and brings it to everything he does.

JA said...

Listen, Joseph. I haven't had a cigarette in two days. If I wanna say Robert Downey Jr. is a baby raping Republican, you're gonna let me. ;-)

Joe Reid said...

I'm smiling from ear to ear, baby.

Julia said...

I actually disagree with you here- Iron Man is the first movie in a long long time where I left the theater feeling that I'd be quite happy to walk right back in and watch it a second time that instant.