Iron Man

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Iron Man
Review (9/10)
(By Brendan Cullin)

It's summer blockbuster time and Iron Man is the first big budget, big action movie to hit the silver screen in 2008. Starring Robert Downey Jr. as the billionaire playboy Tony Stark and soon-to-be iron-clad superhero, this movie delivers on all levels.

Beginning with the impeccable performances of Downey Jr. and Jeff Bridges (who plays Stark Industries CEO Obadiah Stane), the movie boasts an outstanding cast (including Terrence Howard, Gwyneth Paltrow and a bunch of Arab-looking dudes who were all pretty good), a great pace, some timely humour and some of the best special effects I can remember seeing in a theatre in a long time. There's not a moment in the movie where Tony Stark puts on that wonderful outfit and you don't believe that he is firing a missile from his shoulder, mowing down a gang of machine-gun totting terrorists or flying through the skies of Los Angeles. It really is quite remarkable. The movie doesn't shy away from the violence either. I can guarantee you that Iron Man ain't afraid to put down the enemy if the dude even looks at him the wrong way.

Before it seems like I'm about to anoint Iron Man the greatest movie of all-time, I will point out that it does have its flaws. If you're looking for character development, there is very little in this movie. I do suggest, however, that if character development is what you're looking for, perhaps you can find the movie Atonement available on DVD at the nearest Blockbuster, because, let's face it, that's not what Iron Man is all about. Yeah, it would have been nice to learn a bit more about Tony Stark besides the fact that he likes his booze, his cars and his women. But it would have also been nice to see Leslie Bibb's boobs and that didn't happen either. For me, knowing Stark liked the booze, cars and chicks and could kick some terrorist ass at the same time was more than enough info. I did, however, find it sometimes annoying that his goatee/moustache seemed pretty inconsistent from scene to scene, but I think that's just because I've seen too many movies in my life. It appeared at times like it was real hair and a few times it looked penciled in. I guess some of those scene were from the re-shoots. The final scene between Stark and his buddy he met while in captivity seemed kind of odd, phony and out of place too, but again, that's probably just me being nit-picky.

Other than that, Iron Man surely ranks as one of the great comic book movies of all-time. I'm hesitant to be the person to say it's the greatest ever but it certainly has to rank right up there. On a side note, it was terrific to see Robert Downey looking healthy and giving one of his superb on-screen performances that we were so used to seeing in the 90's. I'm sure we all know the turmoil he went through in his life for a handful of years. Let's hope that's all behind him now. Oh yeah, and keep your eyes open for the obligatory Stan Lee cameo. It's kind of a tricky one that certainly had me fooled until the end of the movie. I just wasn't really looking for it and it kind of sneaks up on you if you're not paying attention. And one final note - the dude who introduced the movie at the screening told everyone in the theatre to wait until the end of the credits for some more footage and about 3/4 of the theatre waited around - don't waste your time, once the credits start rolling there's nothing going on at the end (Okay, I just read that there is a clip at the end of the movie that wasn't played at the screening I attended so it might be worthwhile to stick around till the very end).

So that's about all I have to say about that - excellent movie, not perfect, but well worth a trip to the theatre for the start of the 2008 blockbuster season. Let's hope things keep rolling from here. Next up, Indiana Jones!


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