Tuesday, May 06, 2008
"They say the best weapon is one you never have to fire. I prefer the weapon you only need to fire once. That's how dad did it, that's how America does it, and it's worked out pretty well so far."
Mark Fergus & Hawk Otsby
Robert Downey Jr.
My rating: 8/10
One of the weaker trailers I had seen for this years crop of summer blockbusters, my heart sank on viewing it as I dismissed the film as a dud. Nonetheless I decided to give it a chance (thanks to a voucher for a free combo with every Iron Man ticket purchased and a rumour of an X-FIles trailer before it, which proved to be untrue). Jon Favreau's adaptation of Marvel's Iron Man comic is definitely in the top ten best super hero movies in recent history.
A charming blend of laddish antics, mad gadgetry, political drama and most importantly great character development, this film does the impossible and makes an arrogant, self-loving lazy genius a totally lovable hero, despite the fact that his character arc makes it barely south of decent. By the end of the film, he has advanced morally, but not to the extent that would usually be expected and in one of the greatest endings I've seen in a long time, he proves he will always be the Tony he's always been, despite his moral makeover.
I cannot over-emphasise how much of this films success is owed to Robert Downey Jr's performance. 90% of the reason this film works is due to his awesome screen presence. This man is nothing short of a genius actor and gives Tony Stark such a huge amount of depth and charm that it forces the audience to forgive him all of his flaws.
The political undertones are heavy, but luckily, not heavy-handed. It makes a strong point and is an interesting fable on the weapons industry which has the sense of humour to not get bogged down in preachiness.
Apart from Robert Downey Jr's performance, kudos must be given to Job Favreau for his wonderful direction. Given his previous films Zathura and Elf, this is a huge change of scenery for him and he makes it work so, so well that it is tough to believe his background is in children's films.
Anyway, check it out, it is undoubtedly going to become a classic and will more than likely be the cream of the crop of summer blockbusters for 2009 (fingers crossed for The X-Files though)
- CHarlene Lydon 6/5/08