We have ordinary humans mutate into Heroes on the small screen and comic book do-gooders flying across the big screen. Do we really need another superhero? The people at Marvel, who gave us X-men, Fantastic Four, Hulk and Daredevil think so. They’ve decided to pull out all the stops in this latest action flick by casting A-list Hollywood actors such as Robert Downey Jr. , Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges in and Iron Man, and wowing audiences with the latest technology in CGI (computer generated imagery).
Iron Man launches into action when Tony Stark played by Robert Downey Jr., head of Stark Industries, presents his company’s new weapon in an Afghan desert, and is ambushed by terrorists on his way home.
The captured Stark is forced to build, from scratch, his latest weapon – The Jericho.
Downey’s character later “changes” his mind and with the help of another captive scientist, builds himself an artificial heart to replace his original one that has been damaged during the earlier skirmish. Stark then builds an armoured suit to escape his predicament.
Tony Stark soon perfects his armoured prototype and goes on a one-man crusade to rid the world of those who misuse his company’s products while keeping the peace.
Director Jon Favreau, who brought to us the less commercially successful Elf and Zathura is wandering into unfamiliar action territory. With that said, the box office takings have still made the top 10 opening weekend ever, according to figures from Box Office Mojo. Given the course of the plot, there’s a huge possibility of a sequel.
In an interview by Rotten Tomatoes, Favereau wanted to make the effects in the movie “as photoreal as possible”. A huge part of the movie is dedicated to beautiful special effects and wonderfully drawn CGI. The awesome graphics of a flying Iron Man and the decimation of an entire mountain range are testaments to the talents of the production team.
Leading actor and Hollywood bad-boy, Robert Downey Jr., who is usually seen playing serious and thoughtful roles as shown in his more recent movies such as Good Luck And Good Night and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang treads on unfamiliar territory in his role as enigmatic billionaire tech mogul, Tony Stark, who becomes Iron Man– the superhero with an ultra sleek battle armour after it gets retrofitted onto his body. Surprisingly, he manages to pull the role off with aplomb as he transits smoothly from a charismatic, sauve, gentlemen to a brooding, solemn superhero. Donwney’s on-screen personification of a billionaire playboy somehow reminded UrbanWire of Batman’s alter ego, Bruce Wayne.
Adding more Hollywood glamour into the show is Gwyneth Paltrow. Playing Pepper Potts might be too safe a role for Paltrow. If she desires to ascend the ranks of performers like Jennifer Garner and Jessica Alba , who have both starred in Marvel films, she needs more than a dry, simple character. Steaming the screens up as Stark’s sexy assistant with an evening gown that shows off her svelte figure and witty speech, this Oscar-winning actress contributes a delectable performance to the testosterone-filled movie of explosions, military weapons and a very sleek superhero.
Their sparkly, sexed up conversations such as,
Pepper Potts: “What’s going on here?”
Tony Stark: “Let’s face it, this is not the worst thing you’ve ever caught me doing.
and unreciprocated love set the stage for entertaining banter, with Downey’s spirited acting adding immeasurable value to the scenes.
Jeff Bridges, as Stark’s mentor turned adversary, Obadiah Stane, cuts a new look with a bald cranium and a twirly mustache. He plays the character with charm and poise, without going overboard with it.
Terrence Howard as Jim Rhodes is a forgettable gap-filler compared to his on-screen buddy, Downey.
UrbanWire is glad to say that Iron Man is one of the better Marvel movies in recent times, although 2 hours of running time may just be a little to long. The stellar performance of Robert Downey Jr. has already personified himself as Tony Stark, much like the way certain actors have become the face of certain popular characters, such as Harrison Ford to Indiana Jones.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Opens: 1 May 2008
Movie Rating: PG 13
Running Time: 126 mins
Director: Jon Favreau
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges, Terrence Howard