Saturday, May 03, 2008

Iron Man. . . a hero with flaws


Movie junkie here. The summer movie season was kicked off in grand style last night with the premier of "Iron Man." I saw it last night and LOVED it. Director Jon Favreau hit the perfect balance between human story and superhero hype.

His choice for the savagely amoral hero Tony Stark was perfect: Robert Downey Jr. . . who has plenty of demons of his own in real life. I didn't expect to like him in this role. Turns out, I didn't like him, I LOVED him in it!

This is the cream of the crop of "comic book movies." A nine out of ten. A real, plausible, believable, sci-fi movie merged with a super-hero keyed in to current events. If only we had a real Tony Stark who would grow into this role. Unfortunately, greedy geniuses in the real world tend to stay greedy geniuses. . . and munitions makers tend to stay munitions makers.

The story is simple: a genius playboy munitions maker is captured in Afghanistan and forced to work on making a deadly missile for a terrorist warlord bent on taking over his own country and more. But with the courageous help of another captured scientist, instead of building the missile, Tony builds himself a suit of armor and breaks out of captivity.

He is a changed man by the time he returns home. He's experienced first-hand what his weapons do and wants to quit making them and turn his company's efforts to more peaceful ends. His father's old partner won't let him. . . chaos ensues. . . soon it's Iron Man vs the monster creation he himself inspired.

Robert Downey is so very believable as the playboy-jerk who thinks only of his own interests and is removed enough from life and real relationships to view the death he deals out as little more than a game. In captivity, his life in peril, he learns hard lessons and comes to value his own life and the lives of others. His change of heart is convincing without being maudlin or sentimental. And he doesn't turn into a saint overnight; he still has flaws aplenty.

Realism in a comic book hero movie. Interesting.

It helps that Downey isn't 22. He's old enough and strong enough to make the character multi-faceted. Plus, he's a lot more buff and appealing than I expected. And the Iron Man he builds is. . . well. . . if he were real. . . he'd be major a heart-throb. I'll have to see this movie a second time just to glory in the spectacular mecha sequences and the terrific special effects.

I now have such a crush on Jon Favreau. He's adorable AND smart AND talented. He's a good actor, but he's quickly becoming my favorite Hollywood director.

Go see it. Let me know what you think.

14 comments:

Cindy Gerard said...

Humm. You've got me intrigued, Betina. i might have to catch this flick! Thanks for the great review.

Michele Hauf said...

Wow! I just sorta skimmed, because I never like to know too much. I'm going to work this one in this weekend. Any kind of comic book action adventure movie is always on my list. I'm looking forward to Hellboy II as well.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Betina, I think realism in a comic book hero is the in thing. I haven't seen the last Batman movie, but I've heard it's that way.

I was approached by an ed at DC Comics who liked THE NIGHT REMEMBERS and thought I could do something for them. I thought about it. The problem is, DC owns the characters.

Will my almost 5 grandson like IM? He's going today with his dad.

Susan Kay Law said...

OH! I can't wait to see it.

Was it terribly busy? I might wait 'til the crowds thin a bit . . .

Susie

Susan Kay Law said...

OH! I can't wait to see it.

Was it terribly busy? I might wait 'til the crowds thin a bit . . .

Susie

Betina Krahn said...

I was surprised at how many people were outside the theater when we came out last night. We went to the 5:15 showing, because we always go to dinner afterward. . . the 7:00 showing was sold out. Tons of families and kids-- especially teens.

Yes, Kathy, I think your grandson might like it. . . there's plenty of action. Though the character change may be a bit subtle for a five-year-old.

Oooo, Kathy. . . what a cool thing. . . having your characters in a comic book. . . or these days, a "graphic novel." I'd probably do it just for the novelty of it!

Helen Brenna said...

My son saw it last night and loved it.

I LOVE Robert Downey Jr and can't wait to see him in this. I've always thought of him as incredibly sexy but in more of a cerebral sense. Well, as cerebral as I get. LOL To see him bulked up will be something!

MaryF said...

I love love love RDJ. I'm glad to hear it's good. We're going to see it tomorrow after breakfast.

I teach 4th grade and my kids said, "But he's OLD!"

Kathleen Eagle said...

5-yr-old and his dad liked IM, but Dad liked it better. Grandson talked mostly about the candy--a rare treat from Dad, who is seriously into healthy eating.

JoAnna said...

I just saw this tonight, and loved it. I have never really been a fan of RDJ but he was awesome in this! All buff stuff and played Stark with comedy, heart and just the right amount of cocky hero.

Amy Addison said...

I am dying to see this movie. I can't wait until we have a weekend free when we can go!

Deb Smith said...

IMHO this was a far-above-average comic book film and RDJ can take most of the credit for raising it to a whole 'nother level of entertainment. Those tormented eyes, those witty jokes, that buffed-up chest with the nuclear heart he built in a cave somewhere! Nom. But the movie as a whole kinda bothered me. The Middle Eastern villains were racist stereotypes and the female characters are just more ho-hum women-as-simpering-arm-candy types. Gwynneth Paltrow's Gal Friday is stylish doormat who cleans up after Tony Stark's one night stands, eeeks when he needs her help re-installing his parts, and fetches his take-out food while wearing size 0 dresses and stiletto heels. Bah. Still, RDJ is so much fun to watch . . .

Betina Krahn said...

Hey, Deb! Great to see you ! A big yes to the Gwyneth Paltrow comments-- why bother to put someone with her start power wattage in basically a throw-away role. Except, I read an interview with her that said she thought she needed to prove she could be a glamorous as ever after several years of "mommie track" and she was determined to get into a vehicle that would be seen by a lot of people.

Talk about career planning! Take a lesson! Although, it doesn't do much for her aspiration to "serious actress" chops.

Michele Hauf said...

Saw it. Loved it. Really was impressed by RDJ, because I've always known he is an excellent actor, but he was also HOT in this movie. :-) I sort of liked his relationship with Pepper Potts, and was glad the way they ended it with those two. What bothered me was it took Stark half the movie to figure out how to use the suit, and it too the villain like two minutes. Hmm...