I went into Ironman with average expectations, and the expectations I did have were mainly pinned on the casting of the brilliant Robert Downey Jr. as the “super hero”. Unexpectedly I thoroughly enjoyed this “super hero movie”.
SET UP? Ironman isn’t your average super hero. Similarly to Batman, he has no special powers and his heroic behaviour comes out of a personal experience.
At the start of the film we meet the cocky, arrogant Tony Stark, a weapons developer running the family business (Stark Industries) selling unmatched military “goods” exclusively to the US government. However when Stark is kidnapped on a routine Stark Industries demonstration in Afghanistan he gets up close and personal with the good and mostly bad of those he usually bombs from afar. In order to escape the clutches of his terrorist captors he develops a big “iron” suit. After his escape he seeks to change the face of his company and continues to develop the iron get-up with the administrational support of the peppy Pepper Potts.
Robert Downey Jr is Tony Stark/Ironman – director Jon Favreau noted that in most super hero films the character of the protagonist defines the actor but with the casting of Downey, the actor would define the character. A keen observation by Favreau! – Downey Jr is great in this role. I love him as the puffed up, arrogant, rich geek who gets the puff taken out of him and becomes who he was meant to be – without losing too much cynicism. Although I couldn’t help feeling it was more or less Harry Lockhart.
Gwyneth Paltrow as P.P. (as I like to call her). Agh. Hmmmm…. Well lets just say she did an okay job considering the scope of the underwritten, yet deserving character.
Terrance Howard as Stark’s BFF Col. James Rhodes – I kinda love Howard so nothing bad to say here. His performance is good. Good! Unlike Paltrow he does wonders with the character written for him, and through his performance the audience develops a real attachment with the character – which I suppose was strategic as super hero movie is code for mega-movie franchise.
Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane. Bridges is nice in this role. I just like listening to this old guy’s wise and deep sounding voice. Not really a stand out performance.
WHY YOU SHOULD SEE THIS FILM? I’m tipping most of you have already but if you haven’t, can I suggest you do? Its far from a movie for everyone (still haven’t found one of those). But as far as a super hero movie goes, Ironman is pretty much as good as your gonna get (although I love Nolan’s Batman Begins).
I loved Downey Jr’s portrayal and the terrorist stuff wasn’t entirely black and white which is nice in such a mainstream film (especially one of this genre) and the dynamic between Downey Jr and Paltrow is somewhat endearing, or at least, different and interesting.
Bottom line, for Downey Jr’s performance alone, this film is worth an entrance fee of up to $14 (or more if you don’t have to pay).
WATCH IT WITH… Anyone really. ‘Cept little kids, but you know that already.
ANY BITS? The trailer will spell it out for you, but beyond the expected violence, nothing much.
THIS FILM GETS 3.75 GOLD STARS.