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Old 04-28-2008, 01:07 PM   #51
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Default Latauro From AICN-Downunder Reviews IRON MAN!!

Latauro From AICN-Downunder Reviews IRON MAN!!





I have a problem with giving films star ratings, or, really, any sort of numerical rank, but I do appreciate that some people may want a quick summation without reading too much, so here it is: yes, IRON MAN is everything you were hoping for.


To qualify that statement, I should point out that it will only be what you were hoping for if, in fact, you were hoping for one of the most enjoyable superhero movies ever made, with no weak spots and brilliant characterisation. Fanboys with impossibly high standards who are only happy when they're poking holes in things are going to have their work cut out for them.


I'm not going to delve into the plot at all -- one of the reasons I studiously avoided most of the marketing for this film is so I could have some surprises when I actually watched it, and I'm glad I did -- but I will say that this film should help put to bed the argument that origin stories are getting tired. I've always felt that complaining about seeing an origin story in a superhero movie is like complaining about every romantic comedy featuring a guy and a girl hooking up. Isn't the origin half the fun? Taking something patently ridiculous and trying to have it make sense for a cynical 21st century audience? IRON MAN's origin story actually has its cake and eats it too; somehow, the film blends a relatively grounded trial-and-error process with moments of glorious ridiculousness. Watching Tony Stark go from self-centred weapons manufacturer to noble superhero is the
best part of this film, and it quite rightly focuses most of its energies on this transformation.



Now, to the directorial stylings of Jon Favreau... Reading interviews with him early on in the process, I was convinced of his passion and understanding for the genre, but what impressed me in the film itself was his handling of the action scenes. Action scenes are typically considered the most exciting part of any film (which is why you hear so many stories about studios reshooting films to cram in more tedious car chases), but they're actually the thing that bores me most. They're usually so workmanlike and standard, that I find myself looking at my watch more than the screen. Of course, I've begun to notice that only happens with directors who are generally considered "action directors". I think recent trends against the typical action film bear this out. Genuine action scene excitement is, these days, typically generated by guys like Paul Greengrass and Peter Jackson; not the names people used to associate this sort of movie. And that's why it works. Following in that tradition, Favreau appears to understand why action is supposed to be exciting, and delivers scenes that are, upon close inspection, constructed in a very unconventional way.


On to the cast... Robert Downey Jnr is on screen for practically the entire film, which in itself is enough to recommend it. I honestly believe this is some of his best work... and I'd say more about him, but I'm actually trying to tone down the gushing. Needless to say, he's perfectly suited to the role; his casting is almost certainly the film's biggest masterstroke.


I'm afraid I can't fault the supporting cast, either. Jeff Bridges is predictably great, Terrence Howard continues to prove he's the one of the best character actors around, and Gwyneth Paltrow matches Downey Jnr in every scene they share. We hear this claim a lot in press notes for comic book films, but this time it's true: Pepper Potts is not a standard damsel-in-distress. She's an active foil to Stark, and an actual key participant in the climactic battle. I'm a huge fan of SPIDER-MAN 2 and BATMAN BEGINS, but neither of those films really knew what to do with their love interest. IRON MAN does. Paltrow tends to cop a lot of flack, but I've always been a fan. When she's in the right movie (SE7EN, THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS), she's perfect. Oh, and very glad to see Clark Gregg getting a lot of screen time. I love Clark Gregg.


I haven't mentioned special effects yet, mostly because I didn't notice them. And that's actually a compliment. I couldn't tell the difference between the practical effects and the CGI because I wasn't sitting there thinking "Oh, isn't that clever how they rendered those flames"; I was instead watching Iron Man fly. It's not often that you can immerse yourself completely in a film so wall-to-wall with effects, which makes the achievement all the more impressive.


This is usually the part of the review where I'd talk about the moments where the film dropped the ball, in order to maintain (or manufacture) my reputation as an objective critic. Sadly for me, I can't find such a moment, so I'll have to risk your scorn and derision and claims of plantiness until you see the film this weekend and discover that I was telling the truth all along.


I still consider SPIDER-MAN 2 to be the greatest superhero movie to date, but IRON MAN firmly secures its place as an automatic name-check when we speak about the highlights of the genre. They can't make the sequel fast enough.


(PS: As a side note, don't hold your breath for the Samuel L Jackson cameo. The scene they notoriously filmed with Stark and Nick Fury is, it now seems, undoubtedly for INCREDIBLE HULK. But there are some great S.H.I.E.L.D. references that will no doubt pay off in future Marvel movies.)


Peace out,


Latauro

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Old 04-28-2008, 01:08 PM   #52
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Default Re: Iron Man Critic Reviews

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Not necessarily. Blade and X-men weren't origin movies for example (X-men can be argued really but hey). I think plenty of movies can just start with the existence of the character and have it be explained somewhere in the movie. Not saying that it would necessarily work for a character like Iron Man but superhero movies have become awfully formulaic.
Yes, but Blade and X-Men were just pebbles in a pond compared to movies that have come alot later. They made modest amounts of money when they were released and are still good to watch, but one thing that always bothers me about X-Men especially to this day (And henceforth why we are seeing some Origin films based on the X-Men movie continuity.) is that they never touched upon their origins and connections they have in the comics. For instance, no mention was made of Sabertooth and Wolverine's past when both characters were onscreen which I hope will be remedied with this Wolverine spin off movie. It bothers me as a Sabes/Wolvie fan that the uninitiated weren't clued in on the strong rivalry between these two.

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Old 04-28-2008, 01:10 PM   #53
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Default Re: Iron Man Critic Reviews

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Not necessarily. Blade and X-men weren't origin movies for example (X-men can be argued really but hey).
Blade's pre-credits sequence is sort of an origin story, albeit very brief. All the other details of Blade's origin are explained alongside the movie, tieing in with Blade's mother's appearance at the end.

In short, it's an well-done way to include the origin of the character as part of the main plot.

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Old 04-28-2008, 01:15 PM   #54
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Default Re: Iron Man Critic Reviews

Just to clarify. My problem isn't so much with telling origin stories, its just that it feels like when the filmmakers decide to do the origin it comes out a little flat sometimes and holds the movie back. It has this feeling of "we HAVE to do this and we HAVE to get this out of the way before the story can really begin."

See the Hulk. It was boring. People were totally bored with the movie until the Hulk came in, but was too late. They are rebooting the franchise with the movie so they just decided to forego the origin story this time.

Look at Batman. Came out in 1989, introduced Batman in the movies, and was definitely not the traditional origin story that came with Batman Begins. Batman made $250 million in 1989. So the argument that letting go of the typical origin movie format won't ever work with audiences is flawed.

Quote:
Blade's pre-credits sequence is sort of an origin story, albeit very brief. All the other details of Blade's origin are explained alongside the movie, tieing in with Blade's mother's appearance at the end.
Blade certainly did a narratively economical job of it. But for the typical origin movie you would've gotten a much bigger backstory and seen him growing up on the streets and eating hobos, then getting taken in by Whistler, training, and making it his mission to kill vampires. That's the typical comic book super hero movie/origin story . . . how he becomes that character.

I'm not saying this is necessarily a problem with IRON MAN either if you want to believe most of the reviews (but what do critics know right? If critics love it, that must mean the movie is AWFUL! Lol). But it does feel like a problem with past comic book movies.

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Old 04-28-2008, 01:23 PM   #55
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Default Re: Iron Man Critic Reviews

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Blade certainly did a narratively economical job of it.
And rightly so. Same thing with the Adam West Batman movie... no origins AT ALL, not even in the series. The character simply existed.

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Old 04-28-2008, 01:46 PM   #56
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I have never been a big fan of critics. Most of the time if they hated a movie, I liked it. They seem to favor foreign films were you have to read subtitles throughout the entire movie. Nothing against foreign films or subtitles, but a combination of both does not make a movie good.

I think its funny how the critics complain about super hero movies that start with a characters "origin". They also complain when a movie starts with action and does not attempt to explain a characters origin. So clearly, they are looking for something to complain about. Which that could be said for a lot of people - fan and critic.

I am very confident the movie will be great. I am going to see the movie regardless of the critics' opinions. I grew up reading IM in the late 70's and early 80's - been a fan for a long time. Really looking forward to seeing shell head on the big screen.

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Old 04-28-2008, 01:54 PM   #57
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Default Re: Iron Man Critic Reviews

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And rightly so. Same thing with the Adam West Batman movie... no origins AT ALL, not even in the series. The character simply existed.
That's what I'd found weird watching some old 60's Batman episodes. It was strange how Gordon and O'Hara would say things like "It must be the Joker." or "It must be the Riddler." as they introduce each of Batman's villains for the first time like we're supposed to know who they are already.

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Old 04-28-2008, 02:06 PM   #58
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To Favreau's credit he never put himself on autopilot and reasoned that the name alone will suffice. It would seem from most of the reviews I'm reading and seeing that he and his talent have taken great pains to make a satisfying experience for not just nonfans but fans as well. They respect the source material....and they also respect those who've had a great love for said source material, some going back to the 60's.
From what I have read and seen, I would agree that Favreau has done a great job with the handling of the source material.

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Old 04-28-2008, 02:10 PM   #59
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Default Re: Iron Man Critic Reviews

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Originally Posted by TheVileOne View Post
Just to clarify. My problem isn't so much with telling origin stories, its just that it feels like when the filmmakers decide to do the origin it comes out a little flat sometimes and holds the movie back. It has this feeling of "we HAVE to do this and we HAVE to get this out of the way before the story can really begin.".
Still you don't think people would find it jarring just to have this Iron man just show, with no explantion how he got his armor or anything?

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See the Hulk. It was boring. People were totally bored with the movie until the Hulk came in, but was too late. They are rebooting the franchise with the movie so they just decided to forego the origin story this time..".
Its called strikng a balance, to have the origin to expalin where the character came from, without stretching out too long.

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Look at Batman. Came out in 1989, introduced Batman in the movies, and was definitely not the traditional origin story that came with Batman Begins. Batman made $250 million in 1989. So the argument that letting go of the typical origin movie format won't ever work with audiences is flawed...".
Most critics say batman begins is better.

Also was superman I a bad pciture because it had superman's origin?


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Blade certainly did a narratively economical job of it. But for the typical origin movie you would've gotten a much bigger backstory and seen him growing up on the streets and eating hobos, then getting taken in by Whistler, training, and making it his mission to kill vampires. That's the typical comic book super hero movie/origin story . . . how he becomes that character....".
Meh, Blade hasn't aged well as flim series, the character is pretty flast, so he doesn't need that much of an origin.

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Originally Posted by TheVileOne View Post
I'm not saying this is necessarily a problem with IRON MAN either if you want to believe most of the reviews (but what do critics know right? If critics love it, that must mean the movie is AWFUL! Lol). But it does feel like a problem with past comic book movies.
With ther action scenes where tony creates the armor and escapes are things that need to be seen, not heard.

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Old 04-28-2008, 02:10 PM   #60
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From what I have read and seen, I would agree that Favreau has done a great job with the handling of the source material.
I'd have loved to have seen what Favreau could have done for Transformers (Which would benefit from his realism and authentic gift for humor.) or any comicbook/cartoon based property for that matter. Here's hoping that Iron Man will be a sleeper hit that exceeds all expectations if only because I've grown to have immense respect for Mr. Favreau.

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Old 04-28-2008, 02:33 PM   #61
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I'd have loved to have seen what Favreau could have done for Transformers (Which would benefit from his realism and authentic gift for humor.) or any comicbook/cartoon based property for that matter. Here's hoping that Iron Man will be a sleeper hit that exceeds all expectations if only because I've grown to have immense respect for Mr. Favreau.
If Iron Man turns out to be great (which I do expect), I hope Favreau will be tapped to make other Marvel movies.

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Old 04-28-2008, 02:38 PM   #62
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If Iron Man turns out to be great (which I do expect), I hope Favreau will be tapped to make other Marvel movies.

Same here!

I hope Marvel gets him to do the possible Avengers film in the future.

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Old 04-28-2008, 02:45 PM   #63
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RT update:

82% T-meter critics (9 fresh, 2 rotten)
71% RT community
Average rating 6.5/10


RT watching is so much fun

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Old 04-28-2008, 02:52 PM   #64
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Default Re: Iron Man Critic Reviews

Favreau was the original choice to make the Captain America flick.

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Old 04-28-2008, 05:11 PM   #65
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I would expect Fav's to be helming Iron Man 2 & 3 (if 2 does well) and he has expressed interest in doing the Avengers film, so it looks like he will have a full Marvel plate if things work out.

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Old 04-28-2008, 05:18 PM   #66
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Default Re: Iron Man Critic Reviews

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Still you don't think people would find it jarring just to have this Iron man just show, with no explantion how he got his armor or anything?
I'm not saying no explanation at all. I'm simply saying buck or forego the typical origin story/comic book movie format for a first movie. Not for Iron Man but maybe for something later.

People didn't find Batman jarring at all. But there was still some explanation there.

We all love David Fincher right? David Fincher's idea for SPIDER-MAN was to reflect his origin in a credit sequence, but Sony wanted an origin Spider-man movie (not necessarily the wrong call to make mind you).

Just saying, I remember times when people are so reverent of Fincher and wanted him to make th emovie.

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Its called strikng a balance, to have the origin to expalin where the character came from, without stretching out too long.
Hulk horrendously overcomplicated it and drew it out too long.

Quote:
Most critics say batman begins is better.
Are we talking about critics or audiences now? In 1989 audiences didn't find it jarring that Batman wasn't a strict origin film for Batman. 1989 was a different time though. But a lot of the kids then are now a large part of the audiences watching these movies today.

Quote:
Also was superman I a bad pciture because it had superman's origin?
Superman was the first one man. It was the quintessential super hero comic book origin movie. Superman is the one that originated the trend that so many comic book films follow. But a lot of critics and fans don't like Superman after he gets to Metropolis, romances Lois, and goes against the comedic Luthor played by Gene Hackman . . . so you could say it goes along with the Empire argument that it loses steam after the origin, but I don't really agree.

Superman, Spider-man, Batman Begins are not bad pictures because of their origin stories. I think in some ways they have their flaws but overall they are great cinematic experiences based on comic book super heroes.

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Meh, Blade hasn't aged well as flim series, the character is pretty flast, so he doesn't need that much of an origin.
I disagree.

Quote:
With ther action scenes where tony creates the armor and escapes are things that need to be seen, not heard.
Here's the kind of arbitrariness of it all. In Batman did we still not see his parents getting shot in front of him in a dark alley when they are leaving the theatre? You can still figure out ways to show and depict these things without following the strict, arbitrary origin format.

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Old 04-29-2008, 12:05 AM   #67
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Thumbs up Re: Iron Man Critic Reviews

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,352793,00.html

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"Iron Man" plays like an old-fashioned hit, full of character development, witty dialogue and a plot that plausibly makes sense. It also has really fantastic special effects. I don’t mean explosions — there are plenty of those. But the whole construction of the Iron Man suit, the learning curve that Downey’s Tony Stark moves along as he invents Iron Man, all of it is simply and expertly revealed. Watching Tony learn to fly as he puts together the pieces of Iron Man is one of the high points of a screenplay that boasts two pairs of writers with different expertise...

The fact is, Favreau’s "Iron Man" is damn good, and should kick off the summer box office with a bang.

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Old 04-29-2008, 01:04 AM   #68
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Default Re: Iron Man Critic Reviews

Lookin' good.

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Old 04-29-2008, 06:08 AM   #69
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It came from Fox News . . . now I know it's flagrantly false.

I kid, but you know, a lot of people here are more than happy to embrace "the critics" if they like their movie. When they don't its "the critics suck and don't know anything," and "who cares about critics".

The fact of the matter is most of you do care.

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Old 04-29-2008, 08:27 AM   #70
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^^ Not neccesarilly. I think most of us see it as just one person's opinion. Sometimes you agree with what they say, sometimes you don't.

I don't think that if you agree with what a critic once say about a movie, it automatically means that you have to agree with him or her ALL the time.

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Old 04-29-2008, 08:48 AM   #71
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a lot of people here are more than happy to embrace "the critics" if they like their movie. When they don't its "the critics suck and don't know anything," and "who cares about critics".

The fact of the matter is most of you do care.
QFT

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Old 04-29-2008, 08:51 AM   #72
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IM is looking good on RT:

85% critic rating (11 fresh, 2 rotten) avg rating 6.6/10
72% community rating

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Old 04-29-2008, 08:59 AM   #73
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^^ Not neccesarilly. I think most of us see it as just one person's opinion. Sometimes you agree with what they say, sometimes you don't.

I don't think that if you agree with what a critic once say about a movie, it automatically means that you have to agree with him or her ALL the time.
Yes but if a critic likes a movie it's "See? The critics love it!" and if they don't then it's "Who cares? It's just one man's opinion. What do critics know?".

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Old 04-29-2008, 09:59 AM   #74
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Default Re: Iron Man Critic Reviews

Harry and Moriarty both loved it. And you know how they get.

http://www.aintitcool.com/node/36559

http://www.aintitcool.com/node/36560

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Old 04-29-2008, 10:54 AM   #75
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Here's a very positive review from the Associated Press:

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Review: `Iron Man' a blockbuster with a brain
Tuesday April 29 6:03 AM ET


Much of the allure of "Iron Man" comes from the fact that we are indeed talking about a man a real man who has lived a life and made mistakes and experienced regret not some scrawny, teenage boy who received his superhero powers through a bite from a radioactive spider.

No offense to Spidey, the other Marvel Comics hero who's already provided billion-dollar summer blockbuster fodder. But there's just something more relatable about Tony Stark, even though he's a playboy industrialist of staggering wealth and arrogance.

And in the hands of Robert Downey Jr., he's absolutely riveting. Downey may have seemed an unlikely casting choice at first, but it's difficult to imagine any other actor in the role; he's so quick-witted and he makes such inspired decisions with dialogue that, at times, might have seemed corny otherwise. Throughout his eclectic career from "Less Than Zero" and "Chaplin" to "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang" and "Zodiac" he's always been capable of both great charisma and vulnerability, and both are beautifully on display in this, the biggest movie of his life. "Iron Man" is a blast, too the perfect start to the summer with its shiny mix of visual effects, elaborate set pieces and plenty of humor within its intelligent script.


This is also the biggest movie of director Jon Favreau's life following "Made," "Elf" and "Zathura," and he juggles all the complicated, expensive toys deftly. The visual effects come courtesy of the venerable Industrial Light & Magic, with Matthew Libatique ("Requiem for a Dream," "Inside Man") providing the crisp cinematography

Stuff gets blown up real good, to the tune of AC/DC's "Back in Black" and, appropriately, Black Sabbath's "Iron Man," but beneath the requisite spectacle is an issue-laden storyline with heart to go along with its brains. Tony's weakened heart has always been his Achilles heel, but it's also what gets him out of trouble and inspires his rebirth.

The first moments of "Iron Man" give us a telling glimpse of Tony: a close-up of his hand, cradling a tumbler of Scotch on the rocks, as he rides in the back seat of a Humvee that's rumbling across the Afghanistan desert. He's the brilliant and talented head of Stark Industries, the leading supplier of weapons to the U.S. military, and he banters comfortably with the soldiers who have been assigned to protect him during a trip to demonstrate his latest missile. They, in turn, are in awe of his high-flying ways.

(The Iron Man comic-book character was partly inspired by billionaire industrialist Howard Hughes, but the similarities to Downey's own life are unmistakable: the well-documented highs and lows and, now, the shot at complete redemption. The subtext provides both knowing laughs and a sense of substance.)

But things go awry almost immediately. The Humvee is attacked by insurgents and Tony is abducted. While in captivity, with a battery attached to his heart to keep him alive, he's ordered to reconstruct the missile. Instead, with the help of the doctor who saved him (a graceful Shaun Toub), he's crafty enough to create a suit of armor and become a weapon himself to escape.

Tony returns home to his monstrosity of a mansion that's carved into the face of a Malibu cliff but looks more like an old set from "The Jetsons." He's a changed man, and the changes he has welcomed to his life and company also bring enemies. His top executive Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges, deliciously villainous with a shaved head and devilish goatee) is appalled at Tony's new purpose to no longer make weapons. But Stane insists, "What we do keeps the world from falling into chaos."

It's an anti-war argument in the multilayered script from the writing teams of Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, and Art Marcum and Matt Holloway, but the delivery is hardly heavy-handed. The original "Iron Man" comic book that inspired the film took place in the 1960s during the Vietnam War, and Tony Stark was relevant, functioning as an important, fervently anti-communist cog within the military-industrial complex. Moving the film's action to Afghanistan and the present day makes it just as relevant in its own way.

In his tricked-out underground workshop, his own personal bat cave, Tony creates his Iron Man uber-suit, even though he's not quite sure what to do with it once he's finished: the right thing, perhaps, for the first time in his life?

His right-hand woman, Pepper Potts, stuck by him and kept his life organized when he was a shallow pig, but seems to like the more enlightened Tony better. (In another unexpected bit of casting, Gwyneth Paltrow brings understated smarts and class to the role.) Meanwhile, his best friend, Rhodey, an Air Force colonel played by an underused Terrence Howard, just seems confused by this person he no longer thinks he knows.

Tony undergoes plenty of trials and errors on the road to becoming Iron Man, which are both amusing and thrilling. But the moment he finally climbs inside that streamlined, rocket-propelled, red-and-gold suit with its perfectly intertwined pieces that lock together like the most comfy, high-tech pair of ski boots will surely cause the hearts of geeks and non-geeks alike to go pitter-patter.

But because the build up is so successfully engaging, the ending feels like a letdown. It's just plain silly watching versatile, Oscar-nominated actors behave like a couple of middle-aged Transformers.

That's merely one bump in an otherwise satisfying ride, though. And there's plenty of opportunity for improvement: The last line clearly sets up a sequel. But you knew that was ironclad from the beginning.

"Iron Man," a Paramount Pictures release, is rated PG-13 for some intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, and brief suggestive content. Running time: 126 minutes. Three and a half stars out of four.
http://movies.yahoo.com/mv/news/ap/2...947418000.html

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