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Iron Man

Reviewed By Mark Rodger-Snelson
Posted 05/27/08 18:10:40

"A new level of freshness and energy the superhero genre has been in need of"
4 stars (Worth A Look)

After a string of ‘by the numbers’ super hero offerings in the past few years, Iron Man emerges with a new level of freshness and energy that the genre has been longing for. It also remembers not to take itself too seriously but does not become camp or cheesy in the process.

Iron Man is yet another Marvel Comics transformation to the big screen and tells the tale of Tony Stark played by Robert Downey Jr, a billionaire playboy who made his riches through weapon technology. He makes an unlikely superhero as early on it seems that he is interested in no one but himself and the next woman he can sweet talk his way into his bedroom for a night. This is until he is the victim of a kidnapping in Afghanistan where he is ordered to construct a devastating weapon but instead opts for a robotic suit of armour that aids his escape. It is during this misadventure that he witnesses firsthand the destructive nature his very own weapons can have on innocent people when they fall into the wrong hands. So when he returns home he begins an obsession to reinvent his prototype suit to an incredibly technologically advanced, virtually indestructible, and armed to the teeth robotic suit that can also fly at supersonic speeds to protect the world from evil.

Downey Jr’s transformation from super cool social gadfly to determined freedom fighter is a joy to watch as he does most of it on his own in his personal lab in his cliff side mansion. He was definitely the right choice to play Stark and it is difficult to imagine anyone else in the role. Gwyneth Paltrow also does well in her role as Pepper Potts, Stark’s ever loyal assistant. There is also solid support from the likes of Jeff Bridges playing Stark’s cigar smoking money/power hungry business partner, Obadiah Stain and Terrance Howard puts in a great turn as Stark’s military contact and friend Col James Rhodes.

The special effects in Iron Man are nothing short of mind-blowing. In a recent interview Favreau mentioned that he wanted to use CGI but not in a way that it looks like you are watching someone else play a video game, which is definitely what it can look like sometimes. So he and the massive team of special effects artists have managed to blend the CGI with real backgrounds in a way that it is barely noticeable at all. I guess Iron Man’s closest rival in recent years would be Transformers which sure, had some of the best special effects going, but the script could have been whipped up by a pre-teen. Iron Man takes the time to build the story and characters without becoming a yawn-fest by serving up the action in just the right places. It also has a rockin’ soundtrack that kicks off with Acca Dacca, there’s even some Suicidal Tendencies and of course Black Sabbath’s Iron Man.

Iron Man delivers about all one could ask for in a super hero action flick. It has humour, incredible special effects/action sequences and most importantly of all it has a big heart injected into it via Favreau’s direction. Definitely one to check out on the big screen and a timely filler as we await the next Batman instalment.

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