Monday, December 15, 2008

Iron Man

First, let me say I never had any intention of watching this film. I enjoy a good comic book movie as much as the next guy, but I had no idea what the Iron Man story was, and to be honest, the idea of Robert Downey Jr. as an action hero is just as appealing as Nicolas Cage as an action hero (thank you very much, Jerry Bruckheimer, you satanic master of all that is wrong with cinema, for making that fresh hell a reality).

But last week I was browsing through a few "Best Films of 2008" lists and every one I crossed had Iron Man on the list. So, peer pressure won out and here we are.

Did I like it? Yes, actually, it's a pretty entertaining film if you like the comic book genre and the special effects are impressive. And as much as I don't buy him as a super hero, I can't help but love Robert Downey Jr.

Do I have reservations? Oh my, yes. Let us count the ways:

1. The first fifteen minutes of the film is a gratuitous playboy melange of women/money/cars/bad-boy behavior. We get it. He's rich AND unpredictable. Shivers. It definitely makes you feel like the the script was the wet dream of a homely-virgin-comic book-nerd-still-living-in-his-mom's-basement.

2. Jon Favreau directed it. Really? We're giving him blockbuster budgets now? Really?

3. The casting of Gwyneth Paltrow, as leading lady, Pepper Potts, was just wrong. As much as I can't stand her, even I must admit she was too good for this film. And to be fair, she seemed pretty annoyed to be there as well.

4. The villain? Well, I don't want to spoil anything, but if you have eyeballs and a few functional brain cells, you'll figure out who the villain is approximately at the four-minute mark. It made his big 'reveal' later in the film about as surprising as Clay Aiken's coming out. Really, even my cat wasn't surprised.

5. Middle Easterners. Man, they get the shaft in every film these days. Hmmm....we need some bad guys. Who should it be? Eureka! Let's throw some turbans and dirty rags on a gang of dark-skinned actors and call 'em terrorists! Brilliant! One can only hope that all the Middle Eastern actors playing "Arab Terrorist #2" and "Disgruntled Iraqi #5" are at least getting their SAG cards.

That being said, it's a fun, spirited movie with some super cool gadgets and plenty of testosterone. Go on and rent it for the holidays. You need a break from the 24-hour marathon of A Christmas Story anyway, right?

1 comment:

Phoebe said...

I agree with your comments about the first 15 minutes and the middle-eastern villain. Among other complaints about the film, it used too many cliches and defaults.