Monday, August 18, 2008

"Does Whatever An Iron Can ..."

Finally got around to catching a few summer movies, now that they’ve been relegated to the local bargain cinema. So, for what it’s worth, my thoughts on:

IRON MAN: Probably the most enjoyable superhero flick of the summer; certainly the most enjoyable Marvel movie I’ve seen since the first X-Men. Also probably the most successful origin story I’ve seen in awhile, for a very simple reason: It was an origin story. Period. It didn’t try to deal with how Tony Stark got the suit in the first half hour and then went on to battle the Mandarin, or Titanium Man, or War Machine (although there’s a nice tip o’ the hat to the last). No, they gave the story room to breathe, and that, along with some fine performances (especially by Robert Downey), allowed them to bring the characters to life in a way I haven’t seen a superhero movie do in awhile. I could’ve done without the open-with-blowing-stuff-up-and-then-flashback-to-the-party bit -- just tell it like it happens, you’ve already got my money. But that’s a minor quibble. Everybody stepped up in this one; even Jeff Bridges managed to do a lot with that thankless role of the baddie (I’m sure I don’t have to label that a spoiler, right? C’mon, you all spotted him a furlong away, didn’t you? I mean, he was bald! He smokes! He was Tony’s trusted mentor!). Lotta laughs, lotta fun. I look forward to the sequel and how they manage to make the Mandarin (Ten Rings, remember?) a politically correct villain.

And, since I’ve still got Dark Knight and Hellboy II to get through, maybe it’s best if I split this post up. More in a day or so.

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