Review: Iron Man

Summer movie season is upon us!

Is Iron Man a good start? Queue up the Black Sabbath and click “Read More” for my review.

Iron Man

Cast & Crew

Directed by Jon Favreau
Story by Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Art Marcum, and Matt Holloway

Starring

Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man
Terence Howard as Jim "Rhodey" Rhodes
Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane/Iron Monger
Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts

Full IMDB Listing

Buy Soundtrack from Amazon.comBuy Soundtrack from Amazon.ca

Summary

Tony Stark, billionaire, playboy weapons manufacturer is critically injured in Afganistan and forced to build high-yeild missles for a power hungry warlord. Instead, he builds a suit of powered armor and breaks free. Returning home, he annouces an end to his weapon-building days. Instead he wants to protect the people he puts in harms way. Needless to say it doesn’t go over well with his business partner, Obadiah Stane.

Review

The summer is off to a good start. This movie has its faults, sure, but it’s fun from start to finish. The dialog is crisp and the characters are enjoyable. About the biggest complaint I have is that there are too few action scenes. The few we get are awesome, but seem too few in the long run.

High Points

  • All the fight scenes
  • Building the Mark II suit
  • "Taking out the trash"

Low Point

  • Too few action sequences
  • Rhodes’ isn’t much of an addition.
    (To be fair, much of his role ended up on the cutting room floor)

The Scores

Originality: Obviously, a comic book adaptation gets a point or two knocked off for this area. But even so, Iron Man is definitely a unique breed of superhero. 4

Effects: The suit is incredible, all three. You get a feel for the weight from how it moves and reacts with the world around it. Also, I so want Stark’s User Interface. Makes the Minority Report interface look like DOS. 5

Story: All origin stories seem to have the same pacing issues, and this one is no different. There also seemed to be a missed opportunity to build up/tear down the Stark/Stane relationship. Because what’s a super hero without "Father Issues?" 4

Acting: Great work from a great cast. I mean, lets face it, Robert Downey Jr. is Tony Stark. There wasn’t a lot of extra research required for this role. And I hope Paltrow’s role as the "smart damsel" catches on. There are moments where she gets in trouble, but can think her way out of it. I think we’ve all had enough of the screaming redhead. 5

Emotional Response: It’s a fun movie, but there are only a few times it elicits a strong emotional response. Sure, there exhiliration at the fights, but there could have been more "heroic" moments like Iron Man’s saving an entire village. 4

Production: Hats off to the crew that had to build the Mark I suit. That’s dedication and attention to detail. Also kudos to the robot puppeteers. Great job bringing emotion to inanimate objects. 5

Overall: An excellent start to what I’m sure will be a 2 or 3 film franchise. 5

Total: 32 out of 42

11 replies on “Review: Iron Man”

  1. clutch110 says:

    Iron Man
    I saw this at the new all digital AMC theater north of Denver last night. The effects were amazing indeed. If you do see the movie stay through the credits to catch a little surprise.

    • rickyjames says:

      Re: Iron Man

      If you do see the movie stay through the credits to catch a little surprise.

      I saw this Fri. and thought it was a great job in every way. My only complaint was that some of the final fight scenes veered very slightly into Power Ranger territory, fighting robots with no facial expressions for a viewer to latch onto at a time of max audience emotion. Not a big problem compared ot the ENORMOUS positives this movie has to offer. RDJ now owns the role of Tony Stark in perpetuity. However, I left the theatre when the credits started to roll so I missed the "ending". Will somebody here please use the spoiler tags to let we early departers know what we missed?

      • fiziko says:

        Re: Iron Man

        I saw this Fri. and thought it was a great job in every way. My only complaint was that some of the final fight scenes veered very slightly into Power Ranger territory, fighting robots with no facial expressions for a viewer to latch onto at a time of max audience emotion. Not a big problem compared ot the ENORMOUS positives this movie has to offer. RDJ now owns the role of Tony Stark in perpetuity. However, I left the theatre when the credits started to roll so I missed the "ending". Will somebody here please use the spoiler tags to let we early departers know what we missed?

        This is going by memory as well as lip reading (as the audience cheers drowned out the soundtrack at one point):

        Tony Stark returns home to find Jarvis unresponsive. A figure is standing in the dark next to the window. His face is obscured, but his voice is undeniably Samuel L. Jackson.

        SLJ: "I am Iron Man." Do you think you’re the only superhero in this country? You just stepped into a much larger universe and you don’t even know it yet.

        Tony Stark: Who are you?

        SLJ walks into the light, revealing his face and his eyepatch, and says: I’m General Nick Fury, Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. I’m here to talk to you about the Avenger Initiative.

        A similar moment appeared after credits that went along with preview footage of "Incredible Hulk" at the New York Comic Con, so stick around after the credits on that one, too.

  2. fiziko says:

    Nice touches
    I really enjoyed this. There were more than a few great little moments in here, including the "Roxxon Corporation" office building in the background of one scene, the footage after the credits, and everything leading up to that footage.

    • rickyjames says:

      Re: Nice touches

      There were more than a few great little moments in here,

      Agreed, many nice touches indeed. Adding to all of the other tips o the hat to MIT which I so enjoyed, I am 99% sure that when Rhodes is talking to Stark during the F-22 scene, the ring he’s wearing while holding the cellphone is an MIT "Brass Rat" class ring. Gotta get one of those someday; couldn’t afford it in ’79…

      • fiziko says:

        Re: Nice touches

        Agreed, many nice touches indeed. Adding to all of the other tips o the hat to MIT which I so enjoyed, I am 99% sure that when Rhodes is talking to Stark during the F-22 scene, the ring he’s wearing while holding the cellphone is an MIT "Brass Rat" class ring. Gotta get one of those someday; couldn’t afford it in ’79…

        I thought it was the theme to the 1990s "Iron Man" cartoon.

        • rickyjames says:

          Re: Nice touches

          I thought it was the theme to the 1990s "Iron Man" cartoon.

          LOL! You’re probably right about the ringtone, but I’m talking about the ring on his finger as he holds the phone!!!

          As an aside, I wonder if the very name of Tony Stark is a reference to MIT. One of the lead MIT technologists at the time Stan Lee created the character was Charles Stark Draper. His "middle" name was always used in articles about him and his lab at MIT, which was always seen as an unusual (and in some circles, unholy) colaboration between academia and the military. CSD basically singlehandedly invented the American guidance system to land an ICBM and its nuclear payload on Moscow. Later on they developed one of the first "portable" computers to land an Apollo lunar module at its targeted touchdown zone.

  3. chad says:

    Two Thumbs Up
    I really enjoyed Iron Man. One of Marvel’s best, IMHO, and right up there with the first X-Men movie. Missed the stuff at the end because I desperately had to make a restroom trip, but I’ll probably be seeing it again.

  4. chad says:

    Suspension of Disbelief
    The one thing I didn’t like, where I had to suspend my disbelief, were the times that Iron Man was thrown a long distance into a wall or something similar. Just because you have a hard metal shell, doesn’t mean that you can survive such an experience. If I fell 500 feet, I would need more than a hard shell to keep me alive after hitting the ground.

    An American football helmet demonstrates a similar situation. It will save your skull from getting crushed, but doesn’t do much to prevent your brain from moving around and being smashed against the inside of your skull. There is padding and such to help ease the acceleration/deceleration, but it’s insufficient.

    • rickyjames says:

      Re: Suspension of Disbelief

      Just because you have a hard metal shell, doesn’t mean that you can survive such an experience…

      Technically, yeah. Hooray for Hollywood. And also, of course, the intertial-dampening effects of Iron Man’s Repulsor Ray units located in his hands and feet…

  5. Tekzel says:

    Two thumbs and two toes up.
    I have been eagerly waiting for this movie since the information was leaked out that they were going to try to make it, before any casting and such. I had some very high expectations, and though the trailer made me feel that it was probably going to be a good movie at worst, I didn’t expect it to live up to them. But, holy hell, the thing exceeded MY expectations completely. I personally call this, without a bit of hesitation, THE best comic book to movie adaptation in the history of the world. There is not a single thing I would change.

    The review mentioned that it could have used some more action, but to be honest I disagree. Basically, character development and action are almost mutually exclusive. In an origin story, you kind of have to develop the characters as much as possible so the audience can connect with them. As an origin story, I think we got a LOT of action. And well done action too, Iron Man’s first outing just blew me away. I don’t think my heart beat the entire time. During the next movie, they are free to be more action heavy since they have already done the character heavy lifting this time. As I mentioned, I wouldn’t change a thing.

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