MOVIE REVIEW – ‘Iron Man’

Review by J.T. Johnson

DIRECTOR: Jon Favreau
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Matthew Libatique
WRITERS: Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Art Marcum, Matt Holloway
MUSIC: Ramin Djawadi

Robert Downey Jr. plays arms manufacturer Tony Stark who is captured by terrorist that use Stark Industries weapons to meet their own ends. They tell Stark to build them a missile or they will kill him. After escaping with a prototype suit of armor, Tony returns home and refines the suit to become Iron Man in order to protect the innocent.

After saying that Stark Industries will stop manufacturing weapons, Stark finds opposition from his late father’s former partner and Stark’s mentor, Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges). The best part of this film is without a doubt Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. Downey is able to bring his dry wit and humor to the role as well as hide Tony’s inner demons as well.

Once you see Downey as Iron Man, you will never again envision another person in the role.

Another great aspect of the film are the special effects, which are some of the best ever put on the silver screen. ILM has done a great job making Iron Man a fully functional character with all the nuts and bolts perfectly in place. The action sequences are some of the best I have seen in a movie in a long time.

Another good point to make is the fact that Jon Favreau and the writers had the foresight to know that this was the beginning of a series. There is already a rumor that “Iron Man 2” is set for 2010.  As a result, the filmmakers take their time telling a true origin story for Tony Stark and his alter ego.

Much like “Batman Begins” did before it, the first half of the film is Tony Stark trying to figure out how his suit works and how to deal with his company’s reluctance to stop making weapons. Once the action begins, however, it never lets up and comes to a proper ending establishing Iron Man as the new hero for the people.

If I have anything negative to say about the film, it is that the villains are a little two dimensional and are just there to move the story along and give Tony Stark an obstacle or two along the way. Jeff Bridges was the weakest link in this picture to me. I just thought he was a little over the top once he finally became the main villain of the piece. It should be noted, however, that none of these are big enough problems to distract from the overall film.

With an amazing performance by Downey Jr., great special effects and a good origin story for one of Marvel’s iconic characters, “Iron Man” is up there at the top with the likes of “X-Men” and “Spider-Man 2” as one of the best superhero films to come along in a long time. Also, be sure to stay after the credits for a big scene that any Marvel fan would get excited about.

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