Sunday, May 4, 2008

Iron Man

Finally! A summer popcorn movie with substance, action, intelligent dialogue, and rounded characters. Somebody pinch me! Not since Shawna and I started SisterCritics in the late 90's have I looked forward to the summer movie schedule. Iron Man does a great job of Zamboni-ing the ice for the rest of the summer films to follow. The film takes its time to build Stark's character and set the tone for the rest of the film. Usually we open with Batman taking down a bad guy and then into the lair, but here, we see Clark Kent in his element until forced to find a phone booth. Favreau treated the script like a screenplay and not like an interpretation of a comic book. This is a film that happens to be about a superhero, not a superhero movie.

As a Robert Downey Jr. fan, I was sure he was going to be able to pull of the Stark portion of his dual personality - a womanizing, alcoholic, sarcastic, wealthy public figure, ahem, who finds himself needing a reality check and a change of priorities. Robert did a convincing job at both angles and, granted, he was hiding behind layers of CGI and plastic molding for a majority of the butt kickings, but he was still able to pull of a pathos necessary in the super hero. There's only two movies I can tolerate Gwyneth Paltrow in - SEVEN and ROYAL TENENBAUMS, but I'll give credit where it's due and say she did a good enough job with the Pepper Potts role that I didn't notice or hate her. Praise indeed to be sure.

However, the true heroes and the best part of the film were Stark's robots in the lab. I could have watched hours of him chastising and praising the Laurel and Hardy pals (hence the reason SHORT CIRCUIT was ever successful and why WALL-E will be a hit). The biggest laugh in the Cinerama dome Saturday night was based off of a fire extinguisher gag - simple but perfectly hilarious. I don't know about you, but it was nearly impossible to watch the Islamic terrorists speak and not hear South Park-ease in my head. I dare you to watch the scene where they find the Iron Man mask in the sand and NOT hear "durka durka jihad kerblakablah".

Looking at the Box Office from the past weekend, you've probably already seen Iron Man 10 times. If not, grab some popcorn and just sit back for a funny action packed movie with a little Suicidal Tenancies thrown in. (The band not a reaction you would have viewing the film I hope)

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