Canister X Movie Review #45: Iron Man (2008)
Written by Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Art Marcum and Matt Holloway
Directed by Jon Favreau
Runtime 126 min.
5 out of 5
Tony Stark has it all: money, women, fame, and little regard for anyone else but himself, but when he’s kidnapped by a terrorist group known as the Ten Rings, everything changes and he soon finds himself with a car battery connected to a magnet in his chest. Tiny bits of shrapnel from the blast that led to his capture are slowly making their way to his heart and the magnet is keeping them at bay.
The Ten Rings want him to build them a weapon and Tony knows that if he does, the world will fall into the terrorists’ hands. He needs to find a way to escape and to do so he must create something more than just the weapon the Ten Rings wanted him to.
After inventing a metal suit with some crude weaponry, he manages to escape the Ten Rings’ lair and return to the world as a new man. Taking his iron suit discovery to a whole new level, he becomes Iron Man and sets to right the wrongs of his past and ensure that the terrorists who tried to enslave him won’t do so to anyone else.
Iron Man is a thrill ride you don’t want to miss!
There’s something about origin stories that I have an extreme soft spot for and Iron Man is near perfect in that regard. Given that Iron Man is a “human hero with no powers” ala Batman and it’s his suit which gives him his abilities, he becomes instantly relatable (well, okay, maybe not one hundred percent as I’m not a billionaire, playboy, philanthropist like him), but I’m on the journey of life like Tony with my own share of pain and turning points. The movie’s pacing is bang on and progresses “as if this really happened,” which is a huge plus for a superhero movie. (I’m a fan of super flicks that come from the angle, “If this happened tomorrow, this is how it’d most likely play out.” My own superhero series, The Axiom-man Saga, is based on that premise.)
The Iron Man armor looks amazing and real, which is a big deal because most of it is CGI. I’m glad they were able to create real-looking metal armor that didn’t look totally fake. Likewise, to see the progression from the oh-so-crude Mark One armor all the way up the Mark Three was cool.
The rest of the special effects were out-of-sight, especially the ultrasonic flying sequences. Looking at the world from Tony’s perspective inside the suit put you in his shoes—in his armor—and made you feel like you were Iron Man along with him.
This flick also boasts a killer soundtrack and score that gets you pumped.
Let’s see . . .
Robert Downey Jr. is Tony Stark. Right from the first scene he lets you know who he is and what he believes in: himself. This carries throughout the rest of the film, but he also does a good job of becoming a changed man as the story goes on and the Tony we meet in the beginning of the movie is different from the one at the end. A lot of actors who are on supposed journeys during a story don’t pull that off and usually come across as the same guy from start to finish.
Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts is dynamite. She’s strong, witty and is one of the few people who can go toe-to-toe with Tony’s narcissistic personality. Excellent casting for this role.
Iron Man was the stepping off point for Marvel’s Phase One, which would later culminate in The Avengers. I don’t think at the time anyone knew that Iron Man—who back then wasn’t really known outside of the comic book community—would become such the massive hit it was, the franchise growing bigger and bigger with each outing.
But I can see why. This movie is awesome.