I went to see Iron Man yesterday, going in on a rather mixed note. My roommate had seen it at work, where they go see a movie once a month, and said that it was terrible. Yet I had high hopes on the other side as it looked amazing in the commercials and I loved Iron Man, who was one of my favorite if not the favorite Marvel character of mine. After all Iron Man was essentially Marvel’s answer to Batman. The guy with no super human abilities, except his extraordinary amounts of money and ingenuity. And Batman is like my favorite comic book hero.
So I went to watch it, and overall I have to disagree with my roommate. I thought it was pretty darn good. Was it the best super hero movie out there? By all means no. I think X-Men 1 & 2 were far better, as was Burton’s Batmans as well as Batman Forever. I did find this movie better than Spider-Man and The Hulk however, and X-Men 3 of course (which was just hideous), and certainly better than all those crap ones that people don’t even remember being made (like that newer Punisher movie). Daredevil I think is just below it, I know a lot of people didn’t like that movie but I think it was pretty good all the same.
My real big complain about Iron Man was that half the movie was Iron Man researching and building the various versions of the suit. It got really boring through much of the first half because of it. I also thought this idea of putting Stark in the terrorist hands at the beginning of the movie then going back in time to see how he got there and then going into it was counterproductive and out of place in the movie. I think the only reason they did it was because early tests of the original movie didn’t bring people into the movie fast enough so they decided to throw action into the first part even if it didn’t really fit. All it really did was made me confused for much of the first 20-30 minutes of the movie for no particular reason that I can summize.
Once you get past this stage, the movie got much better, but unfortunately this was too late in the movie. They did end well which I think is how you generally want to leave a story. But in essence you got like a 30-45 minute movie which is kind of sad. The animations were great, but most of it you had already seen in commercials. In fact I think 85% of the Iron Man shots had already been advertised, which shows you just how little Iron Man was actually IN the movie.
I must give props to the acting however. Jeff Bridges did a suitable job, nothing special, but boy did he look different. If you showed me a picture I wouldn’t be able to recognize him. Robert Downey, Jr. was phenomenal, the part was made for him. It was as if the cartoonists watched his acting 20-25 years ago when they first started imagining this character. It was uncanny. Paltrow did a suitable job as well, she did what she could with a part that was almost completely irrelevant to the movie, but the charm she brought to the part really did it justice.
Overall, I can’t give the movie higher than a B and it is bordering on B-. I did really enjoy the movie, but they really needed to speed up the pacing of the first half of the movie, have less convulited scenes and they were a little too over the top in some of the dialog (the line from Stark saying “they say the best weapon is one that doesn’t need to be fired, I respectfully disagree” or whatever that is always on the Iron Man game commercials has to be one of the worst lines of the movie, and really cheesy but there were a lot of such cheesy lines that we could have really done without).
Minor props on a sidenote is the Star Wars reference in there. I am not a huge Star Wars fan, but I found it to be funny as hell… far more funny than many of the jokes in the movie.