May 3, 2008

Man in the Iron Mask

I did not expect Iron Man from Robert Downey, Jr., nor from Elf director Jon Favreau (Swingers, Monica's rich boyfriend on Friends.) Iron Man is a fun and excellent superhero movie, probably on par with Spiderman 2, XMen 2 and probably even Batman Begins.
I am so glad to see the talented Mr. Downey, Jr. onscreen, in an unlikely role at that. He impishly plays Tony Stark, slick playboy billionaire whose company builds weapons for the military. He develops a conscience after captivity in Afghanistan. Stark trumps Bruce Wayne because being an M.I.T. graduate, he develops his own weaponry. In a fun sequence, he becomes Iron Man, aided by a computer version of Alfred. His sidekick is Air Force Col. Jim Rhodes (Terrence Howard), his redheaded damsel-but-not-too-distressed assistant is Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow). There is the requisite bald headed bad guy, blasting musical score, thrilling action scenes, as well as Stan Lee's cameo.
The well chosen cast is clearly having fun. For a refreshing change, our rogue hero doesn't dwell on his psychological trauma, doesn't brood, and instead, the witty script allows him funny quips but not clich├ęs. I love the surprising ending, too. Unfortunately, I left before the credits ended. I heard there is the best bonus scene ever.
Robert Downey, Jr. is the Man, the Iron Man. I wonder how Edward Norton will fare as The Incredible Hulk.

(photo from


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