Soon To Be Classics

Saturday, May 03, 2008

I Am Not Iron Man

But Robert Downey Jr. is, where it counts. At the box office.

Possible spoilers so read at your own peril.

The lovely folks at SOE let us go see Iron Man yesterday during a long lunch at work. This culminates a 9 month anxious wait for this film that started at San Diego Comic Con last year when they trotted out the first film trailer. From a pure marketing standpoint, they did everything right with this film. Show the first stuff to your evangelist crowd. Get them to spread the word to ancillary communities. Don't oversell it in terms of licensing, but do just enough to keep the anticipation high. Toward the end, leak out some key scenes showing not the action so much, but focus on what makes this film work for comic book fans AND otherwise; Robert Downey Jr.

So as to the film itself. It was incredible. Or is that Invicible? Time will tell. This is a super-hero movie that does what the successful comic book films have done in the past. Take the source material seriously. Steer clear of Camp Road and you'll have the die hard comic fans on board. Then flesh it out and make it a good film and the rest will come.

The cast was great. Downey Jr. cannot be praised enough for showing two sides of Tony Stark. Gwenneth Paltrow looked simply amazing in this film. Jeff Bridges looked so unlike Jeff Bridges you almost forgot who he was. Terence Howard did a great job as Rhodes but I would have liked to seen more out of the ups and downs of their friendship.

The CG was flawless. There was not a single point in the film where I was pulled out of the story. In fact, I had a hard time discerning where live film and CG crossed. That's good, because as the Director, Jon Favreau said in many interviews, if the armor doesn't work, neither does this film.

This is a great popcorn movie, but not for the kids. I was kind of hoping I could take my 4 year old but no dice. There are some scenes that are a little intense and let's just say the 50-year old comic book moratorium on how to deal with bad guys is "overlooked" in this film. Nuff said.

For the non-comic geeks, there were a handful of nods to you in this picture. I'm sure I missed one or two but here's a list.
- The bad guys in Afghanistan are a terrorist group called the "10 rings" (Mandarin, anyone?)
- SHIELD makes their presence known. (It made me laugh that they changed the acronym so the "H" is "homeland".)
- Rhodey looking at the silver armor and saying "Next time baby." (In the comics, he dons a suit of armor and becomes "War Machine".)
- The end. Stay past the credits. Trust me.
- The press conference scene has been done at least twice in the last 10 years in the comics.

I'm sure I might have missed one or two.

I give this film an enthusiastic 9 out of 10. There's just not much else they could have done better except for the turning point at the end. It was just a little thin. Maybe more Gwenneth. :) All in all, a great first effort for Marvel's new "Marvel Studios" imprint. Early numbers are saying this will hit about $40 million this weekend, making it the first blockbuster of the year, the biggest opening for the cast involved, and a good start for what's going to be an amazing summer.

Also, be sure and catch "The Hulk" in a couple of weeks if you're a fan of this film. You were warned.


  • The cameos in this and Hulk are the worse kept secrets in fandom. I don't even look for spoilers anymore, they just me. I haven't seen a single preview for Iron Man (save the ones on TV in the last week or so) and I knew the cameo was coming. Same with the one in the upcoming Hulk.

    I thought the movie was really good. I think it will make 75 to 85 million though, not a measly 40 million.

    I wasn't as big a fan of Gwenneth as you appear to be however.

    By Blogger TMac, at 1:15 PM  

  • Yeah, I messed that up. It was supposed to be $40M on opening day. The real numbers are coming in way over even the $85M mark.

    By Blogger Mkae, at 12:16 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home