Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Stark raving mad

Hubs and I FINALLY got around to watching Iron Man this week. Because it was an effects movie, we longed to go see it in the theatre. There's nothing quite like watching all that action and pyrotechnics on a big screen. However, life had other plans, so we settled for seeing it at home this week.

If you know the comic, you know the story. Billionaire inventor and weapons producer Tony Stark is captured by renegade forces who want him to create a super-weapon for them. After requesting the supplies he'll need, Stark instead creates a metal suit for himself, using it to bust out of captivity. Now fully realizing the great havoc his weapons inflict, Stark vows to act as a protector of the human race and undo some of the damage his creations have caused.

I thought that this movie was good, but I was actually expecting it be a tad more spectacular. Maybe because I'd heard it being discussed in glowing terms for the better part of a year. It's hard to live up to such hype.

I thought Robert Downey Jr. did a fabulous job. Gwyneth Paltrow did a fair job for the role she had, but Pepper Potts didn't seem to be a very pivotal character in this film. I loved Terence Howard, and I'm disappointed about the rumors that he may be replaced in the next film in the series. Jeff Bridges chewed the scenery gloriously. (He looks very ominous without his hair, no?)

The effects were great, and I'm glad to see how the SpiderMan series and King Kong have cemented a new rule of thumb in hero/effects films (one started by Titanic, I think): even if the movie is all about effects, it will be better if you cast people who can actually ACT in the lead roles. (Not just models. Not just bodybuilders. ACTORS.) Everything will benefit from strong performances at the core of the film, even if you think audiences are really only coming to see you blow stuff up.

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