Iron Man

Iron Man

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
First blockbuster of the year sets an (almost impossibly) high standard for those that will follow. IRON MAN is simply superb.

The Hollywood Exec Pitch:
Iron Who? $180million? Jon who? Aren’t there any more famous characters left. Sorry Marvel your on your own…

Marvel has a lot at stake with IRON MAN. Not least $180 million of their own money. This film needed to be good. And with so much at stake it seemed an odd choice not only to use one of your least known properties (Iron Man is after all much less famous than The X-Men et al), put a relatively untested director such as Jon Favreau (at least on the big summer stage) and chose a lead who in Downey Jnr, but a few years ago, didn’t look like he would make it out of rehab alive.

So was the gamble worth it? HELL YEAH! Iron Man is simple one of the best super hero films ever.
From the opening AC/DC backed Hummer ride through to Iron Man Mk1,2 and then eventually 3, through twists and turns and the final showdown IRON MAN hardly puts a foot wrong. At it’s heart is also one of the best scripts a blockbuster has boasted in some time. Funny, charming… the story is lead by the characters and as a result the characters shine.

Shining brightest is Tony Stark. Robert Downey Jnr has had his roubles but he’s always been considered one of the great talents of our generation. Now sober and out of rehab (we hope for a long time) he’s given a role that will thrust him back into the public’s eye. And this time for the right reason. Downey Jnr is so perfect as Stark it truly is impossible to see anyone else playing the role. From humour to frivolity from anger to compassion you never doubt Downey Jnr and that means you never doubt Stark as a character.

The other shinning light is director Jon Favreau . Make no doubt about it IRON MAN will make Favreau one of the hottest blockbuster directors in Hollywood. Whilst considered very much an actors director, he handles the action sequences with the skill and touch of much more seasoned directors like Tony Scott and Martin Campbell.
As for the support cast – an almost unrecognisable Jeff Bridges as eventual bad guy Stane is superb and Gwyneth Paltrow as the oddly named Pepper Potts (an actress who I have never really rated that much) was both sexy and charming. Even Director Favreau even pops up for an extended cameo as Tony Stark’s driver!

What else? Well the effects are flawless and your never sure what’s Stan Winston practical or ILM CGI. The jokes are funny, the action thrilling…

So in short – Favreau has created a comic book origin story that will sit along side the heady tales of Batman Begins & Spiderman…. And that is praise indeed.

A lot to choose from but Robert Downey Jnr is simply the BEST piece of casting ever… he is Tony Stark. More than Bale as Batman or Maguire as Spiderman, Downey Jnr nails the role and is never less than totally believable.

The Bad:
Err…. It’s pretty impossible to pick anything bad in a film full of such greatness. If I HAD to pick anything it’s the twist around Bridges. It was obvious from the start.

The Ugly:

Best Bit: Iron Man flies…

IMDB Rating: 6/10

If you liked this try: Batman Begins (9/10); Spiderman (8/10); Hulk (5/10)

NB: Make sure you stay until after the end credits!

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