This week I'm going to do you all a huge favor and you can then show your appreciation by sending me envelopes filled with cold hard cash. Trust me, you'll want to after taking this next little piece of advice.
GO SEE IRON MAN RIGHT NOW!!!
No, I meant it...If you're still reading this you effed up, man. Go see the movie then come back and read the rest of this blog.
Okay? You back? Awesome! Wasn't that unreal? I've seen a lot of super-hero or comic book based movie adaptations and this was easily the best of the bunch. Was it not? Okay, here's what I know you'll agree made this movie so utterly kick-ass. Here we go...
1) Robert Downey, Jr. Three four years ago I was as fed up with this guy as the rest of us normal "work our asses off to pay the bills" working joes. I was sick and tired of seeing that mussed up, dark circles under the eyes loser in front of the judge getting yet another "last chance" to clean himself up. I really wanted him to just go away...get thrown in the slammer and never hear from the loser again. And I think a lot of you felt the same way.
Yeah, dammit, and yet...God Dang myself I couldn't deny I loved the way the guy acted. His talent couldn't be denied. His roles in Wonder Boys and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang not to mention just about every-friggin-thing-else he's ever been in have been nothing short of spectacular. Yep, the drug user and multi-abuser definitely always had the good when it came to his acting.
Yep, so when he was cast as Tony Stark/Iron Man, yep, I couldn't help but get excited. I knew he'd be perfect for the role. After all, Tony Stark is an alcoholic. Yep, in the comics series he's an alcoholic in case you don't read the books (and you really should). One of the brilliant things Marvel Comics did with the character to give him the patented "Marvel Flaw" that made the character more human. And, apparently, casting Downey was another sign of brilliance if only to have an actor that could relate on that level with the comic character!
Damn! I couldn't help but shake my head at the brilliance of this casting decision.
Then you find out he's been clean for the past 3 years on top of it! Crap! Could he really FINALLY have learned his lesson after all the fugg ups of the past 20ish years?!! Now I have to applaud the casting decision and Downey himself. It's all good.
And, yep again, the brilliant, now sober actor nailed the part better than anyone else on the planet could have ever hoped to have done. Grade: A+!! He had the charisma, charm, swagger, good looks, smarts, clever quips and delivery only he seems to have--that answering a person's question but really talking to himself thing he does so freaking well!--and the vulnerability necessary to make Tony Stark and thereby Iron Man HUMAN. Just like in the comics and just the reason the character succeeded in the first place.
So, 1) Robert Downey, Jr.
2) Jon Favreau, director. Always liked him as an actor and have grown to really appreciate him as a director. He seems to also have that "everyman" likeability as an actor in the roles he's played (Friends, Made) and a great sense of what works on the screen when he directs. Go rent the underrated Zathura and you'll see the film that preceded Iron Man and probably sealed the deal on landing this gig. Zathura demonstrated he knew how to pull of an action/adventure movie without entirely relying on special effects like so many directors seem to do in these CGI laden days of film making. He understands pacing and humor and characterization as vital elements in making a film. This movie will plant him firmly now on the A-list of Hollywood directors and deservedly so! Grade: Another A+!!
3) The story. Don't know offhand who wrote this puppy but they did a bang-up job. They kept it true to the comic's rich history while making the right updates in making it relevant...i.e. Instead of Stark being held prisoner during the Viet Nam war he's now being held by Afghan terrorists. They also tuned a very nice little trick with Tony Stark's "heart problem" he always had to deal with in the comics. They took an element that was always rather simple and gave it a nice, techno twist that also tied in with the overall plot of the film. Very tight scripting. Funny, smart, great action sequences, dialogue, everything!
The only minor quibble I had was when Tony Stark had his revelation--his realization that being a weapons manufacturer was bad--that the transition into turning the revelation into a suit of armor wasn't fully explained enough. Yeah, I got it, he made the suit and eventually used it to right his own wrongs, yes...I got that. But they took us from his saying he wanted to work on his ground-breaking energy source to help mankind to all of a sudden making the suit! It was a quick transition and the "making of the suit part" didn't make sense at the time/wasn't fully explained enough. "Why would he make this thing to convert/store/emit the energy?"
Anyway, it was a minor quibble. Writing still kicked total ass. Grade: A.
4) Supporting cast. All exceptional actors. Terrance Howard, Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow. All-star cast and an all-star job. Grade: A.
5) Everything else under the sun. The day was nice, the timing right (was having a craptastic couple weeks being under the weather with horrible cold/flu/throat crap), the popcorn was delicious, the theatre not crowded (go to Tuesday matinees people), the cushy oversized seats (IPIC Theatres rock! Lucky to have the first one in the friggin' country here just 3 miles from my house! Take that you bastards! HA!) and Sandy (my wife) also loved the film and agreed with me on all the reasons why it was so damn great! It's really nice to be right and know you're right and then have someone tell you you're right...am I right?!
Yeah, I'm right.
And you, of course, know this because you immediately went and saw the movie after I told you to twelve paragraphs ago, right?