Saturday, May 17, 2008

Iron Man: A Four-Sentence Movie Review

In the two weeks or so since Iron Man hit theaters, it occurred to me that trying to write a review might be redundant, as I've already written about how interesting I find the character of Tony Stark and how excited I was to see Robert Downey, Jr. do his thing with the type of role that should make him a star.

And Downey absolutely owns this movie, bringing the wit and charm that has made him so utterly capitvating in roles such as Tommy Larson in Home For the Holidays, Terry Crabtree in Wonder Boys and Paul Avery in Zodiac, yet also infusing Tony Stark with a vulnerability and heroism that makes him a fascinatingly compelling character. Downey is so enjoyable to watch, in fact, that hiding him in that super-suit kind of takes some of the thrill from the inevitable climactic battle scene, which is unfortunately rendered a bit coherent by sequences that moves just a little too fast - probably to hide the seams that hold the CGI special effects and physical action together.

As fun as it is to see Stark test out each version of the Iron Man armor (an essential part of the character), and riveted by his robot servants into the final kick-ass product, the scenes in which he tells Gwyneth Paltrow's Pepper Potts (another great performance) how important she is in his life, or when his fellow prisoner in Afghanistan tells him not to squander the second chance he's been given, both scenes are more believable (and touching) than you might expect from a rock 'em, sock 'em comic book action flick.