Anthony's Film Review
Iron Man (2008)
Here is another comic book adaptation that is entertaining on a basic level...
There is definitely one trend that Hollywood has followed in the first several years of the 21st century: adapting superhero comics to movies. There are many examples of this, including Batman, Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, and even Superman. What is it with comic book superheroes that fascinates both Hollywood and movie audiences? Most likely, it's the mixture of exciting action and intriguing characters. If Hollywood keeps this up, every single comic creation by Marvel, DC Comics, and other publishers will get the cinematic treatment.
Iron Man is yet another example of this. This is a movie that delivers what you expect out of a cinematic superhero comic adaptation: good action and developed characters. Here, the central protagonist is a scientific genius and industrialist named Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr. He owns a company called Stark Industries, which develops the most advanced weapons the world has ever seen. Later, he develops a thick metallic suit, modified with a bunch of deadly weapons and strong defenses, in order to become an alter ego named Iron Man.
The story is a lot simpler than you think. In the beginning, Stark goes to Afghanistan to demonstrate the weapons his company developed, only to be captured by terrorists who also stockpile weapons from Stark Industries. He is forced to build a special missile for the enemy but, instead, takes the opportunity to build a crude Iron Man suit to help him escape. Once out of harm's way, Stark feels guilty about his company making weapons (which soon triggers a cameo with Jim Cramer, the wacky host of CNBC's Mad Money) and vows to vanquish the enemy as Iron Man instead. Then, in the finale, Stark faces the real enemy in this movie, revealed late in the story.
There are other characters whom Stark can trust as allies. They include Jeff Bridges as Stark Industries executive Obadiah Stane, Terrence Howard as an Air Force colonel named Rhodey, and Gwyneth Paltrow as his secretary Pepper Potts. Speaking of characters, this movie certainly focuses on the character of Tony Stark. There is so much emphasis on character that there are really only three action scenes in the whole movie, one for each of the three major acts I summarized above.
Iron Man is not exactly the best superhero movie ever. It is a predictable one, because I was able to anticipate, in most cases, the next thing that would happen. Compared to other good superhero movies as of late, this one would essentially be a standard superhero movie. Still, I enjoyed the special effects, action sequences, and the fragility of the character of Tony Stark. It's possible that the people in Hollywood want to make money off Iron Man with not one movie but a whole series of movies, which is why this movie seems to function as a simple introduction to Iron Man. Based on how this movie looks, they should have no problem delivering a sequel.
For more information about Iron Man, visit the Internet Movie Database.