Top positive review
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Easily the best of all Marvel movies so far
on July 16, 2008
I was really excited at the prospect of an Iron Man movie, but worried it'd be overloaded with SFX or that the character wouldn't work. I raised an eyebrow when I heard Robert Downey was playing Tony Stark, but decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. Last time I did that, it was when Michael Keaton was cast in the first Batman movie.
In both cases, my doubts were groundless. This movie is, in a word, superb. Usually I won't say that, especially about a modern SF film. This time, they got it absolutely right. The pacing is perfect, the characters are actually developed well, the story is well adapted to the 40+ year Iron Man mythos, and the SFX are used to support the story. Usually it's the other way around, with the effects totally overwhelming the rest of the film in order to please fanboy types and kids who just want eye candy.
While the film is generally very serious, there are nice touches of both humor and romance. The supporting characters and actors -- and I mean ALL of them -- are excellent. Downey's characterization of Stark, and the gravitas he brings to the character once he realizes what his company has been doing with its weapons, is absolutely spot on. Jeff Bridges is perfect as Obadiah -- as callous a villain as ever walked the earth.
Many film companies still seem to think all you need in any science fiction film are blinking lights, big explosions, and female characters in tight spandex. That's what Gene Roddenberry ran into when he tried to make the original Star Trek; the producers literally told him to stick in some blinking lights and start filming. Way too many SF films and TV series have fallen into that same trap.
If this movie doesn't get film industry executives to re-think that position, they shouldn't be making movies. Then again, Peter Jackson's LoTR films have already proved SF films can be Oscar material.
We need more movies like this. I can't wait for the 2nd installment.