Iron Man Wows

Iron ManCall me shallow, but I love the superhero genre. I love the Hollywood summer releases and look forward to the latest action movies. When I first heard about Iron Man, however, I wasn’t too thrilled… until I saw the trailer to especially see Downey Jr. play the lead. Like Will Smith in Hancock (another movie I’m waiting to see), these were superheros with actual experiences (rather than eternal boys, Spiderman or even Superman). You could hope that their characters, and in this case, Iron Man’s character would be robust. After seeing the film today, I’m certainly thrilled and entertained. I’m not sure about the sequel though, somehow it does not leave me hanging as much as other franchises… but the Iron Man movie in itself has been a good opening (because I’m sure there will be more) salvo!

The movie features flashbacks, gritty action, decent (though not spectacular) special effects, and average side-characters. But the movie is run on the back of Downey Jr and too some extent Gyneth Paltrow. The rest of the cast are too weak to engage with. Though it must be said that Jeff Bridges character, (SPOILER ALERT) though predictable, is much more scary in plain human form, than as the Metal Transformer that he later becomes. (SPOILER ENDED)

The two main leads, Downey and Paltrow, bring a human element to the story that has been essential to the success of Spiderman. You want to root for their characters, you want to root for their relationship, and unlike Moneypenny in Bond, Paltrow’s character gets a lot more to do.

Comparison with Spiderman

On the whole, Iron Man is not a classic movie. Neither was Spiderman by the way. Iron Man, the movie, was supposed to get it’s 300 million dollars (or about 600 mil globally) and move into DVD sales. And then it is intended to spawn a bunch of highly lucrative sequels. That’s the purpose of this movie; clearly. And that was certainly the purpose of the first Spiderman too!

Yet knowing that, it’s still good to see a grown-up, or even a growing up, of the superhero franchise, that is able to look beyond perfection to find redemption (whatever that means!). This is in stark contrast to Spiderman which featured (and still to some extent) more boyhood and adolescent struggles. (I mean, just say “I love you Marie Jane and marry her” you nut!) In constrast, the relationship between Pepper and Stark is more believable and playful, and certainly feels more mature.

I think this is a much better super-hero film than Spiderman (1) ever was, though is probably almost as good as Spiderman 2. The advantage of Spiderman 2 was that it brought in a lot of human element to it, and benefitted from character development of the previous movie. In Iron Man, the character development is only on the two or maybe three characters. The Terence Howard character and most others are all flat, going nowhere. Doesn’t feel we can relate to him yet.

Nevetheless, Iron Man is certainly a fun movie, and I would recommend this movie for all the blockbuster hunters out there. This is certainly one of them; worthy going to, worth watching and munching popcorn through.

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Passage for this Season

Philippians 2:11-13 (NIV) (12)Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, (13)for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

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