Iron Man (2008) mini review

based on a comic book

Well, now that The Incredible Hulk opened this weekend, I should try to post this review I've been trying to get out for a month. By now, most of us know the basic plot to Iron Man. A harrowing experience turns Tony Stark from weapons designer to hero - he uses his technological genius to create Iron Man.

Any movie that starts with great music (AC/DC's Back in Black) and ends in equally good music is going to get extra points, even if the middle isn't great. I said I was going to be disappointed if Sabbath's Iron Man didn't find its way into the movie and only showed up during the end credits - and, well, I really wasn't disappointed. The special effects are seamless - you will believe a man can fly. (OK, I just did a Google blog search, and I'm about the 32nd person to use that in relation to this movie, but I still like it.)

Marvel continues to do it better, and this movie was pretty amazing. Robert Downey, Jr. is the perfect Tony Stark; Gwyneth Paltrow is his assistant Pepper Pots, Jeff Bridges is wonderful as his corporate rival. Every character in the film is completely believable. Clark Gregg's jump from The Adventures of New Christine to a serious government agent takes some getting use to (if you watch the TV show), but that's about it. All around there's nothing to complain about. It's an excellent film. Jon Favreau takes the leap to directing a superhero film and does it with aplomb. There's a little suspension of disbelief, but in anything superhero-related is going to have that. There's comic relief without being cheesy, and romance without detracting from the story. It keeps you on the edge of your seat. There's even a nod to the Silver Age Iron Man. Plus great foreshadowing for the next film. And what's not to love about that surprise ending? (I won't fall in line behind every other web site that spoils it in case you haven't seen it - suffice it to say, if you haven't seen it yet, stay through the end credits.)

Other actors include Leslie Bibb (Wristcutters: A Love Story) as the Vanity Fair reporter, Shaun Tobb (Lois & Clark) as Stark's helper Yinsen, Bill Smitrovich (The Phantom, Batman Beyond, the 90's animated Fantastic Four), and Tim Guinee (Blade, Smallville).

And with Marvel's recent announcements, there's lots to look forward, too. Iron Man 2 and Thor come out in 2010, and Captain America comes out in 2011.

See it if you like films with lots of action that keep you on the edge of your seat - whether you're into the superhero aspect or not.

Don't see it if...crap, if you read a superhero and comic blog, I can't think of any reason why you shouldn't see it.

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