Iron Man

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Critics of the superhero genre incessantly complain that these movies are predictable, cliche, and mere rehashes of the same basic plot. What they can't seem to explain however is how these unoriginal tales of grandeur manage to captivate millions of viewers and win over their hearts. Iron Man is yet another one of these "rehashes," but this comic book film is unquestionably entertaining and absolutely intriguing, despite a slight dearth of action endemic to the genre.

Those not avid readers of comic books would be hard pressed to know who exactly Iron Man is. According to the film, the metallic superhero was begotten when Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr, Chaplin), a prolific weapons developer, was captured by an islamo-terrorist faction and forced to build a weapon for them. Desperate for a means of escape, Stark fashions a sophisticated titanium suit outfitted with weapons ranging from rockets to flamethrowers. Ownage ensues.

Then in a movie-cliche twist of fate, the perpetuator of the military industrial complex fights against the very institution he created as the maroon and yellow Iron Man.

In essence, Iron Man is a modern day version of Superman; Iron Man can fly, he is literally a "man of steel," and he can shoot high intensity light beams, albeit not out of his eyes. A key attribute of superhero films are their flawless adaptations to changes in society. Iron Man, a normal human being equipped with advanced weapons and capabilities, reflects society's obsession with gadgetry. The movie teems with bleeding-edge technology such as functional holographic models, experimental power generators (the shiny blue thing on Stark's chest), and even an auto-targeting multi-barrel gun that drew a wave of "ooh"'s from the theatergoers.

Despite the top notch awe factor of this film, Iron Man suffers from a lack of action, one thing movie directors usually cram into films of this sort. You have the opening fight scene, a fight scene somewhere in the middle, and then the big fight scene at the end. Director Jon Favreau fails to capitalize on the impressive arsenal and, ergo, potential of Iron Man and instead relegates the superhero to a measly few clashes.

Nonetheless, you do have to give credit where its due. The CG crew did a terrific job with the effects. Let alone the flawless rendering of Iron Man and his fights, just the Jericho missile's fiery explosion blew me away, no pun intended.

Robert Downey Jr. plays his part as a brazen superhero with charisma and wit. Though relatively unknown in modern Hollywood, Downey proves he is far from washed-up with a very energetic performance in Iron Man.

Bolstered by Downey Jr.'s charismatic acting, Iron Man succeeds on all fronts as an entertaining new addition to the Marvel movie franchise. Its definitely worth seeing, even if only to pacify your inner-geek.





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