‘Iron Man’ suits up for battle
Its so nice to see that technology has finally caught up to movie-makers visions. Transforming Iron Man from a comic-book character into a silver-screen superstar would have been possible ten years ago, but only in terms of adequacy, not awesomeness. The Iron Man we are treated to in 2008 is awesome by anyones standards, and fans of the comic book should be thankful for director Jon Favreaus (Swingers) grounded approach to the source-material. If only more writers and directors would take their cues from him before desecrating another super-hero franchise.Although Iron Man is a good vs. evil popcorn flick, much more is going on in the way of character development, humor and political world-view than any number of recent comic-book adaptations (Im talking to you Batman & Robin and Spider-Man 3). While the focus is on action between robot-suited enemies, expect enough snappy dialogue and family-friendly laughs to keep the down-time from turning into nap-time.
Technology engineer and owner of Stark Enterprises, Tony Stark, is showing off his companys latest weapons invention to the U.S. military in Afghanistan when a surprise attack by a local rebel army kills his entourage leaving him alone and vulnerable in the desert. A bomb blast (ironically produced by Stark Enterprises) sends shrapnel into his body near his heart. When he wakes in his captors cave-fortress he is told to build them a missile or be killed. He agrees, using his time in captivity to build a device that will keep his heart functioning and a suit of iron to break free and kill the enemy (one of the coolest hero-unleashings in film history).Realizing that his weapons have created more destruction in the world than good, Stark has a change of heart he no longer wants to produce devices of carnage. Instead he creates a suit of armor that will allow him to fly and shoot cool energy-beams out of his hands with the hope of using it for good. But Stark is betrayed when someone from his own company steels the technology to profit from its illegal sales.From beginning to end we see Stark evolve from a horny, shrewd business man into the reluctant hero Iron Man. Downey Jr. plays Stark with a playful proficiency, showing more than one side to what could have been a very one-dimensional charicature.The kids will want more men in robot suits fighting each other (heck, even I did) but the satisfaction of Iron Man comes with the faithful rendering of a Marvel Comics icon, not just action for the sake of action.High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 970-748-2939 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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