IRON MAN

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IRON MAN - 2008
USA Release: May 2, 2008
Paramount
Rated: USA: PG-13

The trailers looked cool, which means nothing. I've been fooled by trailers before.

Sometimes I wonder why the guy who put together the trailer didn't direct the movie because clearly he had a better handle on what makes a good story. In fact, this one time… Never mind. The point is, cool trailer means nothing.

IRON MAN was written by the screenwriting team of Mark Fergus (CHILDREN OF MEN), Hawk Ostby (CHILDREN OF MEN), Art Marcum (SHADOW OF FEAR) and Matt Holloway. It was directed by John Favreau and is based on Marvel's comic book of the same name (that means that, yes, Stan Lee makes his usual cameo).

The story follows billionaire industrialist Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.: IN DREAMS, GOTHIKA), a famous genius, inventor, playboy and all around cool guy. Stark Industries makes weapons and Tony sees himself as a patriot and protector of the free world. He runs the company (inherited from his father) with his father’s friend Obadiah (Jeff Bridges: KING KONG [1976], TRON).

Iron Man castHe knows a lot of people but has no family and few friends. Air Force liaison Col. Jim Rhodes (Terrence Howard) and personal assistant Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow: SE7EN, THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY, SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW) are the two people closest to him.

Tony's charmed life goes off track when he's kidnapped by Islamic terrorists. Much to his surprise they are well equipped with weapons from his company. The terrorists try to force him to make his most advanced weapons for them but he builds something else instead.

He also meets someone who changes his outlook on life and leaves him dedicated to helping those his weapons have hurt. Isn't that special?

Ok, I will admit I was a little annoyed by the simple-minded, formulaic plot. It's pretty obvious who's a good guy and who's a bad guy and whatever obvious thing you think will happen is what happens. And on top of that the actual conspiracy is nice and evil and all but really doesn't make much economic sense. How could a weapons manufacturer possibly make enough money from selling to terrorists to offset the risk of
#1, losing their best customer, the U.S. government, who provides by far most of their income and
#2, going to jail for treason?

I will also make another admission that requires a

!!!SCIENCE MOMENT!!!:
There are four obvious questions that come to mind when you see Iron Man in action. My first was, "Where are his fuel tanks?" He flies half-way around the world and back and that takes lots of reaction mass. Where is it? Answer: He doesn't use jets – he uses repulsor beams, which constitute magical handwaving but as long as the issue is addressed I'm fine.

Continued at THE SCIENCE MOMENT/IronMan.

Alright, I'm done with the nitpicking. The science mistakes and the super simple plot bugged me but not enough to ruin my good time. This is actually a pretty cool movie. Robert Downey, Jr. is fun and very funny. He does a great job and ultimately, being entertaining is all you can ask of a movie.

I give IRON MAN a three on the shriek girl scale.

Shriek GirlsShriek GirlsShriek Girls
This review copyright 2008 E.C.McMullen Jr.

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