There’s no rust on this baby, because this newest of the Super-Hero flics has three very good actors in the lineup and a story that’s mostly pared of repetitious and unpleasant rinds. Of course, that isn’t to say it’s perfect and after watching this newest of entries to the summer of 2008, I still remember with fervor the first “Superman” and the first “Batman.”
But with hardened actor Robert Downey Jr. in the role of Tony Stark, a munitions manufacturer whose factories turn out assorted methods of mass destruction, this becomes a bit more that the general special-effects hoopla topped with a script of one-line comments. No here we actually have intelligent remarks made by the characters who either endure, design, or sell weapons of minor and mass destruction, their bombs, guns, and ammo all topped off with cutting-edge logos--so we’re reminded of just what acting is all about.
Then we have Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane, the duplicit manager of Stark’s factories, reminding us again of what a good actor he is, as he tries to lead a double-barreled life first as a good family friend and a then a man so deep in the evil pit, it’s amazing he can breathe pure air. Finally, we have that long-stemmed rose Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, Tony’s secretary and confidant.
Director Favreau has more TV than movie to his credit and actually directed a few of the excellent “Monk” entries, in addition to “Daredevil” and “Elf,” both of 2003, the first another example of a movie pretty much ruined by the producers and the studio, making the director’s cut of “Daredevil” a needed view.
It’s rather a pity that in order to get a good sense of the current horrors in Afghanistan, you’ll see more in “Iron Man” than any commercial TV broadcast from what’s left of the nightly news to even broader coverage on MSNBC (who spend more time on prison reports) and CNN.
The special effects are top drawer and one the scenes surrounding the construction of the first Iron Man suit--all in a pretty dreadful Afghan prison--are about as realistic as you can get. And when the more civilized model appears on screen, one has a momentary wish that one such outfit was hanging in our closets to be worn when driving I-26 or I-40, not to mention Long Shoals Road.