For a while there the only Iron Man I knew about was Ghostface Killah, Wu Tang Clan’s loveable lyricist who adopted the alias Tony Starks. Lo* and behold he took the moniker from his favorite comic book hero of the same name. We’ve become inundated with superhero movies over the last several years, and I must admit I enjoy the genre. I think the first Spiderman movie set the bar pretty high, as Hollywood made a marked departure from the cornier superhero movies of the 1980’s (Christopher Reeves’ Superman comes to mind). With that being said, I think Iron Man continues the recent tradition of very good superhero flicks.
Robert Downey Jr. is one of those highly respected, critically acclaimed actors, despite his run-ins with the law and his substance abuse problems. It looks like all that nonsense is a thing of the past and Downey’s got that proverbial swag back. He’s in rare form as Tony Stark, brilliant billionaire weapons developer and ladies’ man extraordinaire. When Stark is taken hostage after traveling to the Middle East to debut a new weapon, he creates “Iron Man” as a means of escape from his cavernous prison. After a series of refinements, Iron Man becomes not only Stark’s altar ego, but a highly advanced, sleek weapon in and of himself. I’m not familiar with Iron Man’s bio, so I don’t know if he’ll evolve into the type of hero that saves everyday citizens by foiling bank heists and other such clichéd foolishness, but for the first installment our hero is just focused on making sure his weapons aren’t in the hands of the bad guys.
I must confess that when I look at Robert Downey Jr, I don’t immediately think of him as a superhero, but he did a great job. I guess I didn’t think Tobey Maguire looked like a superhero either, but I’m sure he has everyone sold as Spiderman. My point is that if you’re a good actor first, you can probably successfully portray a superhero or just about anything else. Unless you’re George Clooney in Batman. LOL. Anyway, Iron Man lives up to the hype. It will be interesting to see how it stacks up against the other highly anticipated comic book movies being released later in the summer: The Incredible Hulk and The Dark Knight. For now it’s probably the best movie based on a comic book in recent memory. Actually, I expect The Dark Knight to $hit on everything Iron Man stands for, but we’ll see!
*I am a spelling fiend and I hate misspellings. This is not a typo! You don’t put a ‘w’ in “lo” when it is used this way, as an interjection.