Iron Man (12a)
Dir. Jon Favreau
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
“Is it better to be feared or respected? And I'd say is it too much to ask for both?” this is the mantra of Tony Stark, multi-billionaire playboy and maverick high tech weapons dealer. Stark (a never better Robert Downey Jr.) becomes the titular metal clad super hero and unlike the multitude of tortured soul reluctant world saviours we’ve had recently, he relishes the opportunity.
Director Jon ‘that funny bloke from Swingers’ Favreau hits a heavy metal home run with this feel good origins story that sets up a potentially amazing new superhero franchise. Downey Jr. boasts infectious charisma – bringing real heart to this action packed, really funny and altogether ‘riveting’ gung ho tale of firepower fetish laced cool. The script sparkles with joyous energy and the action is well delivered with some eye popping effects including a Top Gun homage scene that sees Iron Man dog fighting two F16s fighter jets,
This overload of male wish fulfilment also has a mouth-watering selection of hot cars (including awesome Audi R8 product placement), a high tech bachelor pad which looks like a new Tracey Island and some suitably foxy females. Speaking of which Gwyneth Paltrow manages to be less hateable than usual in her role of ‘Pepper Pots’ – Stark’s loyal PA – complete with unrequited crush on her boss.
Of course every hero needs a villain or two to take down and Iron Man gets to deliver some hot lead payback on a whole battalion of Afghan Terrorist Militants who kidnap Stark at the beginning. Then for a suitable climax he has to face a bigger badder nemesis in the form of a rival combat suit of super-powered armour codenamed ‘Iron Monger’ in a battle described by my two sons as “the most awesome thing I’ve seen this year”…
The idea that it’s only a matter of time before we see super armoured suits like Iron Man’s stomping across battlefields is quite a fearsome one, you can almost picture George Bush trying to put in a bulk order for them after seeing this!?
Iron Man works so well that he has thrown down a power assisted metal gauntlet to the other super hero blockbusters coming this year – and if you want to see him again before the hoped for Iron Man 2, word is he’ll be making a cameo in The Incredible Hulk this Summer. Surely comic lovers everywhere can see the seeds are being sown for a full scale Avengers movie that would unite Iron Man and Hulk with Captain America, Wasp, Ant-Man and Thor… Geektastic!!
"high flying superhero action doesn't get much better!"
DARKMATTERS RATING SYSTEM (all ratings out of maximum 10):
Endorphin Stimulation: öööööööö (9)
- Blasting off in style
Tasty Action: öööööööö (8)
- Exciting key scenes press the right buttons
Gratuitous Babeness: öööööö (6)
- Paltrow leads the charge
Mind Blight / Boredom: öööö (4)
- Long but not dull (girls might struggle a bit more as it's very much a 'boys toys flick'
Comedic Value: öööööööö (8)
- Some really funny lines and good humour throughout
Arbitrary final rating: ööööööööö (10)
- Does exactly what it says on the tin (erm Iron tin?)…
Liable to make you:
"start designing your own super armour suit"
DM Poster Quote:
“it's a bird / plane / toaster... no - it's IRON MAN"