So then, this ‘Iron Man’ flick. Watched it last night at The Palace IFC in Central. Nice seats. Anyway, in the grand tradition handed down from my last few film reviews, I shall attempt to sum the film up in three words. And those words are:
Not sure if they were going for kiddies’ and young-at-heart adults with this flick, or people watching films out of their age bracket. At times it seemed like we were watching a story of a man whose playboy lifestyle we wished we had. At other times, it seemed it was a full-blown morality piece. And then there were the Moments Of Bleeuurgh, as you saw icky bits of imminent gore. (Which, it has to be said, were not considered so by me. They did not bother me at all. However, my viewing buddy had a few face-in-the-cardy moments.) Some moments, like the first appearance of the sleeker, hot-rod red sprayed suit in the village, almost crossed the line between superhero flick and hard-to-watch grown-up films about war. It pulled it back though, using the next point upon which I'll expound:
Loved Tony Stark in full-on playboy mode, even though I think we weren’t supposed to all that much. I think we were supposed to dislike his crappy, inferior psyche and scarred soul’s attempt to live up to Daddy’s legacy. That aside, once he was morphing slowly into Man With Conscience he still managed to be believable and not a pasty wash-out goody two shoes. Robert Downey Jr did a fantastic job of the part, his off-beat delivery and lovely, lovely should be smarmy but dunt come off that way momentum, and he did get his arms out willy-nilly. It was an inspired choice of lead actor, not simply cos he has lovely arms (did I mention that already?), but because he can wise crack and spit insults with the best of them.
Likewise Jeff Bridges was scarily effective as the partner gone bad, even if he was near unrecognisable with the Evil Beard and baldy look. Unfortunately, easily the weakest character out of it all was Ms Potts. Hardly worth the space in the dramatis personae, was she? Let’s face it, her job could have been done by nearly anyone else. And her girliness got on my tits at times. Strong female character, she was not. Not sure if she were always like this, as all I remember of the comics were literally the colours of his suit. Ah well.
Putting in a voice 'appearance' in the best way were none other than the curiously un-credited Paul Bettany, as J.A.R.V.I.S., the computer-cum-butler. And he did it so well! I suppose having made US flicks like that Da Vinci bollocks has made him a viable English bloke when they need that stiff-arsed Brit accent. I enjoyed his cheekiness when talking to Stark in the suit, and the excellent chemistry the two characters seemed to share was ace.
Loved the soundtrack score! Reminiscent of a hundred different metal tracks, not least of all the mighty Zeppelin’s ‘Kashmir’ at times. Also a hell of a lot like Filter without lyrics at most other times. Seeing as they used their iconic track “Hey Man, Nice Shot” in the trailer we got in Hong Kong, perhaps I just made that last connection myself, Derren Brown stylee. However you slice it, Ramin Djawadi has given us a perfect score and I’ve already secured my copy. It’s playing on iPod Bob (the third) as I speak and pseudo-type this entry on the way to work, in fact. Gotta love technology, eh?
Talking of which, I know it were a superhero flick, but at times the gratuitous watching of him getting his suit on and off I think stole a bit of time from the rest of the piece. Someone did not go to the Sam Raimi School of Character Over CGI, methinks. But then Jon Favreau also made ‘Zathura: A Space Adventure’, which I enjoyed way more than I should have done. Come to think of it, he’s always done well, it were a surprise that he let it go on so long this time. (Was he also the bodyguard that tailed Mr Stark to the plane? Looked like him.)
Anyhow, final verdict? Loved it. Give us more ‘Iron Man’ type flicks and I’ll be fine fer a bit. The blatant use of AC/DC in the opening salvo (ahem) set us up for a fab musical score at any rate, and pretty much got us int right frame of mind fer what were to come. More, I say, more!
Well that’s yer onion. No, shallot. Always get those two mixed up. Soopytwist, and peach and lube to everyone while I slide off to watch tonight’s ‘Supernatural’ episode 3.15: ‘Time Is On My Side’, which also happens to the penultimate episode of the Grand Canyon-sized amount of fun, intrigue and plain ol’ fuck me! that has been season three so far…
Iron Man ~ Robert Downey Jr ~ Sean ~ Paul Bettany ~ Ramin Djawadi ~ Filter ~ AC/DC ~ Led Zeppelin