Monday, October 06, 2008


Written by Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Art Marcum and Matt Holloway
Directed by Jon Favreau
Starring Robert Downey Jr, Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges and Gwyneth Paltrow

With summer behind us and the dark night finally lifted, it is easy forget where it all began. Where that was, was with IRON MAN. Marvel Comics’ first independently financed feature was sure to do well but no one expected it to resonate as loudly as it did. This is a superhero that essentially flies around in a pretty funky suit. There is nothing particularly super about him so how does this guy compete with the spiders and the bats? Under Jon Favreau’s dichotomous hipster/fan boy direction, the answer is pretty simple. If you want Iron Man to connect with the every man, you highlight what makes him a real man. Robert Downey Jr. plays Tony Stark, the man inside the suit. Stark is a billionaire prodigy by day and a billionaire playboy by night. He is also a man who has come to see through his life’s work as a weapons manufacturer for what it is, a warmonger. As Stark learns to rebuild his life from the ground up, Favreau births the Iron Man myth from the same point. With the lore solidly grounded, it’s time to fly!

I don’t know if you remember but the original trailers for IRON MAN were fairly unimpressive, or at least I thought so. By the time it was released in theatres, I had zero interest in seeing it. I know I can’t be the only one with that opinion so expectations for this film were certainly not soaring but people were definitely ready for summer. IRON MAN opened to over $100 million in North America but the real surprise was just how great it really was. Downey Jr.’s performance was so brilliantly suited to his sharp, sardonic character. The chemistry between him and Gwyneth Paltrow as his assistant, Pepper Potts, is quick but vulnerable. The film is even so bold as to make pointed attacks against the arms industry and war profiteering. People were not expecting what they got and what they got was explosive entertainment with a fresh approach to both the superhero and the effects-driven Hollywood film. Now that it is available to own, what the legions of fans will get is an incredibly complete look at these effects and the film itself. Each stage of production is broken down with plenty of secrets revealed – from the making of the Iron Man suit to how he flew to Downey Jr.’s screen test. Yet somehow, giving away all the tricks takes nothing away from the magic. Instead, it serves as a remind for just how awesome it is that they pulled this off.

Before the bat, Favreau’s IRON MAN was the summer super hero. Audiences were heralding it as the next Spider-Man. Then the dark night fell, the hoopla (albeit deserved hoopla) followed and people quickly forgot IRON MAN had happened. Let’s face it though, THE DARK KNIGHT is precisely that, dark. With a cold fall about to descend upon us, now is the time to remember that man of iron and have a little more fun while we still can.



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