Thursday, May 06, 2010

Black Sheep Revisited: IRON MAN

Back in 2008, when Jon Favreau’s IRON MAN kicked the summer blockbuster season into an unexpected incredible start, both critically and financially, I think I can safely say that no one was certain it would actually work. Marvel was stepping out on their own for the first time with a very risky title and with a slew of titles ahead of them, most of which seem to be connected to each other in some way, they are probably feeling a lot better about what to expect from IRON MAN 2 this coming weekend.

Prognosticators are saying IRON MAN 2 should earn somewhere in the vicinity of $150 million over three days. That is about $50 million more than the original did in its first weekend. The major difference between IRON MAN and IRON MAN 2 though is that, while people just wanted big and were surprised by what they got last time, this time out, people have expectations for IRON MAN 2. The question is not whether people will go but rather whether they will like it as much as the first and keep coming back for more.

When I originally reviewed the film, I gave it four stars and enjoyed it thoroughly. I watched the film for the third time this past weekend and I thought it might be fun to go back and see if my opinion now has changed with time and subsequent viewings. Here’s what I said then:

“What is Iron Man anyway? Can we really call him a superhero? As far as I can tell, he’s just a guy with a bum heart that happens to be pretty handy in the shop.”

Clearly, I went into this movie with absolutely no research done whatsoever. I go on to say:

“Well, according to this adaptation, he is the superhero for the modern era. He is sarcastic and skeptical but still hopeful and genuine. He is a man who is capable of admitting his failures, not dwelling on them and then fostering a new path for himself. He is the kind of man that is both envied and looked up to. He is building himself a reputation as a superhero that can manage tremendous feats through intelligence and perseverance rather than just brawn and dumb luck. And now, IRON MAN is also a movie that offers perspective on the world around us at the same time as some awesome exhilaration.”

Two years later, IRON MAN holds up because Robert Downey Jr., as Tony Stark, is so darn comfortable in that role. The character fits his personality as well as the flashy iron suit fit his then newly buffed body. Downey Jr. makes Stark relatable and likable, not always easy feats when the protagonist starts out as a billionaire playboy. I was essentially of the same mind then as I am now.

“With IRON MAN, it looks like Downey Jr. might finally be able to wipe his past clean and achieve the heights his talent has always warranted. Though his body is in noticeably better shape, it is his quick-witted delivery and cynical yet sympathetic duality that make Tony Stark the kind of guy everyone wants to hang out with or just plain be.”

Like I said, there is no way IRON MAN 2 won’t make more than the first instalment but if the people at Marvel want the party to continue on for future sequels, they had better hope audiences still want to hang out with Stark

For Black Sheep's full review of IRON MAN, just any of the six links in this one article.  Black Sheep's review of IRON MAN 2 will be coming on Saturday.

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