Dubby’s dvdiscussion: The iron feast


Superheroes are coming out fast and furious. The Dark Knight or Batman II has pulled in super money at The Box Office, second only to Titanic, but Robert Downey Jr who acted in the earlier released Iron Man said he thought Batman II too complex to understand. Iron Man is easily understood.

Even Glenn Kenny a movie snob says, “Let’s put it this way, which is probably less catchy: Iron Man is the first Marvel Comics superhero movie I would willingly sit through a second time. This is the result not just of what the movie does, but what the movie doesn’t do. One reason Iron Man doesn’t suck, as a Marvel adaptation is that it smartly sticks to the spirit of what made Marvel comics so entertaining during its ‘60s Golden Age. (An age, incidentally, when the give-and-take between movies and comics was beginning to be forthrightly acknowledged by creators in both mediums, an age when Stan Lee and Alain Resnais could collaborate on screenplays together.) The movie has a hefty dose of Marvel irreverence in the persons of its lead character and leading man. Robert Downey Jr has quite a few tricks in his performing bag.” Talking about Iron Man Pete Hammond adds, “Enormously entertaining movie that just may be the coolest AND smartest superhero adventure of them all.

For pure fun and action, Marvel has outdone themselves this time. Iron Man became the first superhero whose super powers were of his own invention. Taking all this time to finally get to the big screen, the film version focuses on billionaire industrialist and creative genius Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr). As a major US weapons contractor, his product protects America around the world. All his fame and fortune come crashing down, however, when his convoy is targeted, and he is taken hostage with life threatening injuries. When he is ordered by his main captor (Faran Tahir) to build the ultimate weapon, he turns the tables and erects an incredible armoured suit that not only saves his life but also helps him to escape the terrorists. Once he is back on US ground, he changes his business plan and continues to refine his invention that provides him with super powers no one has ever dreamed of. Against the wishes of his ambitious No 2 with the fun name, Obadiah Stane (a bald Jeff Bridges), Stark sets a new agenda, aided by his trusted assistant Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and military confidante Rhodey (Terrence Howard). This leads him to uncover

a diabolical plot against the world and make full use of his new chrome plated alter-ego.

Unlike virtually every other superhero epic of recent years from Spiderman to Superman to Batman et al, Iron Man has been cast with award-calibre actors well out of their 20s and even, 30s and not necessarily known for their box office prowess. It has paid off with acting of a quality rarely seen in these types of popcorn pictures. Whatever it took to bring Downey Jr aboard — just a few years after the one-time problematic actor was uninsurable — is clearly worth it. His acerbic style, command of character and complexity bring more to Tony Stark than could possibly be imagined. And that suit is soooo cool.

Like his actors, Jon Favreau doesn’t exactly seem like the obvious choice to direct a mega-millions summertime Marvel blockbuster. Still he successfully merges a savvy group of actors and some genuine comic wit with all the expected special effects razzle dazzle you could ever ask for.”