Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Movie: Iron Man

OK, so I haven't been writing of late, and I have a new computer, so hence the frequent blogging this week! Tonight I saw the movie, Iron Man, which was not quite what I expected, but enjoyable for all that. (I simply can't resist Robert Downey Jr.)

I thought it was going to be a comic-book style movie about a superhero. Instead, the first part of the movie was firmly grounded in a rather chilling reality, complete with Afghan warfare and miltary operations.

OK, so perhaps "grounded" in reality is not quite true. (He He)

Tony Stark (RDJ) is a technology genius and the brains behind a powerhouse US weapons manufacturer. He is super rich, and doesn't seem bothered by the fact he's profited from the proceeds of killing. His stance is "protection of Americans". However, his whole world is challenged when he is captured by an Afghan renegade miltary circle and ordered to produce a copy of his latest weapons masterpiece. He sees his own weapons in the hands of "terrorists" and realises that he's been deluded. He resolves to fix the situation. But first he has to escape.

This is where the sci-fi comes in. He builds a suit of iron armour complete with weapons and jet propulsion (using components from all his weapons, which are at his disposal), which he uses to blow up the camp where he's been held hostage, and then flies away. This is the genesis of "Iron Man".

The first act of the movie is chilling and very dramatic, and there's little sense of where it's going. And although the movie takes its foot off the pedal in terms of drama, and reverts to comic-book style, the mood of the opening never quite leaves the viewer. Back in the US, Stark refines his prototype Iron Man costume, and fights a losing battle with his company to stop building weapons. He becomes an armour-clad flying avenger of sorts (not iron -- a gold titanium alloy!), and the whole thing ends in a major showdown between good and evil in the comic-book manner one might have expected after all!

Despite the heavy opening and more predictable ending, I really did enjoy this movie. I thought it was more of a thinking person's superhero movie. It had all the elements of a traditional comic-book style, infused with an alluring gravitas that gave it just enough weight.

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