Review: Iron Man

Saturday morning got off to a bad start. The car is due for it’s M.O.T and I thought – because the mechanic in the garage told me – that I had booked the car in for the necessary work at 8.30 this morning. Bleary eyed I set off for the garage clutching the fairly simple instructions on how to get to the garage.

Never made it.

Proving once again I can’t navigate my way out of a paper bag I managed to get lost in Erith prompting a phone call to said garage. Only to discover that there was no M.O.T booking. That furthermore I had zero chance of getting an M.O.T this side of 2009.

I eventually found my way home.

All of which is a long-winded way of segueing into the information that I went to see Iron Man this afternoon on the grounds that I needed to go and sit in a darkened room following this morning. I figured I might as well enjoy it.

Ironman Picure

Iron Man is the film adaptation of the Marvel comic by the same name. Tony Stark is a sickeningly wealthy weapons maker come playboy charming the US army en route to a weapons sale when his convoy is ambushed. Fatally injured in the attack by one of his own weapons and kidnapped by the attackers Stark is saved from death by another captive.

Finding himself amongst a sea of terrorists supplied with his own weapons Stark begins to realise just what his company has been up to. When the terrorists demand he builds his latest weapon – the Jericho missile – or die Stark begins to form a plan…

As with Indiana Jones, I wasn’t really expecting much. Marvel has such a hit and miss ratio with film adaptations. Spiderman and X-men both had strong adaptations but the adaptation of the Hulk was just too disjointed and failed to really make use of Eric Bana.

I was pleasantly surprised.

First off it’s a really good cast. I’ve admired Robert Downey Jr.’s work since Chaplin and if you have any doubts at all about his abilities you should watch Two Girls and a Guy. I digress: the point is the dude’s got chops. And speaking of the dude he’s in Iron Man: a bald Jeff Bridges (The Big Lebowski, Starman) graces the screen as Obadiah Stane. A cast made up of –amongst others – Gwyneth Paltrow and Paul Bettany supports these two heavyweights.

The film’s plot is not hugely complicated, and not dissimilar to other films of this nature. The danger with plot by numbers films is that the story unfolds independently of the characters however Iron Man director Jon Favreau avoids this with a script that plays a great deal of attention to characterisation. The result, as it should be, is a plot that unfolds as a result of the consistent reactions of a well written, well played, central character.

Iron Man is an entertaining treat that you can happily loose yourself in for a couple of hours. I recommend it without reservation and urge you to see it in the cinema, before the obligatory set pieces loose their gravitas in the transition to the small screen.

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