Iron Man (2008)

A visually stunning amalgamation of near seamless technology, epiphany and bravado heroism!

Iron Man

Paramount Pictures and Marvel Studios present…

 “Tony Stark makes you feel he’s a cool exec with a heart of steel. As Iron Man, all jets ablaze, He’s fighting and smiting with repulsor rays! Amazing armor! That’s Iron Man! A blazing power! That’s Iron Man!” – Iron Man (1966)

A catchy song from way back! What else can you say about this guy? He’s exuberantly rich, a genius in the fields of engineering, robotics, hi-tech weaponry and a philanthropist. But not all heroes live without flaws Tony is a playboy, a drinker and alone but these things never stopped his will to exceed and help those who are in need…and that is why he is Iron man!

From the pages of the comic book comes another superhero built to battle the forces of evil (corporate, technological, supernatural the whole nine yards)! Stan Lee and Larry Lieber debuted their character in Tales of Suspense No. 39 on March 1963. After Blade and X-Men became progenitors for Marvel Comics films for nearly a decade. Now, we are in the presence of a superhero not born with mutant powers nor being bitten by paranormal creatures!

His name is Anthony Edward Stark a flamboyant, narcissistic, self-righteous and conceited guy who knows nothing less than to make money…that is still the case initially but not without remorse and the willingness to fight for what is right and protect humankind from any oppressors that will do her harm! Robert Downey Jr. (Zodiac) embodied those qualities, he is the perfect specimen to give Tony the human and the hero attributes that he was destined to be!

When Tony’s father Howard Stark passed away, his business was left to the watchful eyes of Obadiah Stane, he is played by Academy Award Winner Jeff Bridges (Blown Away) he heads Stark Industries into its glorified commitment of making the world safe while the young prodigy grows up. Being involved with military projects and arming them to the teeth against foreign threats, these circumstances has never been an understatement and it will always bring something more on the agenda of sustaining unsolicited contracts…that’s where the fun part comes in!

Best friend and confidant Lt. Col. James Rhodes played by the dismayed Terrence Howard (Crash) he works for the United States Air Force as their Weapons Division Liaison. There was so much in store for this guy, unfortunately his part was poorly conceived and written citing him as a lesser character who goes around wiping the dirt in Tony’s face and fixing up his mess! I believe that he was not deemed for that role, he talks softly, his delivery was sub-par and there was no assertiveness with his performance as a person from a military origin standpoint…in short he’s weak!

On the other hand, who could be more accomplished to portray the ever loyal and Mr. Stark’s love interest Virginia Pepper Potts rather than Academy Award Winner Gwyneth Paltrow (Sylvia)! Now here is something you would like to emulate and talk about, Gwyneth gave the absolute objective for Pepper to stand out as Tony’s Executive, she is smart, sweet and easy on the eyes. Pepper cares for Tony even if he acts oftentimes as a jerk (with a heart) but the main point is, she always makes sure that the company and her Boss is well taken cared off!

Jon Favreau (Daredevil) gave all his might both as the film’s Director and as a supporting cast, he is Tony’s chauffeur, driver, bodyguard and friend Happy Hogan! His innate wisdom to bring in the Golden Armoured Avenger into the big screen has made it easier to perceive since he prepared very well for the project to come into fruition! Seeing all things are in perspective collaborating with Stan, the co-creators over the years and Avi Arad gives this film another success in the box office for being next in line in the coveted superhero movies.

Jon made sure that Iron Man would be given life by instilling the right foundation from the beginning! From 40 years of back stories and artwork, he chose Adi Granov’s style of the armour suit. It was military oriented, slim and actually believable to be existing in the modern world. To add, the props team who made this happen was Stan Winston’s studio, delivering true to life practical effects that helped shaped the lead character’s world of high tech weaponry, gadgets, armaments from moulded casts and replicas!

From actual effects we go to the visual aspects of the film. Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) has time and again provided the best in terms of mixing the breakdowns of the real and the extraordinary!  Ben Snow, VLX Supervisor has given inputs on how their “magic” works with his team giving emphasis on real and CG model comparisons from its movements, background, lighting and the infinite possibilities of digital mimicry. To add, Kent Seki Visual Supervisor Pixel Liberation Front and Dav Rauch HUD Supervisor of The Orphanage collaborated and made Tony’s helmet out of this world and exuberantly cool! With all these widgets coursing through the actor’s face, we can see it and feel its interface from Tony’s eyes and perspective. From a spin, a dive, target systems and a shot going up in the stratosphere keeps the audiences fixated into what he and JARVIS voiced by up and coming star Paul Bettany (A Knight’s tale) supplies back and forth.

Overall, the creators, crew and cast of the film did a fantastic job bringing together all this talent to come up with solid performances both in front and behind the camera! The combined aspects from the military to the corporate espionage thriller bring in a grounded framework that enables a reality based and fantasy sci-fi driven story completely from the pages of a comic book a fantastic journey that we would like to experience over and over again! It was on a new level of superhero grandeur, a certified blockbuster of 2010 raking in $ 585 million worldwide!

Are we done? Silly me! There was this cameo with a guy named Nick Fury at the end of the film. He’s wearing a patch and informs Tony of some initiative well, something like that! Whatever that is something is brewing…



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