He IS IRONMAN - Mania.com

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Maniac Grade: A-

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June 01, 2008
Source: Wizard

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In this high budget Super-Hero flick, the sparks fly and the passion in the film making flies higher.

Downey plays Tony Stark. He's a fast talking, quick thinking  weapons development company owner, who has fame all over the globe.  This is both fortunate and unfortunate as some people like him, such as Terrence Howard's Jim Rhodes and Gwyneth Paltrow's fine tuned Virginia Potts.  Then there are those who would love to see him dead.  This includes some very angry, even though they laugh alot, Middle Eastern military men who attack Stark's escort convoy and take him prisoner.  Stark, once a slick and certain business man with much mechanical ingenious to his credit, realizes that the weapons he developed were used to kill off his escort, and there's a whole lot more with the bad guys, waiting to be used.

The bad guys are after something else.  Something big.  A better than great short range missle system capable to destroying a massive area in a single shot.  Stark, mortally injured, is brought back to good health with innovative help from another prisoner.  A doctor who has surgically implanted a small device into his chest, connected to the car battery, to keep him alive.  If that's not weird enough, Stark makes a deal with the enemy to build the missiles they seek, but then turns around and builds his, "ticket out" of the cave he's held captive in.  His invention is a huge, armor plated suit capable of flame throwing, bashing, smashing, and temporary flight.  The invention, although very rugged, mallows him to escape enemy hands.  As he returns to America in perfect safety, he not only announces to the world and his business partner, Obadiah Stane(played by Jeff Bridges), that his company would no longer build weapons, but he devises and implements a plan to rebuild a better, faster, stronger suit that can practically protect him from the dangers of leaving the Earth.

Although he faces many challenges and obstacles, his determination is driven by the fact that the weapons he built to help his country are now being used against soldiers.  He's witnessed it first hand, and now he seeks to eliminate the weapons that the enemy has stolen.  Little does he know that there is something even more sinister than weapons in the hands of the enemy going on.  He is pushed into a plot and conspiracy that threatens his very life and the security of everyone on Earth.

Who would have guessed that Tom Cruise would be turned down for Robert Downey Junior.  Sure Tom's got problems.  People either love the guy or hate his guts.  Most people pretend to hate his guts because others do, but here is Robert Downey, jr.  He's got more personal problems than President Clinton, and he steps into this role and absolutely nails it.  I actually caught myself thinking, "Forget Tom Cruise", who I really believe is a top 10 actor today.  But this is about who's PERFECT for the role.  Downey is that man.  His ability to handle the lines with agility and personality made me think that this was a role he was born to play.  He IS Ironman.  He IS the center of the movie.

The story bears a very similar resemblence to Spiderman, but veers away from that formula slightly.  The conspiracy isn't really something new, but that turns out to be something of a secondary plot compared to a possible love entanglement between Stark and Potts; or the fight Stark has between rational and emotional.  The best resemblence between this movie and Spiderman is that the main characters are not stereo-typical, two dimensional characters, but the Director and Writer(s) don't push it so far as to shove it in our faces.

I never read any of the comics or watched any of the TV shows(were there any?).  I remembered being in the dark with X-MEN, and I faced the same walking into this movie.  As not so big a fan of Downey, I am truly a believer than certain people were born to play certain roles:  Keifer Sutherland as Jack Bauer(Never liked his acting before this, now it's my favorite show ever!), William Shatner as Kirk(Come on, can you replace this guy?  Be Honest), and Jim Carrey as the Riddler(Yes, I went there).  Downey has found one of those roles.  It was so good, that even if you don't crave the action of a Super-Hero movie, you could sit through it, just to watch him.

Click here to read the staff review by Mania.


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