May 03, 2008

Iron Man is hot! (no spoilers here)

...and so is Robert Downey Jr.!

He plays multi-gazillionaire industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man with such strength and poignancy...and we love the edgy humor, too.

Downey is obviously having fun with his character as he dishes out his snappy witty dialogues with his co-stars Jeff Bridges (as Obadiah Stane, business partner of Stark's father who helps build up Stark Industries, a weapons manufacturer), Gwyneth Paltrow (Stark's irrepressible and efficient assistant Pepper Potts), and Terrence Howard (Lt. Col. Jim Rhodes, military official/jet pilot and Stark friend). All of these actors are great on their own, and have starred in many of their own hits. So it was really very generous of them to take a backseat, and give major support to Downey Jr. instead. (There are also cute cameos from Iron Man creator Stan Lee, a lady who looks suspiciously like Hillary Swank, and Samuel L. Jackson.)

Btw, the movie premiered yesterday the same time as in the U.S., so lucky us. Cinema 5 at TriNoma was packed to the rafters despite two other theaters showing the same film. It is really one of the most highly anticipated movies of the year. I used to read Iron Man comics as a kid (borrowed them from my brothers) but they were not that many issues for me to follow. So basically, I went into the movie blind, with just the scant knowledge that Tony Stark is Iron Man. But I'm a sucker for anything that's even remotely sci-fi plus I really wanted to see Downey Jr. because this is his first major film since he got back from rehab. (He's been sober for five years.) And according to press reports, he had to audition for the role. Director Jon Favreau didn't even think Downey Jr. would make the shortlist.

The film's theme is anti-war, what with Stark trying to change the direction of his company from being a weapons manufacturer to a firm dedicated to global change and improvement. This happens after Stark sees the damage wrought by his company's products on harmless innocent people, in what is the U.S. government's war on terror. In the comics version, Stark is captured by the Vietcong. In this film, he is captured by terrorists in Afghanistan. (Btw, the Iron Man costume is really uber-cool, and the newly buffed Downey Jr. looks just amazing in it. Yummy!)

I won't spoil the movie for you guys by telling you the story line. Just go see it. It's a fun escapist film with some heart and humor. Downey is just brilliant in the role, as he always has been in his other roles (e.g. Chaplin). It was a shame that he screwed up his path to stardom with his bouts of drug taking and alcoholism. But now that he's back, I'm pretty sure Downey's going to be the actor to beat of his generation. Okay, him and Johnny Depp.

Credit also goes to Jon Favreau who made such an exciting times it reminded me of Transformers, especially when Stark dons the red and gold Iron Man costume. The effects are very slick but not otherwordly, so Favreau is pretty much able to keep the film still believable.

Iron Man pretty much takes the cake as the blockbuster hit of the season. I'm gonna watch it again.

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