DIRECTED BY JON FAVREAU
STARRING: ROBERT DOWNEY JR., GWYNETH PALTROW, JEFF BRIDGES, TERENCE HOWARD, LESLIE BIBB
I’m too late to even be thinking of reviewing the ‘Iron Man’ since it is sequel-time now, but I happened to catch its TV premiere (only to avoid a certain bestial feature by the name of ‘Twilight’) and I kind of liked it despite its ups and downs, because it reminded me of other fast-paced contemporary films like ‘Wanted’ and ‘The Incredible Hulk’ in being able to hook me in till the last minute, be it with like or dislike. Of course you could question as to whether this film deserved even an ounce of dislike, given that it is pristine and almost entire with its quirks, with a commendable central performance by Robert Downey Jr., who, despite the fact that he’s comically built (I could see love-handles) for the role, comes up to be a whole lot snazzier than anyone else who ever glided, swung, dug or flew.
Not too many things to highlight that the usual critics wouldn’t have done (not to call myself one, though) but I did think there were (or could have been) quite a few points that they would have missed. I thought the timeline was a little messy and unclear, and I couldn’t take it for granted when Tony Stark reveals that he had been in captivity for about three months, I was thinking in terms of days. I mean, I wasn’t even slow to accept and absorb the fact that I was dealing with a genius of sorts, and not to mention an incredibly determined and brave man who also spouts some of the best-written lines that can be managed as a split-second reaction and yet the idea of being allowed to build something in captivity without adequate supervision sounds mad. I was then pulled into yet another yarn that points at an inside scoop, which I do not want to talk about.
The Americans would definitely have skipped this point, discarding, maybe even incinerating it, but I’m really not exhuming anything over here. Two corporate power mongers, one a little softened by personal experience, another who’s destined (or written) to harden to stone (or gold-titanium, in this case) dueling it out on a highway, destroying things that technically aren’t theirs but could possibly be sanctioned a pardon for doing the same only because they can buy their way out of it: Will someone be kind enough to explain the ethics behind this? Or is such an explanation even possible? I’m really not looking at a leftist superhero coming from authoritarian hands, that’s as much a dream as Stark’s commitment, but all the same it would have been better if they just wrecked just their factories (which in turn they do) instead of playing Mr. Hulk and his Abomination. And I think I still haven’t found the right justification for a villain’s villainy in a superhero flick, save for Elijah (Samuel L. Jackson, ‘Unbreakable’) and a couple more from the Nolan-resurrected Batman franchise, with Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges, ‘Iron Monger’) found not to be as believable as he is fierce, and yet again, I couldn’t figure out how he learnt to operate the machine so fast considering it took Tony Stark quite a lot of time, and also considering that he “is not Tony Stark” either.
A pretty okay piece of cake with a cherry on top, that’s about all I can say about the ‘Iron Man’, both as a hero and as a film. The romantic interest is nowhere even close to what it was hyped to be, Gwyneth Paltrow simply plays an overly-aged doll. Technological impact and the cheek surrounding it is what amazed me most (a package of Jarvis and the ‘douser’), plus the overall pace of the film, which undoubtedly is decently written and led well by the oddly-shaped Downey from the front. My verdict doesn’t agree to the saying that, “This proves Tony Stark has a heart”, but instead says: “This is another who needs proof to show that he has something that’s ‘almost’ a heart.”