Saturday, August 30, 2008

Movie Review
    — Iron Man

I finally saw Iron Man last weekend, when the Columbia City Cinema got it in as a second run film.  It was pretty good, I thought.

Mind you, I’ve never been a fan of Iron Man.  Not that I dislike Iron Man, but I just haven’t ever followed the character other than in the pages of The Avengers.  (This is probably because he’s a tech-based character.  I’m a big fan of the Legion of Super-Heroes, where every member has to have a unique non-tech power; Iron Man is a no-go in that scenario.)

As a result, I know the basics of the the character arc for Iron Man without being able to get hung up on the details.  That makes me an ideal audience for a superhero movie: I know of Tony Stark and Pepper Potts, and I can identify the character prepped to be the Mandarin in a future film, but I’m in no place to complain if Happy Hogan is relegated to just a chauffeur in the movie but was so much more than that in the comics.

What I particularly liked about the film, though, is that it was a superhero film without being full of the arch-villain.  Obadiah Stane was more organically grown from Tony Stark’s back story, as opposed to Lex Luthor’s maniacal jealous businessman or Norman Osborne going off the deep end to become the Green Goblin.

Also nice was the fact that despite this being a movie based around a tech character, there wasn’t either the “bounce the character off he walls so frenetically that the audience loses all sense of direction” from Spider-Man 3, nor the “blow up every vehicle in the city” from The Dark Knight.  I want to be able to tell who is hitting whom and why; keep the property damage only to that which needs to be done, not gratuitous explosions because you’ve got the budget.

The only down side to this film was entirely on the theater’s part.  They were alternating showings of it with Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants 2 (two films that go back-to-back so logically!) in the same theater, and people for the next film were filing in during the Iron Man credits.  And thus to hasten things along… no, they didn’t stop things before the legendary post-credits scene, but they turned off the camera, so we got to hear it but not see it.  Grrr.

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