Sunday, June 15, 2008

Iron Man (2008)

Note: I've waited a few days to post this review, hoping for more time to revise and expand it, but you're going to get it how it is, or not get it at all. lol (I seem to say that a lot here!)

The constant begging of a thirteen-year-old was the reason I found myself in the theatre waiting for Iron Man to begin. This film, starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow, has been at the top of my son's must-see list since he heard of it.

I had heard from friends that there was an inappropriate scene of sexuality near the beginning of the movie, but that the rest was great. So David was prepared to avert his eyes at the first sign of impropriety. Once that short (and arguably unnecessary) scene was over, the rest of the film proceeded to amaze and please us.

The story, in case you are unaware, is of Tony Stark, the obscenely wealthy CEO of a weapons manufacturer. Stark is kidnapped by rebels in Afghanistan and forced to create a weapon of mass destruction. Instead, he creates an escape plan, and, in the process, becomes Iron Man. He has had a life-changing experience and crusades to keep weapons out of the hands of bad guys.

My son, a self-proclaimed computer geek and avid builder-of-stuff, obviously coveted Stark's computer applications and identified with his ability to build really cool stuff. (He also admired Stark's cool cars!) The iron man suit was really a masterpiece. Within a few minutes of watching the film, I leaned over to David and whispered that I could tell why he had wanted to see it.

But I liked it too! I've always liked Robert Downey, Jr., despite all his personal troubles. He looks great in Iron Man. The story was compelling and showed how a dissolute wealthy man can be awakened to the suffering around him and resolve to change things for the better. And I thought the computer stuff was cool too!

OK, the downside? I'd never read the comics, but I did suspect right from the beginning who the "bad guy" was, although I think that was supposed to be a shocker. The aforementioned sex scene was disappointing. Some of the violence was intense, which was ok for ages 13 and up, but a lot of people are taking younger children to this, apparently since it's a "comic book movie." In fact, there was a girl of about 10 in the theatre sitting right in front of us. I can tell you that I wouldn't want my 10-year-old seeing, for example, a person being tortured by having his head repeatedly dunked underwater.

I do recommend it for teens and adults, with the caveats noted above. I wouldn't mind seeing it again someday.

Iron Man on imdb.com

Iron Man on screenit.com

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