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July 16, 2008
- Iron Man
I was never really a fan of the comic. When I had the time, money and interest for comics, it was mostly spent on X-Men, Spiderman and the occasional Superman or Hulk comic. I did watch "Marvel Action Hour" on Saturday or Sunday mornings (or whenever it was scheduled), which featured an Iron Man cartoon. It was the better of the three cartoons shown (Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and The Fantastic Four), despite (or perhaps because of) all the camp on display.
But then I saw the trailer. And it just oozed cool. And stereotypical Arabs. I just had to see it. And it made for the perfect pre-exam treat. So I went and watched and loved it.
It's not without its flaws but even those are (unintentionally?) hilarious. Big Bearded Arab Henchman actually speaks Arabic, albeit with an accent that suggests he was born in the US/Britain. Effeminate Villainous Arab (or Indian? A bit of an Art Malik-alike) Baldy is so wildly over the top that you've simply got to laugh. "Oh Tooony Starrk, I want your Wiponz, you will make them forr me or I will torture your friend with coal". No Crimson Jihad bollocks. Verdict: Probably not racist.
The plot is the usual cliched Superhero movie fare: Man finds/invents powers, encounters horrible death/accident/tragedy and after a training/inventing/fun montage uses those powers for good against an impossibly evil/insane supervillain.
But here's where Iron Man gets it right. It uses that cliched framework and fleshes it out with wonderful, self-referencing, wry humour and characters you'll love.
The action is spot on. Iron Man actually feels like a hero. The science behind everything is ludicrous and the director/screenwriter just picks up on that and goes with the flow, throwing in a witty, sarcastic computer (Paul Bettany) into the mix.
I don't want to get too much into the plot details, because there are some "twists" which you should be able to see right from the beginning, especially if you get the "Ten Rings" reference. Go watch the movie, definitely one of the better ones of the Summer and it puts The Incredible Hulk to shame.
Oh and if you have the patience, sit through the near-infinite credit sequence* for a nice post-movie fanboy minute.
*Speaking of which, I was sure as soon as I saw the second trailer (above) that the riff at the end was from the Black Sabbath Song Iron Man (right) which tried as far as possible to distance itself from a certain comic book character to avoid potential lawsuits. I didn't see the song credited, though a variation of it (without the nonsensical lyrics) is used. The riff does fit perfectly though.