3 May 2008

Screen Time: IRON MAN

Review by Matt C

Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow
Director: Jon Favreau
Runtime: 126 mins
Certificate: 12A
Release Date: 2 May 2008

With their very first self-produced movie, Marvel Studios have hit the ground running in glorious fashion and kicked off the 2008 blockbuster season in style. With a superb cast, a director who completely gets the material and some exceptional special effects, Iron Man flies straight up the list as one of the best superhero movies ever made.

The plot will be pretty familiar to most visitors to this site, although it has been tweaked, tailored and updated from its Sixties origins, so rather than Vietnam we get Afghanistan as the location of Stark’s epiphany. The pacing is excellent, giving us just enough time to get a handle on Stark’s reckless ways before he’s snatched up by terrorists and starts building the Mark I armour to escape captivity. Downey Jr is perfect in the title role, exuberantly arrogant at first before he learns the error of his ways, but never losing his natural wit and charm. An outstanding supporting cast means that while Downey Jr gets the spotlight, it’s not just a one-man show: Paltrow brings the heart, Howard brings the dependability and Bridges brings the danger.

The CGI is so impressive there are plenty of instances were you won’t be able to figure out what’s real and what’s computer-generated. The action sequences are thrilling and you’ll be amazed at how confident a director Jon Favreau – yeah, the guy from Swingers! - has become. This is a superhero action movie pitched to a more adult audience, and it’s all the better for it.

There are plenty of nods to the geeks in the audience and if you stick around for the post-credits scene you’re bound to leave the cinema with a big fat smile on your face. Bring on Iron Man 2! 10/10

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