Iron Man (2007)

Robert Downey Jr., Terrence Howard, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges, Shaun Toub, Leslie Bibb, Bill Smitrovich
Directed by: Jon Favreau

U.S. Opening Date: 2 May 2008


They say

Based on the long-running Marvel comic book series, Iron Man tells the story of Tony Stark, the enigmatic heir to the Stark Enterprises fortune. A driven inventor and executive who seems to have it all, Tony is haunted by his dark side. Though he commands his empire by day, by night he secretly becomes Iron Man, the living embodiment of decades of defence spending and innovation. Strapping on billions of dollars worth of state-of-the-art armour and weaponry each night to fight crime, terrorism and corporate espionage, Tony begins to crack under the strain of his fractured lifestyle and must ultimately confront the one enemy he can never beat himself.

We say

You know the entertainment industry is fanatically dedicated to milking the Marvel comic book universe to the last drop when they make “second-tier” superheroes such as Ghost Rider and Iron Man into movies and even remake movies which didn’t work out in the first place, such as The Incredible Hulk.

So what Marvel Comics character is next up for another shot at cinematic glory then? Howard the Duck?

Anyway, despite not being as well-known as Spider-man or even as iconic as Ghost Rider, the Iron Man character had been around since the ‘Sixties.

Back then the character had its origins as a multi-millionaire who is kidnapped by a Vietcong warlord during a field trip to inspect armaments made by his multinational company for use by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War.

After his capture our capitalist hero is coerced into making weapons for the dastardly commies, but instead he designs a powerful robot suit which he uses to pull his own My Lai massacre on his captors. Who said anything about comics being subversive? Back then Stan Lee wrote them as jingoist as the next guy . . . provided the next guy is General Westmoreland.

In later years our multi-millionaire hero (Tony Stark, played in the movie by Robert Downey Jr.) grew into a more complex character when he famously fought an alcohol addiction in the 1970s, an era in which comics “grew up”. (It also explains why Downey got the part. Art imitating life and all that . . .)

With the advances in CGI effects it was only natural that Iron Man be given its cinematic shot. His robotic suit would only have looked silly if down in “traditional” effects.

And the whole Vietnam origin story?

The Vietnam locale has been dropped for . . . Afghanistan, which is kinda depressing when you think about it . . .




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