Hey! Here is a bit about the film I saw this afternoon with my brother, who taught me much of what I know about looking at cinema critically. I hope he will be a semi-frequent commentator on this blog, letting me (and y'all) know when I have missed the mark and when I need to dig deeper (of course, y'all may do the same, and I welcome it with great anticipation!)
So, Iron Man, with Robert Downey Jr. as Stark (billionaire weapons maker turned vigilante) and Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, the no-nonsense assistant, not to mention the other famous to semi-famous actors who make an appearance. I was inclined to see this film because I actually love superhero movies, both bad and good. I also like to watch how we as a society often turn to fictional superheros when our problems get to big for us to face on our own. It's not a coincidence that Iron Man grossed over $98,000,000 opening weekend, or that several other very successful, if less well done, superhero flicks have come out in the past few years or are slated to come out soon (ex: Spiderman (I & II), Batman Begins, Hell Boy, Dare Devil, The Fantastic Four (I & II), The Avengers, you get the picture)
Within the first few scenes I thought, "oh great, here we go with another macho-man superhero who degrades women and really loves power more then he loves saving the world" There is a scene in which a young journalist from Vanity Fair wants to interview Stark about his work making weapons for the government...she ends up in his bed, and then kicked out by his assistant - "I do whatever Mr. Stark needs me to do...sometimes even taking out the trash" (Potts) And, somehow, a flight with his Air Force buddy to Afghanistan to show off a new weapon, ends with them getting drunk together and the flight attendants prancing around like go-go dancers.
But after his return from captivity, Stark appears to be changed. Not completely, which, thankfully, leaves us open for sequels with further character development. This is a general problem I have with action films - if there is no character development in the first film, there sure as hell won't be any in the second or third, but people tend to lose sight of that, what with all the explosions.
There are a lot of underlying themes, concepts, and little jabs at society, in this film that allow for some interesting DVD viewings when the time comes. I look forward to it, as well as any future sightings of Iron Man that Marvel has in store for us.
Here is an interview with Downey Jr. from April on the David Letterman Show. I think he seems really pompous (about the script re-write stuff), but some would (and did) say he is "just playing a Robert Downey Jr. character". What do you think?