5/1/08

Iron Man: The Truth Is...

Why It's a Geek Movie
Well, that's pretty simple. Ever since the word "geek" was coined in the 1950's, it has been consistently applied to the kind of person who reads comic books. Of which Iron Man is one. However, there is another reason. The gadgets! Tony Stark's awesome suit is nothing without its liberal use of fancy gadgetry.

What's it About?
The plot's pretty simple, really. Tony Stark is pretty much the rock star of the weapon-making business. He's a womanizing egomaniac who lives in a multi-billion-dollar home in Malibu filled with all kinds of fancy, custom-made computerized wizardry. He's the head of Stark Industries which is the world-leader in weapons development. One day he is traveling through the desert after a well-executed weapons demonstration when he and his caravan are attacked by an unknown enemy using his own weaponry. The group forces him to recreate the weapon he had just demonstrated, but instead he creates a mechanical suit and escapes.

The ordeal changes his mind about his business and from the on out he's out to do the right thing. His goal now is to protect the world from the weapons he created. By creating the awesomest weapon of all... a red suit... that flies... and fires missiles... and... a bunch of other stuff.

There is one little twist to the plot, though... how did the group who kidnapped him come to get so many Stark Industries weapons? If you read the comic book, you probably know, but don't spoil it for the rest of the kids! The answer to this question is what leads to the ultimate showdown in the end.

But don't worry, Tony Stark doesn't let his sudden burst of altruism get to his head. The casting of Robert Downey Jr. for Stark couldn't be more perfect! His dry comedy and stone-faced delivery brings Tony's egomaniacal rock stardom to life! And even though he's doing good now, he still has that same sense of awesome.

How to Appreciate It
Iron Man is a difficult movie not to appreciate. However, there are some points at which some viewers may seem a bit alienated. Geeks will have no problems at all, but for those who aren't used to the more fantastical elements of sci-fi and super-heroism, it may behoove you suspend your disbelief for just a moment and focus on what's really going on here... This is a story about one man's struggle to overcome the highest barrier anyone could errect: himself. Tony Stark had to have a life-changing experience that almost killed him to bring him to the point where he realized where he was going wrong. All the flashy gadgets and the awesome effects are just frosting on the cake. The real story is the one that's going on inside Tony's shiny, glowing heart.

Is it Worth It?
YES! By all means, if you don't have any plans this weekend... heck, even if you do have plans, squeeze in Iron Man! I said it before, but it deserves a repeat: The casting of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark couldn't be more perfect! Even if you're not normally an RDJ fan, you will be a Stark fan. His personality is as magnetic as the little device that keeps him alive. You will laugh at pretty much everything he says and does. I don't think I've ever laughed so much at a movie that wasn't pegged as a comedy.

And may I say, the final line of dialoge in this movie is, in context, perhaps the best line of dialog ever spoken in any blockbuster movie. If for some foolish reason you go to see any other movie this weekend, peek your head into Iron Man for the final press conference. That alone will give you a good taste for the movie.