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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

"Iron Man", Robert Downey Jr. disguised show

Iron Man

Back from New Year's Eve and a false start of 2012 with a pretty serious flu, that, unfortunately, didn't let me watch any movies, with just one exception, "Iron Man". Which is a very easy film to rate. It's Robert Downey Jr.' show. Sometimes even disguised in a quite tacky armoured suit.

Because honestly, if it wasn't saved by Downey, the perfect choice to play Tony Stark, the vain, arrogant and cynical playboy that is also the greatest engineering genius on Earth, the movie would be outrageously silly. All the script fluctuates between the weak and the simply dumb, with some "memorable" moments to highlight, that can be summarised in the quite pathetic and completely unbelievable scenes in Afghanistan, where Starks designs the first version of the "Iron Suit" out of nowhere, while their captors are so stupid they can't realise he's not building the missile he has promised them (something you can easily do on a grotto in the middle of the desert, by the way). It has to do more with McGiver or the A-Team. It also puzzled me how lame was Stark's emotional "conflict". You build the most devastating and powerful super-weapons, but you are surprised they can be used by the "bad guys", really? Really? I'm not a fan of Iron Man, never read the comic. But if you are going to create a superhero without superpowers, at least the premise should be somewhat credible.

Anyway, this is (another) superhero adaptation so substance shouldn't be the main incentive. The rest of the film, there's a mixture of quite cool CGI effects, wasted secondaries (Terrence Howard and Gwyneth Paltrow) a villain, Obadiah Stane, that could have offered a lot more, specially considering it is played by the great Jeff Bridges, and action scenes where the luxurious budget can be justified, but also sacrificing any sense of verisimilitude (sure, it has to be very "cool" having a weapon that detects villains from innocent civilians... but my God, don't you realise it is absurd?) 

Having said that, I insist, the movie is a fine entertaining, and keeps you going. It has rhythm, it is well-packed, doesn't take itself very seriously (luckily) and benefits of the charisma and presence of Robert Downey Jr. I have the impression the "Iron Man" saga will only make sense while he is on board. I remember watching its second part (on a plane back home from Malaysia) wondering why director's Jon Favreau didn't put him on every scene of the film (he could have had some more room for the gorgeous Scarlett Johansson/Black Widow too), as it was obvious the whole movie suffered without its main attraction.

But again, as a mere, no-brainer entertainment, "Iron Man" works more than fine. 

SCORE: 5/10

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