Iron Man

12 out of 13 nots
for fantastic heavy metal, both suit and soundtrack

This is how you do a comic book super hero movie.  The guys who made the Fantastic Four should be forced to watch this and maybe they’ll understand why their movie was crap.  Normally when a character from comics is brought to the screen, the first thing they want to do is tell you the origin of the character.  However, most writers/directors don’t seem to quite understand that you don’t have to start at the beginning and tell a linear story.  The audience, quite contrary to popular belief, is not stupid.  They may gravitate to more visceral experiences of things blowing up than the more cerebral dramas, but just because they enjoy simply uncomplicated pleasures it does not make them mentally deficient.  The Fantastic Four and Hulk movies dragged because rather than jump into a very interesting story and fill you in on the origin as they went, they decided to start at the beginning, which has little action and is a snooze-fest.  Daredevil, while suffering from other problems (mostly, in my opinion, a miscasting of Bullseye and Kingpin), at least the pace of the film works well.  With Iron Man they did decide to tell you the origin, but at least they were smart enough to weave the story of the film in with the origin such that they are not explicitly telling you the origin of Iron Man but instead telling you a story about Tony Stark during which Iron Man comes into being.  It is a subtle yet very important distinction.

Anyway, I’m not going to go into details of the film because it was awesome and I don’t want to spoil it for anyone.  However, I do want to touch on the soundtrack, mainly because it too was awesome.  The use of rock music in the film was superb, and the song choices were excellent.  I was surprised pleasantly throughout the film as songs popped up and properly set the mood for the scenes, and even more surprised that they actually held off using Black Sabbath’s Iron Man until the end credits, because, frankly, using it anywhere else in the film would be like hitting you over the head with a hammer.

Fans of Iron Man should be pleased with the film as they did sprinkle enough “nerd knowledge” throughout to make the comic book geek in me smile without drowning me in comic references.

Fun, fast and fantastic, Iron Man gets a well deserved 12 out of 13 here… I’d have given in 13, but I do try to hold off perfect scores for stuff that is truly life alteringly spectacular.

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