Iron Man

9th May 2008 – 5.12 pm

I saw Iron Man last night, and greatly enjoyed it. The nuts-and-bolts of the plot were pretty formulaic and held no surprises overall, but the story told using the plot was captivating and exciting with some wonderfully drawn characters. Even the robotic arms were given some fun personalities, even if only through Tony Stark's dialogue. I have to admit that I didn't recognise Jeff Bridges until he'd been in a few scenes, and even then it was his distinctive voice that caught my attention. He really looks quite different from any other character I've seen him play so far.

Iron Man is a super hero in the way that Batman is, without any fantastical powers at his disposal and simply using advanced technology and his own abilities, as well as operating mostly outside of the law. There are differences, and one is made quite clear at the end of the film that should develop in the sequel, which I am hoping there will be.

The technology presented in the film is amazing, and presented in such a way to make it seem quite believable. The Iron Man suit and other vehicles are not shown off in a gratuitous manner but in ways that enhance the credibility of the technology by showing how it is working. There are even computer screens that seem to be showing actual code and not just big flashing text in garish colours. There is a wonderful attention to detail throughout the film in the technology and visual effects that clarifies rather than complicates detail. I particularly like the vapour cones that appear around Ironman when he breaks the sound barrier, making everything feel real. I even found myself not cursing at the camera work for moving too much to give an impression of action, instead enjoying all the action sequences and following them easily.

There are moments that are clearly fantastic, like Stark surviving a couple of high velocity impacts with the ground. Whilst the suit may be able to withstand such impacts the huge g-forces created during such events would turn a person's internal organs to mush. But I can forgive a film as good as this a few minor quibbles for the sake of some more dramatic shots. I really enjoyed Iron Man and will no doubt see it again at some point, and hope that the sequel is at least as good as this origin story.

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