Thursday, 4 January 2018

Iron Man

It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged, but thanks to Tumblr, I’ve discovered that starting January 2018 you can watch a Marvel-A-Week and be completely caught up on the series just in time to watch Loki die an unjust death Infinity War in May.  My commitment to this challenge is as strong as my overall desire to blog, but at the minute I am motivated and willing to give it a shot.  The fact that it is the middle of a Thursday afternoon and I have little interest in doing some actual work is the key driving force behind this spontaneous, yet somehow predictable, appearance on my own blog.

The first film in the Marvel-A-Week series is Iron Man.  A film, in normal circumstances, I would have absolutely zero interest in revisiting due to my lack of interest in Tony Stark and/or Robert Downey Junior.

PLOT:  After being kidnapped by a band of terrorists, an injured Tony Stark adapts his own arc technology and builds a weaponised suit made of iron to escape.  Several montages later, Stark has created his first fully functioning Iron Man and must use it to defeat his warmongering business partner and long-time friend Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges).  END PLOT

The opening set piece in Afghanistan and the closing battle with Obadiah are sandwiched between Tony’s constant flirting with Rhodey (Terrance Howard) and Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and many mini-montages involving Tony building his suit and getting doused with a fire extinguisher.  This is more of a comment than a criticism as I would be lying if I implied that I didn’t enjoy every dam minute of this film.  In truth, it has been so long since I have watched Iron Man I could only remember fragments of the plot and not in an overly fond manner.  I was surprised by how much repressed affection clawed its way out of the dark depths of my stone cold heart.    

I was not expecting my re-watch of Iron Man to be a positive experience as I have an irrational dislike for both Tony Stark and Robert Downey Junior.  There is no specific flaw on the part of either, but my memories have decided that both get far too much screen time in the Marvel universe at the expense of other, just as interesting, characters.  This is the same logic used for my dislike of Wolverine and Hugh Jackman.  In truth, Robert Downey Junior was born to play Iron Man and his Tony Stark is a super intelligent marshmallow, with a heart of gold and a genuine hero.  I am now curious to see at what point in the Marvel canon I turned against both character and actor.  Based on my enjoyment of Iron Man, I hope it doesn’t happen.

Iron Man is undoubtedly Robert Downey Junior’s film, but the supporting players all do their bit.  I fully admit to getting excited at Rhodey’s ‘next time’ even though Terrence Howard transforms into Don Cheadle for reasons that I can’t quite remember.  Jeff Bridges is fine as the corrupt corporate villain, but Obadiah Stane will once again be quickly and easily forgotten.  However, I don’t believe we need to remember him.

The effects hold up even though they are now approaching ten years old – nothing felt particularly dated but nothing felt particularly ground breaking either.  Aside from the reveals of the various Iron Man suits, I can’t remember what the big money shot was.  I suspect that the soundtrack and musical cues helped make the action feel fresh.

Realistically, the likelihood of me making it to the end of the Marvel-A-Week challenge is slim to non-existent.  It has been a worthwhile adventure, if only because it gave me an opportunity to watch a film I otherwise would have written off.  Iron Man turned out to be an enjoyable watch and gets  8/10.  Next up is The Incredible Hulk…….. 

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