Thursday, June 5, 2008

Iron Man and other comic book movies

I’ll save you the trouble. If you haven’t seen Iron Man movie yet, go see it. It’s the perfect comicbook movie.

The trickiest thing about making comic book movies, I think, is getting the world of the movie right. You gotta do a world that has enough heft for us to care about the characters, while still being able to support colorful superheroes. Iron Man nails this universe perfectly in a way that hasn’t been done since Spiderman 2. Too often superhero movies will either set up a universe too real and serious (Batman Begins), or one way too goofy (Ghost Rider, Fantastic Four, every other bad superhero movie.)

Before I go on, here’s something about Batman Begins. I like the movie, I think the sequel is going to kick a lot of ass, but Jesus Christ did that first movie have to be so solemn? At the end of the movie, when you finally see Batman in full lighting, didn’t you go “What the fuck is this goofy asshole doing here?” The world was so serious it didn’t make sense for someone to be running around in a goddamn high tech bat costume. Why does it take so long for Batman to show up? Its called Batman Begins, not Batman Begins 3/4ths of the Way into This Movie. And did we really need to see how he ordered the different components of his batsuit from different companies in China so as not to make them suspicious? When news of Batman being around spreads, are the Chinese companies really going to go “Well this guy Bruce Wayne ordered a bat helmet recently, but nothing else bat related, so it must not be him. Back to working for very little money.”

There’s also a scene where Bruce Wayne is sitting in his house drinking Orange Juice. I could have gone my whole life without seeing a scene where Batman drinks Orange Juice. (Why am I capitalizing Orange Juice? I don’t Know.)

Anyway, that’s my Batman rant. Makes it seem like I don’t like the movie. But I do. And I think the next one’s gonna kick ass. I just feel like Batman showing up shouldn’t feel out of a place in a FUCKING BATMAN MOVIE!

Anyway, no such problems in Iron Man. The universe is a little more serious than the one in Spiderman, but the suit still fits right in. I couldn’t wait for Iron Man to show up, and then he does, and I cheered, and he had a motherfucker of an action scene right out the gate. Fuck that tank up Iron Man, I yelled at the screen. And he does guys! He fucks it up!

Part of the reason the suit works is because they spend so much time on Tony Stark actually making the suit. If you had told me a year ago that the Iron Man movie is going to be mostly just Tony Stark making and testing his suit, I would have rolled my eyes so hard you could have heard it. But in this movie, these scenes are delightful. Tony doesn’t need to commission Chinese companies to make his suit. He makes it himself! Using the magic British machine that resides somewhere under his lab. Ahem.

But the making-the-suit scenes work well because Robert Downey jr. might just be the most charming man on the planet. Oh man. Can you imagine hanging out with him? It would be the greatest! He would buy you weird drinks and give you advice on everything and tell you what heroin really feels like but still convince you to never try it and then leave with your girlfriend at the end of the night but you don’t care cuz he’s Robert Downey Fucking Jr. and frankly you never really had a shot. . He should be made our philosopher king. I know we’re not doing the whole Philosopher King thing anymore, but I say if its good enough for Kallipolis, its good enough for us. Does anyone doubt that if Robert Downey Jr. ran on the Democratic ticket, he would win in a landslide? Yes, even with his drug addled past.

Reporter: Weren’t you caught like fifteen times with 3 prostitutes and a suitcase full of heroine?
RDJ: Hold on a second, I think there is something in your eye. (Walks over, purses his lips together, and gently and precisely blows into the reporter’s eye. Walks back to the podium.) Sorry, what was your question?
Reporter: Can I touch your face?

The only misstep I think the movie makes happens after the credits, in the "bonus" scene. But that's for tomorrow guys.

1 comment:

Aalap said...

I have to agree with you completely about Iron man and Robert Downey Jr. I feel like he took his character from Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and made a bit cooler and more confident. I hope the sequel can maintain it's tone and not have an outrageous plot.

Also on a side note, have you noticed that superhero sequel movies usually have a multiple villans, but the originals usually have a single well developed antagonist.