Review By: Staff
Iron Man: 2 Disc Special Edition
As I mentioned in my earlier review of The Incredible Hulk, before jumping into this review, I must give a sigh of relief and thanks that Marvel Studios is now financed and functional. As we've all seen our share of butchered "superhero"Â movies (i.e. Daredevil, and I got a list of other eff ups and needless to say, after watching these movies I had to go back and check my facts just to confirm that they changed things to make "their story"Â, and not the one I grew up reading/watching), done by studios and directors who know little and care less of our childhood champions (prolly just to make a quick buck)"Â¦ we now have the originators of these tales, myths, and legends to commandeer the controls and bring these stories to life, in a modern light, the "right way"Â, as was foretold in the original script of the comic book, or graphic novel (please, hold the applause till after the review).
Now, on to Iron Man. As you already know it's a Marvel Studios production (place applause here). This feature I didn't see in the box office, though I tried, and yes, I am regretting it. This movie was TIGHT. I see why people kept going back for more. It was exciting, sassy, fast-paced and intriguing.
The casting here was impeccable (except for Terrence Howard, but I'll get to that later). Let's see… we have Robert Downey Jr. (Tropic Thunder / Zodiac) as Tony Stark/IRON MAN (and what a great pop career resurgence for this guy huh"Â¦ c'mon, give it up), Jeff Bridges (How to Lose Friends and Alienate People / TRON, the last one's for my old school heads) as Obadiah Stane, Gwyneth Paltrow (Shakespeare in Love / The Talented Mr. Ripley) as Virginia "Pepper"Â Potts (don't really care for this chick, but good casting), Jon Favreau, who also directed the movie (Swingers / Made / The Break-Up) as Tony Stark's bodyguard and chauffeur Harry "Happy"Â Hogan, and lastly Tony Stark's main dude"Â¦ James Rhodey played by Terrence Howard (Hustle & Flow / Crash).
Great cast of folk doing great work, but I wasn't really feeling the choice of Terrence Howard as Rhodey, mostly due to his physical appearance and demeanor. Moreover, he was unconvincing in leadership and camaraderie with Stark, he just didn't fit… he wasn't
Whew, now that's out of the way"Â¦ on to the storyline. Once again, if you know the comic, you know the story (as how it should be). Tony Stark, government weapons manufacturer (and multi-billionaire playboy) is showcasing his latest development for the U.S. Military, a missile called Jericho. Fearlessly he flies to Afghanistan, in the midst of a hostile environment, to present these tests. The tests are successful and everyone is excited about the new weapon. Upon returning from the testing ground, Tony's convoy is ambushed by terrorists. He tries to flee, but gets caught in an explosion from one of his own "Stark Industries"Â products (see"Â¦ irony or is that karma?). The explosion fills his torso with shrapnel and renders him unconscious. When he wakes, he finds himself a prisoner in a terrorist camp, with a car battery wired into his chest and notices Yin Sen, a fellow captive. Startled, an understatement, Tony finds that the shrapnel in his body is slowly drifting towards his heart, and the car battery is producing an electro-magnetic repulsory field which keeps the shrapnel at bay, thus sustaining his life. The terrorists visit Stark & Yin Sen and demand that Tony build a Jericho missile for them. Threatened with his life, Tony reluctantly agrees, so he tells the terrorists what he needs for production and they supply it, thus building him a mini-manufacturing plant. Realizing that his car battery won't hold for long, Tony designs a mini-battery pack for his heart, made from repulsory technology, the same technology that powers his factories back home. Once the heart is stable, Stark plans his escape. With the help of Yin Sen, Tony develops a crude bullet-proof body armor with weapons attached. As Tony suits up, Yin Sen runs the distraction"Â¦ then hear comes Tony"Â¦ marching right out the "front door"Â, burning down the terrorist camp, and kickin’ ass on the way. Needless to say he escapes, but at the loss of Yin Sen. At that moment, Tony makes a conscious decision to stop producing weapons of mass destruction (WMD) & concentrate on perfecting one, his crude armor, in order to stop and bring an end to terrorism and injustice world wide.
Back home, Tony receives a hero's welcome and publicly declares that Stark Industries will no longer manufacture WMDs. His partner, Obadiah Stane is astonished and not very fond of Tony's statement, thus creating animosity between them. Intrigued of Tony's escape, Stane travels to Afghanistan to find out how. He meets
The true conflict comes when Stane, unable to re-create Starks power source, surprises Tony at home, paralyzes him then jacks the device straight from his heart (damn, now that's cold). Stane then powers his own armored suit thus creating the IRON MONGER (one of IRON MAN’s notorious foes). Weakened, Tony stumbles to find an older model power supply and goes after Stane.
As with The Incredible Hulk, once again, key scenes give you that inside information that you'll grin about throughout the movie. Of course, the TV Cartoon Theme song is there (of which I silently sang the words), the introduction of S.H.I.E.L.D. is present throughout the entire movie, it seems, as they try to recruit Stark (& we know where that's headed), back-stories for upcoming characters, such as a prelude to "WAR MACHINE"Â (which we all know is Rhodey), and everybody's favorite Stan Lee in another cameo. Very exciting, I can see the sequel in my head already"Â¦ IRON MAN 2 (by the way, that's in production now and slated for 2010).
I believe they really captured the extravagance of the "Stark"Â lifestyle (his house was amazing even without Jarvis) and his non-chalant, light-hearted approach to life. On another note, one thing I was hyped about (but again wasn't feeling the casting) was the appearance of Nick Fury"Â¦ if you walked out of the movie early (like before the credits ended) you missed it (ha!). It was the very last scene, directly after the last credit scrolled"Â¦ Nick Fury is waiting for Stark at his home and introduces himself, then adds, "…we need to talk"Â. Crazy right!!! Now, the casting"Â¦ Samuel L. Jackson (Lakeview Terrace / Soul Men / Jumper / Afro Samurai) played Fury, and as believable as Sam will be in this role, in regards to attitude and demeanor, his physical appearance is making it hard for me to see Nick Fury in him"Â¦ but I'll try. Plus, Sam ain't in the best shape to do Nick Fury type stuff (if you know what I mean).
So let's talk sequel ideas"Â¦ hmmm, they introduce, maybe the MANDARIN, CRIMSON DYNAMO, and WAR MACHINE, bring in the AVENGERS and the S.H.I.E.L.D. organization, plus adventures with Nick Fury"Â¦ sounds like full
As far as the movie goes, another Marvel Banger to add to the collection, as well as watch over and over again.
Best Line: "I AM IRON MAN"Â
Most Memorable Scene: IRON MAN leaps to punch IRON MONGER in the face"Â¦ (a definite poster shot right there)
The DVD wouldn't be complete without the Special Features and IRON MAN provides a whole separate disc for that"Â¦ OVER THREE HOURS worth"Â¦ c'mon man, that's overkill too much information for any human to take. If they provided the original cartoon series on that disc, hey I'm all in!!! But, to sit and watch pre-production, post-production, concepts, drawings, opinions, the cast's home movies (just kidding)"Â¦. It's just ridiculous. In all seriousness, I would buy the regular "single disc"Â edition and eff that double disc ish. I just need the deleted scenes, a little production insight and I'm good. It was soooooo hard to watch for three plus hours, and of course with the fake "Nut-Riding"Â accolades included (see The Incredible Hulk review)"Â¦ I'm sick. Therefore, don't bore yourself with these extras, all you need is on the first disc anyway. As I think about it, they didn't really include a thorough history of IRON MAN, which would've been nice to see. I'm thinking character storylines, enemies, conflicts, famous battles/match-ups, allies and organizations"Â¦ yeah, that would've made it a lot more bearable (aside from the original cartoon of course).
Well, overall the Special Features get a "C-"Âfor boredom and turning something into too much of nothing.
Oh, almost forgot to mention"Â¦ Tony Starks (notice the "s"Â at the end) a/k/a Iron Man a/k/a Ghostface Killah, did make a cameo appearance in the movie, as it's only fitting since he's carries that moniker strong in the world of Hip-Hop. However, it was left on the cutting room floor, but somehow it made its way on to the DVD as a deleted scene"Â¦ enjoy (would've been a trip to see Ghost in the movie though). In light of that missed opportunity, he's does have a song on the IRON MAN Soundtrack"Â¦ way to go Starky-Love!
And speaking of the soundtrack, that sounds like it's worth a listen (maybe even a purchase as well). It ranges from Ghostface to Suicidal Tendencies, not to mention Black Sabbath with the title track"Â¦ it could only be cooler if they threw in some "ol' Blue Eyes"Â (Frank Sinatra) for a touch of class.
DVD Features Grade: C-
Overall Grade: B