These days, I only get to see first run movies if they are kid-friendly. That’s why I was quite pleased to see ‘Iron Man’ come along. This was right up my young guy’s street and, truth be told, it was right up mine too.
I enjoyed this film a lot. I like my comic-book-movies to take themselves a little seriously. That’s the way the original comics were – they created a fantastic world that they did not then feel obliged to apologise for. That’s why those ‘nod-and-a-wink’ movies like Tim Burton’s Batman never really did it for me.
So ‘Iron Man’ takes itself a bit seriously, but not too much so. Robert Downey Jr, looking gaunt and remarkably like Al Pacino at times, is perfect in the lead. This nicely-flawed egotistical, selfish hero almost feels autobiographical to him – except for the flying bits.
(Photo by Lman1138)
Support from Gwyneth Paltrow and most especially Jeff Bridges is excellent. Special effects are so good that it’s finally hard to see the joins between CGI and live action and the overall design mixes hyper-modern with a curious retro feel which simply works brilliantly.
Downside? It’s sufficiently slow to get off the ground that the young folk might twitch a bit (I didn’t). Oh and Terrence Howard doesn’t get enough to do to raise himself above standard sidekick material.
But it’s a complete blast, really. The Iron Man suits are iconic and powerful and the last line is wonderfully telegraphed for all the world to appreciate.
You’ll probably have to like comic books to like it.
But, if you do, you will.
My only complaint had nothing to do with the movie but rather with the theatre I saw it in – so pay attention Mayo Movie World, I know you monitor this feed on a 24 hour basis.
Basically, the sound reproduction in the cinema was nothing less than dreadful. The whole show sounded like it was coming out of a brown paper bag, it was muddied and indistinct.
I went into the foyer quite early on and asked whether the projectionist could come in and have a listen and see if he/she could do something about it. Nothing ever happened. I’ll write them a letter and maybe someone will look into it.
I think auditoria in multiplexes are under-monitored – ‘Set the movie running and then leave it alone’, seems to be the general policy. This is nothing new. In Sligo, many years ago, the movie ‘Christiane F’ ran for a full week with all the reels shown in the wrong order. The general view in the town was that the show was avant garde and challenging.
I also remember when I went to see ‘Saving Private Ryan’ in the cinema. The reels were cranked incorrectly so that only the heads and shoulders of the on-screen protagonists were being seen. The full-house munched away happily while I nearly went mad. I went out, found the projectionist, and told him what was wrong.
"Ah no," said he, in his very best Sligo accent, "Ye see that’s the way it was back in World War Two. They were all down in trenches the whole time."
As I got back to my seat, the image on the screen lurched upwards and corrected itself magically. I spotted the projectionist again as I left but I couldn’t catch his eye.
Finally, at ‘Iron Man’ last night there was a bunch of giddy schoolkids running in and out of the cinema laughing and shouting with no regard for the rest of us trying to watch the film. Well, I think there was regard because this kind of thing is mostly a play for attention, in my jaded opinion.
Anyway, I gave them the attention they craved with a stout warning from my darkened seat.
And guess what?
They all shut up! That never happened before.
... now I know I’m getting old.