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Dun dun DUNH DUNH DUNH! (Iron Man review)
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5/9/2008 7:05 PM

    The first comic book I ever read as a kid was Marvel Team Up: Spider Man and Iron Man (it was the trial of the Wraith). 


    Ever since then, my two most beloved Marvel heroes were Peter Parker and Tony Stark's alter egos. 


    Granted, it wasn't always pure love for Tony.  I was furious at the character for stealing James Rhodes' rightful inheritance of the armor when Stark had given it up to battle his alcoholism.  And I'm fairly certain that the creep who decided to throw all of his friends into Negative Zone concentration camps is either a Skrull, or it's Tony trying to pull Skrulls off the street (the destruction of Stark Enterprises at the beginning of the Secret Invasion hints toward the latter). 


    Now comes Iron Man - the first of an officially greenlit three-part saga, which will interweave with the projected Avengers movie (and Downey will appear as Stark in the Incredible Hulk movie later this summer.  Saw the big trailer - MAGNIFICENT).


    The story is one of redemption.  Tony Stark is world-famous for hard partying, hard drinking, and apparently hard sexing (12 for 12 for Maxim cover girls AND nailing a reporter trying to trash him in the first several minutes), as well as being one of the most brilliant human beings on the planet.


    That all comes crashing down when terrorists, using HIS weapons with HIS brand name on them, kill dozens of US soldiers and take him captive.  From having everything in the world to being stripped of his freedom - literally being tethered to an automobile battery powering a magnet that keeps shrapnel from carving his heart to ribbons.  Tony learns that his brilliant designs haven't always been responsibly distributed.  He's proud of the American lives he's protected, but behind his back, the tools he made to save lives from hostility have been utilized to intitiate that hostility.


    Side note for the geeks - the terrorist group, the Ten Rings, I don't think they're finished.  They might not have Stark weaponry anymore, but I have a feeling that they have a deeper sponsor - Mandarin anyone?


    The dialogue has all of the wit and brilliance anyone could ever want.  If anything, it's kind of depressing that Tony's wit is sharper and quicker than the dull tongue Sam Raimi saddled Toby McGuire with.  Favreau and Downey Jr. rewrote much of Stark's dialogue, and the end result is powerfully dramatic when it needs to be, and quick and fresh when called for.  You can feel the chemistry here among all of the characters (one of the weaknesses of the Fantastic Four films - you just couldn't see the fire between Alba and Groffudd that was supposed to be there, at least in the theatrical release, meanwhile Chiklis and Evans were able to keep the movies from falling apart with their banter and their ability to make you feel that Ben, Reed and Johnny knew each other, and that Sue and Johnny were siblings with all the friction that goes between them).  Favreau actually plays Happy Hogan great, with his dour, serious expression (Happy was an ironic name for Hogan), and there were 40 minutes trimmed from this film.  Hopefully, we'll get to see more flesh put on the roles of Rhodey and Hogan (and maybe a little more Iron Man magic) released on DVD.


    But this is a superhero movie.  How did the superheroics come off, you ask?  Like a charm, I answer.  Iron Man has essentially two versions of his armor, and of course, his opponent the Iron Monger is

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