Thursday, July 03, 2008

sleeping with the elephant

What is the official name for that big American holiday anyway? Just 4th of July? You'd think a big holiday like that would have a real name, not just a date.

Regardless, as we sit on the cusp of the 4th of July, I keep thinking about the fantastic and extremely American film I saw recently. I'm talking about Iron Man.

To paraphrase my mother-in-law, I am not for summer blockbuster; I am for art film. But Iron Man is an exception. I always knew that I wanted to see it; it boasts my favourite American actor, after all, and besides the trailers looked really cool. Turns out that is an understatement.

Robert Downey Jr is perfect in the role as the brilliant, womanizing, wise-cracking industrialist-turned-superhero. He has a knack for choosing smart and engaging films, in which he consistently performs brilliantly.

Iron Man is no exception.

Yes, it's a comic book movie, but, as the Resident Film Student so correctly pointed out, it is also one of the most intelligent portrayals of the American "war on terror" you will see on film. It not only addresses all sides of the debate, but it does so with a degree of subtlety that you would not expect from an escapistic comic book film.

And then there is the suit. Oh. My. God. Is that suit the coolest thing you have ever seen or what? I sat there with a big shit-eating grin on my face throughout the film, just fantasizing about how awesome I would be if I had a suit like that with which to kick some ass.

Iron Man has quick-witted humour, it has some powerful leads giving highly credible performances, it has an ending that could easily have become a cliche, but which it steers away from at the last second.

And it has shit blowing up real good. My inner eight-year-old boy was thrilled.


Johnny Yen said...

It actually does have an official name-- Independence Day.

When I was a kid, the joke was "Doe England have a Fourth of July," to which the other kid would say "Of course not-- why would they celebrate that?" And of course you would then ask them what the day between July 3rd and July 5th is called then in England.

I'm dying to see Ironman-- it played at the theater near my home, but I didn't have the time to see it. Ironman was, along with Spiderman, my favorite comic book character. And I'm with you on Robert Downey Jr. I first noticed his brilliant performance in the movie "True Believer." I'm really glad he got his demons in check, and is around to continue turning in great performances.

You may not celebrate the fourth up there, but it is Friday anyway...

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Oh yes, Independence Day! I knew that, too. Thanks, Johnny Yen. Way to pull one over on those smart-alecky kids. Did they fall for it every year?

You discovered Robert Downey Jr a few years before I did. Damn he is imminently watchable! I do hope you get to see Iron Man soon, and on the big screen. You'll just love it!

mister anchovy said...

Well hell, I normally wouldn't go see Ironman (but then again I went to see Wanted...jeez that was grim), but maybe I'll go see it on your recommendation. I think RD jr is a good actor too.

mellowlee said...

Oh MAN!!!! I think I'm the only one who hasn't seen Iron Man yet!!!!

RD Jr is so awesome!!!!!

John Mutford said...

Is that still playing?

I want to see it too. I'm pleased that it wasn't all subtle political commentary and that its summer blockbusterness wasn't lost on you altogether. It's good to have a kick-ass suit sometimes.

bloody awful poetry said...

RDJ is my God. One of my gods anyway. I have not seen Iron Man yet, although I have seen Made Of Honour ( and thankfully, I was not the one who had to pay for the ticket).

Barbara Bruederlin said...

If you want some escapism that doesn't insult your intelligence and if you like to see big metal monster clashing in the streets, then Iron Man is the movie to see, Mister Anchovy. Nothing grim about this one!

He's the tops, Mel. You need to see this movie. Stat.

It's still playing, John and not even at the cheap seats, either. I am starting to see the appeal of embracing summer blockbusterness. Still don't want to see the Hulk, though.

I had to google Made of Honour to see what you were talking about, BAP, and it looks extemely forgettable. You gotta see Iron Man! RD Jr is all buff and everything.

Will said...

another reason why i must see this movie. Saw "Wall-E" instead, which was magnificent, so no regrets there.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I have been hearing good things about Wall-E, Will, although I admit I know very little about it.