Thursday, May 15, 2008
The action sequences in the Iron Man trailer seemed so clunky that I worried they'd drag between the obviously entertaining "Tony Stark" scenes, but Jon Favreau keeps everything moving, if not necessarily inspired (the best thing I can say about the climax is that it wasn't incoherent). Whether or not Favreau succeeded in achieving his "if Robert Altman directed Superman" fantasy, he does more for Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges and Robert Downey Jr. than anyone else since forever, Oscar movie or otherwise. Juicy roles in a carefree context - it's no wonder they look like they're having the time of their life.
Ironically, I can easily see Downey receiving an Academy Award nomination for Iron Man. He has fun in supporting roles, but it's all too easy for someone as awake and charming as him to steal a scene - he's great when has to carry it. Terence Howard and Faran Tahir don't give much hope for sequels involving War Machine or the Mandarin, but their characters weren't interesting anyway.
The Spider-Man and X-Men movies have a grander pull (power-wise and metaphorically), but only the "now it's your turn" intervention fantasy and some surprisingly ugly womanizing for a family movie really interrupted the fun. Iron Man is probably the best B-superhero A-movie we'll get.