I have a thing about comic book movies. I think they should have an element of comic book-ness to them. Fun is the name of the game. I don’t particularly like the new Bat Man films (and yes – they scream “I am a film! Not a movie!” with Goddard like French accents) because they keep the zany comic book plots but take out the comic book camp. In my opinion, this makes them ridiculous. How seriously can we take forty five minutes of mountain top training with blue hallucinogenic flowers and crazy Liam Neeson? Much like Spider-Man 1 and 2, the Iron Man movies have it right. They have fun storylines, they’re over the top, and (unlike Mr. Raspy-Voice Christian Bale) Robert Downey Jr. is a delight to watch.
In fact, all the actors are. It’s clear that they’re having fun. Mickey Rourke is deliciously evil-tastic with his Russian craziness, his insane scars, and his metal teeth. And how cool are those electric whips? Sam Rockwell is, as always, fantastic. He reminded me of Giovanni Ribisi in Avatar; it’s not his typical part but he’s up for the fun of doing it. Don Cheadle is great as the antithesis of Tony Stark – quiet, unassuming, and all about authority. And together, these boys throw down and have a good time. The chicks don’t get much play – but Gwyneth Paltrow makes the best of her miniaml role to sell us Pepper Pott’s personality (say that five times fast).
At the end of it all, I can say confidently that I enjoyed my two hours in the theatre. These days, that’s really all I can ask for my $13.