Marvel Movie Marathon: Iron Man: omg I had somehow managed to forget the sheer level of asshole Tony was in the first part of Iron Man.
Back in 2006 or whatever when Marvel said they were floating an Iron Man movie, I, an X-Men fan who never cared much about the Avengers, was like “why would anybody make a movie about a 2nd tier character like Iron Man that nobody cares about anyway.” Ted, who is much more of an Avengers fan, objected strenuously to “2nd tier” and argued in favor of an Iron Man movie, but I was completely meh on the matter.
Then, of course, they cast RDJ, and I was like “…okay, I mean, RDJ basically *is* Tony Stark, and he’s a great actor anyway, so if they have a decent script it doesn’t matter whether I think Iron Man is 2nd tier or not, this will work. IF they have a decent script.”
And then of course they had a decent script and it was, in fact, a pretty brilliant movie.
It’s 10 years later, and Iron Man is still a pretty brilliant movie.
Oh, the CGI seams are showing more than they used to. Whether that’s their fault, per se, or if it’s the quality of our TV screen*, they’re definitely showing more. There were places I saw them that I’d never noticed them before. But still: it’s a damn good movie. The story is slick, RDJ is, I mean, come on, he’s RDJ, Jeff Bridges is…
…you want to know the embarrassing truth? I was completely floored the first time I saw the movie and Stane shows up in the desert to double-cross Faran Tahir’s character. I was immediately embarrassed because OF COURSE Stane was the bad guy, but even him locking Tony out of the company hadn’t actually tipped me off, I just saw it as…I mean, yeah, there was rivalry there, like, power plays within the company, but I just DID NOT SEE him being the ACTUAL BAD GUY coming. Which is mortifying. And very funny. :) And, I don’t know, it’s because it was Jeff Bridges! He was The Dude! He didn’t play BAD GUYS! (He does now, and maybe he even did then, but my experience with his movies was he was a good guy, and I just Did Not See It Coming! EVEN THOUGH HE WAS BALD! :))
I always feel a little conflicted about Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts, although I like a lot of what she does in this. She’s just so rigid, which she’s supposed to be, but often that kind of rigidity makes me feel like the person in the role can’t act. I think Paltrow *can* act, but the role doesn’t showcase it well. OTOH, this is one of those kind of unsung hero roles on every level, including the fact that at least three separate times Potts either literally, in-the-moment, saves the day, or has arranged for the day to be saved ahead of time.
Those appalling 4″ heels, though. God.
Anyway, I think the story beats are as effective as ever (especially, always, heartbreakingly, the Yinsen storyline), and the “I am Iron Man” bit at the end where every other reporter except Christine Everheart leaps to their feet and she’s just sitting there like “yeah, no shit, you arrogant self-centered little man,” kills me every time. *laughs*
I’m looking forward to watching IM2 next, as we’ll probably skip the only-tangentally-related Incredible Hulk…
*A thing I’ve noticed is that HDTVs, even comparatively low quality ones like ours, do CGI absolutely no favors. It’ll be interesting to see the newest Marvel movies on this TV, because stuff filmed for HDTV, like Star Trek: Discovery, seem to be doing pretty well, but it’s felt to me like movies are still filming for the big screen and its softer focus without also taking HD into consideration.