So my friend Calvin described Iron Man like this (and I’m paraphrasing, I think): “It manages to not suck. I mean that as a compliment.” And I knew exactly what he meant. Now it’s Sunday, I’ve just watched the movie, and I really know what he meant. And it’s a high compliment indeed.
Superhero movies, as Calvin and I discussed, tend to inspire a certain amount of fear in fans of the source material. Your hope, as a fan, is that the stuff you love about the character won’t get lost in the crossover to the big screen. Now, I’m not going to say I was ever a big fan of Iron Man, but I knew a little something about the mythology, and I know a little something about comic book universes in general, so I definitely had a bit of trepidation when the original announcement of the flick came out. But I wasn’t disappointed, and as I heard secondhand about Hustle and Flow (another Terrance Howard flick…hmmm), Iron Man was definitely some beautiful bullshit.
The movie is all over the place. It’s one of those flicks where dude wants to stop the senseless killing and blowing up of stuff, and can only do it through, yes, killing and blowing up of stuff. But it’s Robert Downey Jr doing all that, and he’s playing a prick playboy, and I gotta admit–it made me kind of want to be a prick playboy. That’s not something I generally want to be. So I guess that’s saying something.
I’m not going to break down Iron Man. It’s Iron Man. I will say this: the last line of that movie is exactly what the last line of that movie should be. And I think that sums up the movie itself. It is what is, and it is what it should be.