Iron Man: One big nerdgasm
So I went to the Salem premiere of Iron Man on Thursday night. How was it? In-freaking-credible. One of the best comic-based movies I have ever seen. In a word: Wow.
I won’t bore you with the story; it’s standard comic book fare. But you should know that Robert Downey Jr. is great as Tony Stark/Iron Man and that Jon Favreau (Elf, Swingers), who directed, produced and has a small part in the movie, did a fantastic job. And the gadgets? Lots and lots of them. It was a nerd’s wet dream.
I honestly didn’t think that they could pull it off. When I read comics as a kid, I was never a big fan of the Iron Man series — I mean, he’s a rich guy in a robot suit. How super-hero is that? — and instead focused my attentions on the outcast mutants of The Uncanny X-Men and its various spinoffs. So I was skeptical about this movie, to say the least. But I was wrong. Gloriously wrong. Definitely see this movie in the theater if you get the chance and you at all enjoy action movies.
On a related note, here is my Top 5 Favorite Movies Based on Comic Books (in reverse order, of course. No peeking.):
5. Batman Begins. This movie alone wipes away all of the stupidity that was most of the original Batman series. Christian Bale is great. The comic series that this is based on was written by the same guy who wrote the Sin City series. Dark, gritty, urban. Just like Batman should be.
4. X-Men 2. The sequel really gave the series more heart. Exploring Wolverine’s past is always good, and Jean Grey’s sacrifice (although nothing like her comic book “death”) was excellent. This was my top pick for a long time, but then along came a Spider-Man.
3. Iron Man. See above. It’s a great movie. See it as soon as you can. I may actually see it again in the theater, and I hardly ever do that.
2. Spider-Man. This bumped X-Men 2 from my top spot when it came out. Brilliantly filmed, and one of the best comic book heroes ever. Great special effects. Great baddie, played convincingly by Willem Dafoe.
1. Spider-Man 2. It’s rare that a sequel is better than the original, but so was the case here. An even better villain, the infamous Doc Ock, and Peter Parker’s struggle balancing being a super-hero and a regular guy. Excellent stuff.
As for the others, I didn’t see The Hulk (as much as I like Ang Lee, I just couldn’t get past the bad reviews), I hated X-Men 3 because it strayed from the comic books way too much and the original X-Men movie was just acceptable. The original Batman (with Michael Keaton) is probably No. 6, but the rest of the original Batman movie series were mediocre at best and more often laughably stupid. So here’s looking forward to The Dark Knight this summer, the new Incredible Hulk (with Edward Norton as Bruce Banner!?!) and the Iron Man sequel in a year or two.