Movie Review: JUSTICE LEAGUE: CRISIS ON TWO EARTHS, 2010

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JUSTICE LEAGUE CRISIS ON TWO EARTHS MOVIEJUSTICE LEAGUE: CRISIS ON TWO EARTHS, 2010
Movie Reviews

Directed by Lauren Montgomery, Sam Liu

Voices: Mark Harmon, Alyssa Milano, William Baldwin, James Woods, Chris Noth, Gina Torres, Gary Cole,
Review by Evan McCaffrey

SYNOPSIS:

When an alternate universe of evil superheroes threatens to destroy their world, The Justice League must team up with Lex Luthor in order to save the day.

REVIEW:

For the past few years, DC Comics and Warner Brothers have combined forces to deliver a slew of direct-to-video comic book adaptations to the market. It is a series of films that deals with the source material faithfully, and respects its viewing audience. These are not a watered down kids film. Each one is filled with level of emotion and intensity one would expect from the source material. “Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths” is no exception.

Often, when lesser-known entities of the comic book world are given feature film franchise, they are treated with less respect than they deserve, (i.e. ‘Daredevil’, ‘Ghost Rider’ to name a few.) The companies will take the name of the franchise, throw on a director who does not have the vision to fully realize these films, and then attach a star with little or no regard to how he fits in with the actual character. Fortunately, this film does not fall into that category. Though it is animated movie, it still contains everything you could want out of a Justice League film

As the movie begins, Lex Luthor and the Jester, an alternate universe Joker, have stolen a device of immense power. However, in doing so, they trip the alarms, and are quickly set upon by a mysterious and powerful force. It becomes quite clear at this point that this is not the Joker and Luthor we have grown to hate. In order to save his friend, the “Jester” sacrifices himself in order to give Luthor a head start, (something the Joker would never do.) Luthor’s head start is brief, and in moments, he is quickly surrounded by what appears to be a group of superheroes. Knowing he has no choice, he flicks on the device, and in a flash of light, he vanishes.

The story quickly shifts to our universe, where Luthor suddenly appears. Turning himself in to the Justice League, he convinces them he is not the Luthor this world despises so well, but from an alternate dimension where he is good and they are bad. On his planet, alternate versions of the Justice League have gone rogue and are creating a bomb that, if ignited, will destroy the entire planet. With little hesitation (the movies one quick and forgivable fault), the Justice League takes up Luthor’s cause, and joins forces to save his world from utter annihilation.

This is a fun movie. It provides roughly 78 minutes of solid entertainment. It never gets bogged down with too much exposition. It understands the audience watching this film, and it knows you already have an idea who most of the main characters are. Only once does it revert to a flashback, and that flashback is done in a way in which does not hinder the main story, but fleshes out one of the only characters I was slightly confused about. That is a testament to the writing abilities of the screenwriters. They know we have a solid foundation on most of the main characters. No one watching this film is going to be clueless about the motivations of either Superman or Batman. And most people have some sort of understanding of the Green Lantern, The Flash and Wonderwoman. It is this one character, J’onn J’onzz (The Martian Manhunter), that people will be confused about. Since the writers know this, he is the only character given a, if small, fleshed out backstory. I truly appreciate the respect and admiration these films have for their audience.

Now, as a story, does the film work. Yes. Absolutely. You will not go into this movie expecting the caliber of Christopher Nolan, but you will still get something immensely enjoyable out of this viewing. Not only is the story interesting, it is incredibly fun to watch. It is also very intense. People die, and, towards the end, the movie takes a dark turn reminiscent of “Watchmen.” It is a short movie, but one that delivers on all levels it intends to.

Studios take note; this is how you make a superhero movie. You do not need to always make an origin story. This is a movie that respects the audience and takes risks with its story. It knows what the fan base wants to see, and it delivers on all fronts. I can’t wait for the day that some company decides to stop playing the safe route, and to make comic films that deal with some of the more extreme stories in their universe. Until then, this movie more then satisfies that desire.

 

#SuicideSquad Trailer NEW. Fan Reaction?

Warner Brothers just posted their new Suicide Squad trailer today.

Here’s what people are saying on Twitter:

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Movie Review: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (USA/Australia 2015) ****

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mad_maxMAD MAX: FURY ROAD (USA/Australia 2015) ****
Directed by George Miller

Starring: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Nathan Jones, Zoë Kravitz, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

Review by Gilbert Seah

Aussie director George Miller, now in his 70s reboots his MAD MAX movies after decades with MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, a film that spurned two sequels and defined the anti-hero (Mel Gibson becoming famous in the process as a bad ass actor and human being).

The reboot is again set in a post apocalyptic future of a desert wasteland where petroleum is the needed commodity in which all tribes fight and kill for it. And water. The bad guy is Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) ruling his distraught tribe controlling their access to water. Imperator Furiousa (Charlize Theron) steals his brides escaping in a war rig. She meets Max (Tom Hardy) in a vicious fight but they become allies right to the end of the last reel.

What is marvellous about the film is that the story still manages to emerge despite the scant dialogue. There is no silly message but the characters do strive for hope and redemption. This is almost pure cinema where the audience gets everything, in true cinematic form.

The scenes of the various bikes, souped up vehicles and trucks chasing the war rig with warriors dangling on the poles trying to hop on to the rig are nothing short of spectacular. Inventive, scary, exciting and totally awesome! The stunts are for done with real vehicles and men without any silly CGI, according to the reports on the production sets.

This reboot is an American-Australian co-production unlike the original which is totally Aussie. But this film keeps the actors Australian with most speaking with an Aussie accent.
The word ‘mad’ never comes into the dialogue but the meaning is evident throughout the film, embedded in Max’s character. He looks completely mad (angry) throughout the first third of the film, forced to wear a mask that makes him look like a madman.
Miller’s film is complete action and chase from start to finish – a full 2 hours non-stop. The film’s camera work, atmosphere and look are excellent.

Miller’s name is synonymous with mayhem. His BABE IN THE CITY was so black darkly funny, it angered the financial backers and lost money despite being the most chaotic entertaining family film not for children. His first MAD MAX had the villain saw off his limb in order to survive and his American debut THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK was Jack Nicholson’s wildest. Miller has lived to his reputation with this reboot, though a reboot is hardly the correct term for this film. Though set in similar territory, the story, if it has one is radically different. And there is his expected mayhem all the way from start to finish. A cinematic treat of violence, blood and gore and of course, mayhem.

Compared to the original, FURY ROAD has achieved director Miller’s vision of heightened mayhem of his dystopian future. It is not a future one wishes for, but it makes great entertainment and a visual classic. Clearly, the best serious action film of 2015!

Movie Review: CAPTAIN AMERICA, 2011

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CAPTAIN AMERICA, 2011
Movie Reviews

Director: Joe Johnston

Starring: Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving, Samuel L. Jackson, Tommy Lee Jones, Stanley Tucci, Hayley Atwell, Natalie Dormer, Richard Armitage, Dominic Cooper

Review by Mark Engberg

SYNOPSIS:

After being deemed unfit for military service during WWII, Steve Rogers (Evans) volunteers for a top secret research project that turns him into Captain America, the Sentinel of Liberty — a superhero dedicated to defending America’s ideals. His first mission: to combat the Nazi propaganda effort headed by Johann Schmidt (Weaving), also known as the Red Skull.

REVIEW:

Check your thesaurus for the word “patriotic” and you will find that every synonym perfectly typifies the character of Captain America.

“Patriotic: Chauvinistic, devoted, dedicated, dutiful, jingoistic, nationalistic, statesmanlike, zealous.”

Yup, that’s him, all right. But chauvinistic? No, Chris Evans’ rendition of the 1941 comic book icon is too much of a sensitive and caring male superhero to be considered a chauvinist.

In an age when political pressures stalled the direct involvement of women in the military, new recruit Steve Rogers maintains persistent and loyal eye contact with his female superior, SSR officer Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell). And he is even more faithful to his fellow Brooklyn buddy, Sgt. Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan).

As far as personality goes, he’s a kinder, gentler Captain America.But those familiar with the history of this superhero know that this is only the tip of the iceberg (get it, fans?). This is a humble beginning of the character, who was created by legendary Marvel Comic gods Joe Simon and Jack Kirby seventy years ago in order to stir up some fervid patriotism among the nation’s children during World War II.

Through seven hard decades, Captain America has suffered imprisonment, torture, suspended animation, degradation, and even death. In terms of pop media, he actually suffered a fate worse than that when WWII ended: People began to forget about his character and he seemingly vanished in the 1950’s. It wasn’t until March of 1964, when his frozen carcass was found in a floating iceberg, that he resurfaced as the leader of The Avengers.
At first, I rejected the studios’ choice to cast 30-year-old Chris Evans as the celebrated hero. For one thing, he already played Johnny Storm, a.k.a. The Human Torch in “The Fantastic Four.” Any Marvel fanboy who says that’s insignificant is lying. Secondly, I always envisioned the time-honored Captain as an older and wiser soldier; someone who could embody the leadership of John Wayne, the campy loyalty of the G.I. Joe team, and the athletic prowess of Batman.

In all honesty, I was thinking Brad Pitt would be perfect for the part. His memorable portrayal of Lieutenant Aldo Raine in Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds” was already an R-rated, masochist Captain America who carved swastikas in the bad guys’ foreheads. George Clooney could have been another viable candidate if he had not humiliated himself in 1997 with “Batman and Robin”.

The logic behind these casting choices relates to the fact that the Captain America of today has been through hell. Like his country’s perpetually diminishing respect around the globe, this hero has survived insult and onslaught. Therefore, it should be a tough and seasoned veteran handling the performance of this great American warrior.

But that’s not what “The First Avenger” is about. These are his formative adventures from long ago, when military colonels were funny like Tommy Lee Jones and American ideology was at its zenith before we went crazy with power in Southeast Asia. Johnston’s introduction to this saga seems to catch the Captain in his most vulnerable and obedient years. Maybe we’ll get to see him become more of the dynamic leader he was always destined to be in “The Avengers”, which will place the period piece character into a modern time frame.

Tommy Lee Jones is in his comfort zone as the intimidating Colonel Chester Phillips. Like Agent K in “Men in Black” or Sam Gerard in “The Fugitive”, Phillips has a way of barking orders in a condescending yet subtle manner that depicts humor as well as bravado. His alliance with Dr. Abraham Erskine (the seemingly omnipresent Stanley Tucci) creates the country first-and-only “super-soldier” when the 90-pound Rogers is injected with super-serum and lit up with vita-rays.

The all-time accountable villain actor Hugo Weaving wears his best nasty face (literally) to play Nazi officer Johann Schmidt, who eventually will become the Red Skull. He and his men steal a mysterious cubic prism from a Norwegian castle early in the story.

Naturally, this “jewel of Odin’s treasure room” is merely a MacGuffin used to motivate the mad scientist villain towards his destructive goal. Since Weaving is so well versed as a diabolical supervillain, it’s only naturally to cast Toby Jones as his sniveling sidekick. Jones, who marvels in these kinds of roles (he played Karl Rove and Swifty Lazar in the same year), brings a simpering Renfield quality to Weaving’s Nazi Dracula.

Like Johnston’s underappreciated previous action flick, “The Rocketeer” (1991), the film has a ton of tight action sequences that are presented in a much more discernible and entertaining way, rather than the contemporary blockbusters (cough, cough, Transformers). In other words, you can actually follow the action and catch your breath between the explosions because there is an unfolding storyline.

Even more appealing is the fact that these action/chase sequences are evenly timed out to honor the tradition of 1930’s film serials. Spielberg himself paid respect to the cliffhanger style of fragmented short movies when he made “Raiders of the Lost Ark” in 1982.

Chris Evans is no Indiana Jones, but the dramatic timing of action is not far away from those golden fight scenes. Modern action filmmakers could learn a thing or two from the pace of action in “Captain America”, instead of burying their audiences with overlong apocalyptic destruction of cities in 3-D.

Speaking of which, I saw this movie in 3-D and I would politely advise against it. The movie is great fun and about as cheesy as a Hasbro cartoon. But like every other action film I’ve seen since “Avatar”, the 3-D effects just aren’t worth the headache and diluted color palette that suffers in the transformation. Ever feel like you’ve been under a fluorescent light for two hours when you’re handing back your glasses? I do.

I didn’t see “X-Men: First Class” or “Green Lantern” so I can’t say “Captain America” is the best superhero movie of the summer. I can say that is an improvement for Marvel Studios after “Thor”, which was fine, if not a bit too cosmic and surreal. Fans won’t have to wait too long to catch either of these heroes again Joss Whedon unites them for “The Avengers” next year.

Now that we’ve all been briefed about Captain America’s past missions with “First Avenger”, we can determine what he can do for contemporary America today. Let’s have him start by saving the economy.

This late note is for those who have already seen the picture: SPOILER ALERT.

Is there anything funnier than the kid who gets thrown into the water by the fleeing bad guy? In all my life of watching action hero movies, I have never before seen an innocent bystander get thrown into the lake . . . WHO CAN ACTUALLY SWIM! This quick joke made me laugh out louder and harder than anything else I’ve seen this summer. I wonder if anyone else got the joke.

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Movie Review: IRON MAN 3 (2013)

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  MOVIE POSTERIRON MAN 3, 2013
Movie Reviews

Director: Shane Black

Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Guy Pearce, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle

Review by Matthew Toffolo

REVIEW:

Tony Stark uses his ingenuity to fight those who destroyed his private world and soon goes up against his most powerful enemy yet: the Mandarin. Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) has literally everything a man could ever want. More money and fame than he knows what to do with, a great girl (Gwyneth Paltrow), an amazing house and even better toys and to top it off when he’s not jetting around the world as a billionaire playboy he’s the superhero Iron Man. But when a crazed terrorist (Ben Kingsley) starts blowing up pieces of the world Tony begins to realize he may be up against the one thing even he can’t handle: the second sequel.

Third time’s the charm, isn’t that how it goes? Except usually not, at least as far as film franchises go. Third time is usually where the gasp of creativity that breathed life into the series to begin with finally starts to run out, leaving the filmmakers with one of two possible options: either keep repeating what has worked already on larger and larger scales ad nauseum, or break the series apart and come at it from a brand new angle.

Very few series opt for option two, since it is a very risky proposition at the best of times. At best you’ll generally get some sort of middle ground in between options 1 and 2 – which pretty well sums up writer-director Shane Black’s (“Lethal Weapon,” “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang”) stab at “Iron Man 3.”

He has, like many before him, decided to focus on what has worked in Iron Man before and provide more of it. Fortunately for him what worked before has been less big effects or ideas and more along the lines of star Robert Downey, Jr. doing what he does. Like no other actor in a superhero film (except perhaps Heath Ledger’s turn as the Joker), Downey has made both the character of Tony Stark and the role of Iron Man his, and most of the joy of these films is watching him swagger and strut and attempt to hide Tony’s many faults through snark and arrogance. Of course, Downey has done this three times already now so he can do Iron Man in his sleep if he has to.

Fortunately, Black is not going to let anyone rest on their laurels. He’s given a real think at how to advance an Iron Man story beyond what has come before and the result is not only the cleverest action beats in the series to date, but the most work Downey has had to put into them. In fact, for all the many dozens of suits of armor flying around through the film and all the people wearing them (at one point it seems as if the entire cast is put into a suit at one point) Iron Man 3 actually boasts the least Iron Man of the series to date.

After brazenly calling out The Mandarin on live TV, Tony’s home soon comes under attack and is destroyed, leaving him on his own with only his mind and his wits to help him figure out what the Mandarin is up to and what it has to do with an old girlfriend (Maya Hall) and a shady think-tank called Advanced Idea Mechanics who have been cooking a up a means to make the human body stronger and better called Extremis.

It’s a bit of a gamble but it works as Downey is actually more relatable and more fun to watch out of his armor than in it, and he’s helped but tight script from Black and screenwriter Drew Pearce who have applied a liberal dose of comedy relief that has the benefit of actually being funny.

On the downside, along with the armor, a lot of Tony’s supporting cast tends to come and go for long periods, particularly once he disappears into rural Tennessee to follow up a lead. Sure they get stuff to do – Happy follows some suspicious characters and sets the plot in motion, Rhodey once again backs Tony up during the action finish after doing little else the rest of the time, and Pepper actually gets into the action movie game for the first time, particularly during the middle segment when she briefly gets a suit of her own.

But then they disappear so that Downey can go off and trade quips with a 10 year old for 30 minutes. Which is, it must be said, far better than it sounds due to Stark’s inability to actually be sappy but it’s still hard to feel like you’re being gipped somehow. After two films setting these characters up and making you care about them, they are shipped off because now no one knows what to do with them.

Those are generally small quibbles, though, as “Iron Man” continues to set the bar for Marvel’s solo superhero films through a combination of wit, charm and out and out entertainment. It’s not quite as good as “Iron Man 2” – but then I’m one of the few who thinks Iron Man 2 is the best of the series – but it’s not far off and certainly does no shame to the series. I don’t know how many more of these they can make, but so far it doesn’t look like they’ve run out of steam quite yet.

 

 

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Movie Review: IRON MAN 2 (2010)

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IRON MAN 2 MOVIE POSTERIron Man 2, 2010
Movie Reviews

Directed by Jon Favreau

Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Samuel L. Jackson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, John Slattery, Clark Gregg, Paul Bettany, Gary Shandling, Jon Favreau
Review by Joshua Starnes

SYNOPSIS:

With the world now aware of his dual life as the armored superhero Iron Man, billionaire inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) faces pressure from the government, the press, and the public to share his technology with the military. Unwilling to let go of his invention, Stark, along with Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), and James “Rhodey” Rhodes (Don Cheadle) at his side, must forge new alliances — and confront powerful enemies.

 

REVIEW:

Most sequels offer you one of two choices in their approach: either bigger, louder and faster (the most popular choice), or smaller with a focus on characters over plot. Both of these choices offer certain costs and benefits. One gives you more bang for your buck but tends to be empty and heartless. The other will offer a surfeit of heart but with so little actually happening that you can’t help but feel unsatisfied. The ideal sequel will balance the two, upping the ante in threat and using it as an opportunity to deepen its characters and story.

“Iron Man 2” isn’t an ideal sequel but it is awful good, fixing most of the problems of the first movie without giving up what made it work to begin with.

To be fair, much of what made the first film work was Robert Downey, Jr.’s Tony Stark, and that’s still true in the sequel. Better yet director Jon Favreau and screenwriter Justin Theroux (“Tropic Thunder”) have given him some real problems to struggle with instead of just being charming and funny.

Because Tony Stark is dying. The materials in power core that keeps him alive are also deadly poisonous, it turns out, and Tony can’t find a cure. With the end starting to look nigh, Tony has turned his attention to his legacy, finding a good person to run his company and pick up his Iron Man mantle after he’s gone. Unfortunately there’s a dark side to his legacy as well in the form of mad Russian scientist Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) who has figured out how to weaponize Stark’s power system and wants nothing more than to wipe Stark out once and for all.

 

They say you have to make one of these films to learn how to make one of these films and Favreau has certainly taken that lesson to heart, adding a great deal of style and panache to “Iron Man’s” already impressive repertoire. What was good about the first “Iron Man” is still good about the sequel and in many cases noticeably better. As good as Downey’s original performance was it is aided considerably by having to deal with the reality that he may not have cheated death after all, just put it off for a little bit. The quest sends him not just to cement his legacy but also an incentive to increase his already manic and unpredictable lifestyle–like spontaneously taking his Formula One driver’s place before the Monaco Grand Prix–which is the part of Stark that Downey really excels at.

It’s also a step above the original in terms of pure craft. While the original was solid but unassuming, the sequel looks every inch the big budget film it is. Matthew Libatique, who shot one of the best looking movies of the 00s—”The Fountain”—has substantially upped his game from the first film. The Monaco sequence in particular is gorgeous and illustrates in microcosm what makes “Iron Man 2” so successful. It’s extremely well paced, quick and funny and light on its feet before turning a sharp corner as Vanko attacks Stark on the racetrack while he is alone and unarmed. Even in the middle of a large action sequence Favreau keeps his eye solidly on his characters and working hard to make solid use of everyone, not just Downey, as his erstwhile Girl and Guy Friday’s—Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Happy Hogan—drive against traffic in a Formula One race to get Stark’s armor to him.

IRON MAN 2 POSTERIn fact almost every character gets significantly more to do, from Pepper struggling with running the company to Stark’s best friend Rhodey (Don Cheadle) being forced to decide where his loyalties lie, to Stark or the US Air Force. New characters, like Sam Rockwell’s unctuous Justin Hammer (a sort of anti-Tony Stark) are just as good, and yet for the most part they don’t overwhelm the film.

However, while Favreau et al. have solved a lot of the problems of the first film, several of them still remain, not least its propensity to climax without warning. A great deal of work has been put into building up the action sequences, with Industrial Light & Magic putting in some fantastic effects work, only to have them suddenly finish. It’s not as noticeable as in the first film but it’s still there, particularly in any sequence involving Vanko.

More insidious it’s starting to develop the ‘comic book universe’ problem. These premade stories come packed with large amounts of ready made stories and characters, and plenty of fans who want to see them on screen. Inevitably this seems to turn to introducing characters just to introduce them, letting them eat of screen time that would be better spent somewhere else. It’s most noticeable in Scarlet Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff, who while well executed serves no important purpose. She moves the plot along, but there’s nothing she does that couldn’t be done by another, already existing character. However she does eat up valuable screen time that might be better used by Rhodey who is not around near enough considering how important he is to the climax. He’s the only character who still feels underdeveloped.

It’s also risking getting stuck in a rut. Because there are as yet no super powered people for Iron Man to fight he keeps getting stuck fighting iterations of ‘other guys in Iron Man armor’ and there’s only so many times you can go to that well.

Still “Iron Man 2” is far, far better than it is weak. Action junkies may find the middle more than a little slow as it dwells quite a bit on his existential dilemma, but that’s also where many of the films best moments lie. “Iron Man 2” is one of those rare films with something for everyone, good characters, excellent presentation and well designed adventure elements. Worth every penny.

 

 

 

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Movie Review: IRON MAN (2008)

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IRON MAN MOVIE POSTER
IRON MAN
Movie Review

Directed by Jon Favreau
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges,
Review by Salome Bell

SYNOPSIS:

When wealthy industrialist Tony Stark is forced to build an armored suit after a life-threatening incident, he ultimately decides to use its technology to fight against evil.

REVIEW:

You can’t send a boy to do a man’s job, and you can’t put a man in a role that calls for him to be smarter than he is.

Fortunately for “Iron Man,” Robert Downey Jr. carries enough weight for any ten metallic suits, and seems like exactly the kind of guy who could build them

Popcorn movies have a tendency to underwhelm, but “Iron Man” has managed a pretty miraculous feat — to sneak in almost under the radar with few television ads and deliberately vague trailers, and to be the best flick I’ve seen this year and a natural to go on my list of top comic book films of all time.

Everything works. The casting is perfect. Paltrow shines as the essential but overlooked Poppy Potts, despite a last-moment shoe choice that says just about everything you can about fashion victimization. Jeff Bridges has just as much chemistry cast as the mentor/father figure to Downey Jr.’s obsessed Stark. The script is everything you could want — witty, intelligent, and steering clear for the most part of the usual comic cliches.

Even the ubiquitous Stan Lee cameo is a treat, which I will not spoil. .

If there’s one thing I could criticize, it’s that the story bogs down briefly while it shifts its bearings between Stark pre- and post-captivity, where it seems to be reinventing its moral center, much as Stark is at the same moment. Current films self-consciously walk the thin line between portraying the U.S. as a benevolent superpower or as a force just as prone to cause problems as solve them. “Iron Man” knows certain people have to die, and that because it’s a comic book movie, it has to relish the manner of those deaths to show off Stark’s new invention. But it never feels comfortable; in these years since the fall of the U.S.S.R., Hollywood is still searching for the perfect hateable villain.

But, smartly, things get personal and everything falls as snugly into place as Iron Man’s hydraulic armor. This film thunders through to the end, at once a flick that a newbie with no clue about Stark or Iron Man’s pic-lit roots can love while providing enough insider tips of the hat to thrill the fans with the feeling that, “Yes, Victoria, there is a Santa Claus watching over Marvel Comics movies.” The effects are seamless and organic so you feel every bump when Stark hits the ground (or a concrete wall), and Favreau has a brilliant touch with injecting just a little bit of humor into the darkest scenes. “Iron Man” is going to do well, really well, at the theatres, and it’s a movie not only a fan will want to own.

3 1/2 stars out of 4!

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