I see Rotten Tomatoes has compiled a 95% positive rating so far for Iron Man. And that percentage is slightly higher than the percentage of the movie than I saw tonight at the preview. Apparently, there was about 20 minutes left in the film when there was a reel switch and–whoosh!–everything onscreen was now dizzingly 1. backwards, and 2. upside-down. Remember the dancing Man From Another Place in Twin Peaks? Yeah, it sounded kinda like that. Except without the dancing.
Y’know, in the olden days, I’d’ve flipped out over that. I woulda stormed the projection booth, cussing and flailing, spittle flying. (I know, I know what you’re thinking: “Carla? Swearing? Nawww!” But it’s true! Believe. It. Or. Not.) It seems I have mellowed.
Up ’til that point, though, I can tell you that this is probably the best comic book adaptation I’ve seen onscreen. (And this coming from a diehard Hellboy fan. Sorry, GDT.) It’s an absolute blast–it’s got all the action you’d expect in a film of this genre, plus more wit than you’d expect, and a first-rate performance in the lead. Ah loves me some Robert Downey Jr, and his built-in bad-boy rep serves him well as Tony Stark–whose life-long self-absorption gets turned on its head (kinda like the final reel of this screening!). It’s still there, mind you–and this is good because I prefer my heros flawed–but leading him in a different direction after a rather major epiphany.
Downey’s razor-sharp delivery is perfect for Stark. His darkness is perfect. His intelligence and quick wit are perfect. And how he learned to perform his lines backwards and upside down is some kinda miracle. Genius! (Plus, umm, this might sound a little drooly girly but, oh my, those muscular shoulders and arms look mighty fiiiiiiine in those muscle shirts!)
(Incidentally, we were each given two free admissions to try to make up for the badly fracked screening, and one of mine will be used to see this again. All the way to the end right-side up next time. I hope. By then, of course, you will have seen it y’self, so I don’t need to tell you about it. And if you haven’t seen it by then, yeesh, crawl out from underneath that rock.)
→ originally published 2008-05-01