Tony Stark makes you feel/He's a cool exec with a heart of steel. That's what I was whistling this weekend as I lined up, ticket in hoof, to see the first major blockbuster motion picture adventure thrill-ride of this summer, the big-budget superhero flick Iron Man, which I've been waitin' for all year. You've prob'bly seen it two or three times by now, and everybody and his brother is bloggin' about the tight, action-packed script, the amazing special effects, and the apt and canny casting for this big Marvel movie, but I'd been spending the week staying off the internet, avoiding any spoilers that might ruin the surprise and excitement of the movie for me, and with my popcorn-bucket-a-jostling and my Big-Gulp-a-spilling, I darted through the ankles of the thousands of folks, confusedly working my way through the weekend crowd over at the AMC Empire 25 cinemamultimegaplex just off Times Square (conveniently around the corner from where Luke Cage has his offices when he first set himself up as a Hero for Hire!), dashing quickly into the darkened theater just as Forrest Whitaker was telling us we can change America by turning off our cell phones, and I snuggled into an empty seat, dug my hoof into my popcorn bucket, sat back and enjoyed the show.
And now I can tell you: from the bouncy opening credits to the last tearful moment, Iron Man is the feel-good movie of the summer; great fun for the entire family from nought to ninety. When brilliant inventor Toni Stark (Tina Fey) invents a unique new technology to integrate machines and humans, there's much confusion and action as everybody under the sun is trying to find out how to capture the Iron Man technology. The laughs begin when the Iron Man technology is accidentally implanted inside Stark's assistant, the bubbly Angie "Pepper" Potts (Amy Pohler) and Stark and Potts are forced into a uneasy alliance not unlike Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier in The Defiant Ones or Sylvester the cat and the bulldog in The Defightin' Ones. But guess who wants the Iron Man technology? Evil scientist Obladiobladah Stane (Greg Kinnear) who will stop at nothing to capture the secrets of this technological treasure! Is it thrilling? Heck yeah! Dah-dah-DAH!
The special effects are quite amazing (they do a great job as showing how the Iron Man tech is working its way into Pepper's body) but I couldn't help but feel that maybe there could have been one or two more flying sequences. Come to think of it, I actually didn't see any flying sequences. Maybe they all happened when I was digging in my popcorn or snuffling up my nachos. A movie this fast-paced and exciting, you honestly better not blink or you might miss the best bit!
The action heats up towards the end of the movie in an exciting court sequence where the fate of the Iron Man is determined in an all-out no-holds barred legal battle upon which the fate of the free world rests! Will Toni Stark prevail? Will Pepper stop doing nutty things? (Don't bet on it!) And don't miss the cameo by Stan Lee (Maura Tierney)! From opening credits to the moment when the usher tosses you out, a solid two hours of thrills that's have you on the edge of your seatand when you're a little stuffed bull, that means there's a lot of seat behind you!
Then again...well, I don't want to be that guy who complains, but as much as I giggled at the jokes and bounced along to the cheery pop soundtrack, in the end I'm not really 100% absolutely certain this is the Iron Man movie I expected. Um, I don't want to be that guy, but where was the red and gold suit? Why were there not very many punches to the face? And no shouting refrains of Has he lost his mind? Can he see or is he blind? Can he walk at all? Or if he moves will he fall? Why, it's almost like the writers and director and producers really weren't making a movie entitled Iron Man after all, but instead...
(re-checks my ticket stub)
Curse you, AMC Empire 25!