Wait! WHO Wears Ten Rings? – An Iron Man Review

I don’t monitor Iron Man as close as say Spider-Man or the X-Men growing up. However, I do know what he’s all about. I’ve checked Armor Wars out of Perth Library (again, that’s Scotland and not Australia) and read it entirely.

Two of the most iconic Iron Man cover for me is the “Demon in the Bottle” cover and the one where “Stark” in the Stark Enterprises logo is replaced with “Stane”.

Earlier tonight, we went to catch Iron Man (on opening day) at Cineleisure. I’m not going to talk about the plot of the movie. It’s a basic origins movie with a battle with a bad guy. It’s not high literature, but it’s a great action movie with lots of fun moments throughout. The Iron Man origin in the movie is transplanted from the original comic book location of Vietnam to Afghanistan.

So, I’m just going to list out what’s good and not-so-good about it. And to pre-emptively sum up things, it’s mostly good.

The Mark III suit

The Mark III suit

Spoilers ahoy!

I ain’t joking. SPOILERS!

The Good

  • This is classic Silver Age Iron Man, not Tony Stark, Director of SHIELD, who might or might not be a Skrull as currently seen in the comics.
  • It’s a very fun movie. No angst overdose as seen in X-Men and even Superman Returns. It seemed like everyone enjoyed making the movie. All the actors did a great job in it. Robert Downey Jr. is Tony Stark, and I’m not the first to say it. Jeff Bridges performs Obadiah Stane with a subversively dangerous edge which of course culminates in the climactic final battle with the Iron Monger suit. Gwyneth Paltrow performs Pepper Potts as a loyal personal assistant whose down-to-earth trait that saves Tony Stark. Terrance Howard is James Rhodes who’s still in the military here, but is in all but name, Tony’s best friend.
  • Jarvis is the home artificial intelligence and not a human butler, but is a wonderful sarcastic character. He and his robotic minions (each mechanized widget seem to have different personalities) earn a cheer or two from me.
  • The movie is armoured suit porn. Each time Tony suited up, it was awesome. You don’t just hear typical hydraulic whines, but clockwork clicks and metal parts snapping into place or pivoting out.
Now this is a HUD

Now this is a HUD

  • Testing the suit’s propulsion system is a hoot and the moving parts on the external structure of the suit are actual control surfaces that help him steer it in the air.
  • When he goes into action against the terrorists in the Mark III red and gold suit, it’s a classic superhero against military bad guys. That is to say he owns them big time.
  • Rhodey looks at the grey Mark II suit and tells it, “Maybe later, baby”, which alludes to him eventually becoming the user of the grey military War Machine version of the suit.
  • The Ten Rings terrorist group in Afghanistan hints of the actual big bad of the story. Who actually wears ten rings in the Iron Man mythos?
  • Jon Favreau is Happy Hogan!
  • Tony thinks Stan Lee is Hugh Hefner! Or maybe Stan Lee thinks he’s Hugh Hefner. Hilarious.
  • And finally when the end credits start to roll beginning with “Directed by Jon Favreau”, what caused me to go into geek overload and had to be dragged by Ain out of the cinema a drooling mess on the floor, is the appearance of none other than Samuel L. Jackson as Ultimate Nick Fury (not regular Nick Fury, mind you, who is David Hasselhoff for some reason). And he actually says on-screen the magic “A” word.
The Mark II

The Mark II

The Bad

  • Not enough scenes to establish Tony as an actual superhero. There should be more scenes of him going out and helping the public however reluctantly he does it. This should give more emotional impact for his final press conference scene in the movie. (You know these superheroic scenes, such as the one in Superman the Movie where he spends the night fighting crime and getting a kitty out of a tree.)
  • There is a Raza in the movie who appears to run Ten Rings, but no Ch’od, Hepzibah and Corsair? OK, just kidding with that one.

Now go out and watch the movie!

Bonus image

So will Robert Downey Jr. be able to pull of an alcoholic Tony Stark? Let’s wait for the sequel to find out.[[image:ironman128cov.jpg:Demon In The Bottle:center:0]]

Posted in Comics, Movie Review and tagged , , , .

Khairul Hisham J. is a tabletop RPG artist, writer, proofreader, translator, teacher, grad student and learner-in-general.

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