When I heard the news that Iron Man was going to the big screen, I smirked. I dig character driven super-hero flicks--Batman Begins and The X-Men flicks are my faves-- but I despise movies that rely too heavily on special effects to tell a story.
You know what I mean: you saw Hulk too, didn't ya?
So when Iron Man went into production, I scoffed. And the reason I scoffed was that I expected this:
I was more hopeful when I saw Robert Downey, Jr. was to star as Tony Stark. He can play conflicted really well, so the casting seemed right. But still, I was skeptical: I predicted it would make $100 million, but would be on par with Daredevil, Elektra or Superman Returns. A major disappointment.
I was wrong.
The "clunk" and "silly" I expected never happened. In fact, this is what I got instead:
Robert Downey, Jr. is a big reason Iron Man works so well. His Tony Stark is materialistic, greedy and obsessive, but still is able to connect with the audience a sense of vulnerability and realism. Downey makes this movie work as much as--and maybe more than--the incredible effects.
I knew this movie was special when Mrs. Film Geek called her friend later that night and, when her friend asked her what movie she had seen, began talking about the flick with the kind of excitement and geeky enthusiasm that the makers of Hulk could only wish for.