The time is almost upon us, The Avengers hits UK screens in a couple of days and in honour of its release I’m watching all 5 pre team up Marvel movies. The first in the franchise is perhaps the most suitable for membership to the Sunday Afternoon Movies Club.
In an age of dark brooding superhero origin movies, Iron Man was light hearted and dare I use the word sassy, yes I dare, it was sassy and the script and direction was slick and confident.
Robert Downey Jr was an inspired piece of casting, not an obvious choice but he would just be the first of many left field casting choices that paid off for Marvel. The troubled actor puts in a winning performance as Tony Stark, in hindsight I can’t think of anybody else who could of played him.
Director Jon Favreau (who also appears as Stark’s driver Hogan) was another unusual choice to bring this movie to the big screen. His previous work as a director have varied from the so so Made, to the madcap Elf, to underrated kids movie Zathura. However, with Iron Man he hits his stride and there’s no faulting his capability to helm a big studio movie, but Cowboys and Aliens was a bit of a misstep.
Jeff Bridges is one of my all time favourite actors and he is glorious as Obadiah Stane, Tony’s late father’s best friend, business partner and surrogate father figure to him. Stane’s journey into madness is gleefully played, and Bridges clearly loved playing the villain.
My only complaint is the overly cluttered final battle between Stark and a suited Stane duke it out in a machine on machine death match.
Once the credits are fast forwarded, we get the first of those teasing scenes that have helped connect the dots to the movie that is out on Thursday (in the UK). Our first glimpse of Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury sent us geeks into meltdown. At the time there was no way of knowing Iron Man’s success so this could have been just a neat little nod to a movie that never happened.
But those clever people at Marvel had a master-plan from the beginning, although the next installment of the Avengers franchise wasn’t quite the same success story.
The light touch approach to a superhero movie doesn’t work for all, The Green Lantern and 2 Fantastic Four movies are proof of that, but when all the elements are fully formed you occasionally gets a movies as enjoyable and charming as Iron Man.
Avengers Week continues tomorrow with The Incredible Hulk