The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum

IRON MAN (2008) ****

I’ve been up for almost twenty hours now and have to be at work early tomorrow (technically this) morning, so I’ll make this review short and sweet.


Me and the wife made like a cigarette truck and hauled our butts up to the Diamond State Drive-In Theater, Delaware’s only drive-in ( to see a double feature of Iron Man and The Forbidden Kingdom. 


Since Marvel Comics got tired of the big studios messing up their potentially lucrative superhero properties, starting with Iron Man, they’re doing it all by themselves now.  First time up to the plate, they knock it out of the park. 


The alcoholic, womanizing industrial billionaire and high tech weapons manufacturer Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) gets kidnapped in Afghanistan by a radical group of terrorists and gets coerced into building them a weapon of mass destruction.  Tony says uh-uh and builds himself a suit of armor instead and equips it with a machine gun, a flamethrower and a rocket pack, and precedes to do a reverse 9/11 on them asshole Afghanis.   When he returns home, he modifies his armor and sets out to help people instead of profit off of them, much to the chagrin of his business partner Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges).  Stane steals Stark’s blueprints and builds himself his own suit and the two go toe to toe for the final showdown. 


We’re talking the cinematic equivalent of Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, here.


In fact, this movie features some of the finest scenes of men dressed in robotic suits kicking the crap out of each other since Robocop 2.  (And if you all know me, you know of my unhealthy love for Robocop 2, which means that last sentence is nothing short of the highest praise I can give by law.)


Iron Man is an origin story so there’s going to be more story than action, but that’s okay cuz I’m kind of a sucker for origin stories.  But if you want action, Stark’s escape from Afghanistan wearing his clunky armor is nothing short of awesome.  Although nothing else in the movie comes quite as close to topping that scene, it’s still one of the coolest things you’ve ever seen in a superhero movie, period.


Director Jon Favreau (who also has a small role) does an excellent job blending the effects with the human element of the story and gets some truly great performances from his actors.  Downey is simply fantastic and everyone else around him is rock solid too.  A movie like this one thrives on supporting characters and people like Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow and Terence Howard help Downey out immensely and allow him to shine that much brighter.  Oh, and stay glued to your seat until after the credits.  You’ll be glad you did. 


As far as comic book movies go, it’s not quite up to par with say, The Shadow, but it’s still much better than most of the stuff Marvel has been making lately and good enough for it to fly straight to Number 2 on The Video Vacuum Top Ten of 2008, right below Rambo and just above Shine a Light. 


After Iron Man was over, The Forbidden Kingdom was up next and even though I already reviewed it a while back, I’ll hit the highlights again:


Jackie Chan fights Jet Li.  You want more reasons to see this flick?  How about Jet Li pissing in Jackie Chan’s face?  You’re sold now I bet aren’t you?  How about Jackie Chan doing some of the best drunken boxing since The Legend of Drunken Master?  Have you got your tickets yet?  Do the words Best Kung Fu Movie of 2008 mean anything to you?  What if I told you that The Forbidden Kingdom is also the odds on favorite to win the coveted Video Vacuum Award for Best Screenplay for having Jackie Chan say the immortal line, “Crouching Tiger, Spanking Monkey!”  If you couldn’t figure it out by now, I’m talking about *** ½ and a rock steady Number 5 spot on the Top Ten. 


Do yourself a favor and take someone you love to the drive-in tonight. 

Tags: action, comic book movie, drive-in reviews, i, samuel l. jackson

  • GHOST IN THE SHELL (2017) *** ½

    I’m not really an anime guy. I wouldn’t know a Ghost in the Shell from an Akira. All I know is that this movie, based on the beloved Japanese…


    I know what you’re thinking. Caligula had just about every kind of debauchery known to man. Now along comes Caligula 2: The “Untold” Story. How…


    A cult leader kills some people and goes to jail for his crimes. He gets out fifteen years later and it doesn’t take long before he kills again.…

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened