Metropolis (1927)
Fritz Lang
German

“There can be no understanding between the hand and the brain unless the heart acts as mediator.”

 

MetropolisWhen cinema was in its infancy during the teens and the twenties, many pioneers sought to provide it a definite shape and even assemble various tools and benchmarks for the decades of filmmakers to come. This led to the formation of various cinematic and narrative techniques… Read More

Question: “What kind of film do you want to see?”
American 1: “I want a Superhero movie”
American 2: “I want an Iraqi war movie”
American 3: “I want to things go BOOM, BANG and CLANK, with lotsa cool special FX”

Thus, Iron Man was born (Sounds like the perfect specimen for dubbing into all languages, from Bhojpuri to Tamil, doesn’t it?).

Summer is here and as usual, it has brought along with it a string of action flicks. This time around we get to see 3 comic book adaptations. Jon Favreau’s Iron Man is the first of the three and has made it big at the box office. With a series of duds by Marvel after Spider-Man 2 and a title as lame as this, one cannot hope for much.

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) has got everything one wants – the style, the brains, the bucks and a lovely assistant Virginia Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow). He builds WMDs for the American soldiers fighting all over the world. On a trip to Afghanistan, he is kidnapped and forced to build a super-powerful missile from scratch in a cave. Instead, with the help of a faithful assistant (who obviously can speak English and is obviously going to die), Stark builds a metallic suit and manages to escape. On return, he ponders how his own inventions have been used against him and decides to end it all. But his business partner Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) has other plans. Thus ensues a battle between technologies and (naturally but unavoidably) the good guy beats up the baddie and all’s well.

This could have been another run-of-the-mill superhero movie if not for the character and performance of Robert Downey Jr. The alter egos of all the superheroes hitherto have been wimps whereas Tony Stark is charismatic, brilliant, provides most of the clever lines in the film and can-​survive-​without-​superhero-​costume. Robert Downey Jr. does a great job with his looks and actions that reflect the don’t-care attitude of Stark. Gwyneth Paltrow‘s character as Ms. Pepper does not seem to be well delineated. She means business in some scenes whereas in others, she is a bumbling young girl. Jeff Bridges (The Dude) is good but just reminds me of Goldfinger during the last part of the film.

The screenplay moves from predictability, hovers over tautness for sometime and goes back again to immense predictability. Be alert for the best moment in the film which I will not spoil by mentioning. Special effects galore, one has to admit the film does not lack action at all. A lot of effort has gone into the detail of the armor and flight scenes. The sets of the Stark’s laboratory do not give the complete feel of a superhero movie but are good nevertheless. The film has underplayed the War on terrorism and the politics behind it even though blatant caricaturing of the Jehadis is done.

Lots of bangs, booms and clashes agreed, the film does not give fresh entertainment and succumbs to become yet another bead in the string of Marvel flops. Save Robert Downey Jr., the film has not much to offer and thoroughly over hyped. But if you want some 2 hours of time to kill, Iron Man may be a decent watch to keep you awake.

Verdict: