Friday, May 16, 2008

Iron Man -- Ruth's take

I agree with Catattack -- yes, yes, thumb's up!

A couple of thoughts about this film, though.

One of the artful things here is that the film manages to include a fair amount of sex and violence that never makes it onto the screen, making it suitable for more kids while keeping an edge for the grownups. We see Tony Stark captured, then we see him in an Islamist hostage video. The video itself isn't that violent, but it hints at a whole vocabulary of threat and violence that adults will decode instantly. The film is rated PG-13, which is absolutely appropriate -- even with the clever writing, this is not a film for sensitive children or little ones!

The same is true for the Tony Stark backstory: clever use of casting allows them to show almost nothing of Stark's past, but by casting Robert Downey, Jr., all we have to see is a glass of Scotch, a disheveled tuxedo, and a few blondes to fill in the rest. Any adult viewer will instantly interleaf Downey's personal story into the film, so that what actually appears on screen is shorthand.

How well all of this will hold up over time is questionable, but it makes for a remarkable viewing experience in the present.


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