06 May 2008

Iron Man: a movie review

Ok, I admit it. I'm a sucker for superhero movies. Save for Punisher and Elektra, I have watched the Batmans , Supermans and X-Men and eagerly anticipate whatever Marvel or DC Comics will pull from its hat in the future. And though Iron Man isn't exactly one of my favorite heroes, the teasers were enough to get me reeled in, hook, line and sinker.

Well... I have watched the movie twice and I must say that I really like how the story of Iron Man was told. It wasn't all eye candy, although I should give credit to the cinematic crew for creating such a hi-tech environment that's not at all impossible, what with the recent developments in AI and virtual reality.

I must say, I am indeed impressed at how these two technologies have been fused together to allow for full human interaction with system design and analysis. Tony Stark, a certified genius for creating electronic marvels, accomplishes his feats with his robotic arm assistants and virtual reality, 3D interface. I am awed enough to have my interest sparked once again in robotics and AI. Yes, I'm a frustrated computer engineer (that course was not yet offered when I was in college - don't ask what year that was).

Iron Man gives us a glimpse of how man exerts his power of technology to bring either productivity, or destruction. Tony Stark makes a 360-degree turn on his outlook of life as he becomes entrenched in a trap which he inadvertently helped create: a trap of demise and cruelty. And using the skills that he possess, he creates a force to combat that evil.

This is a feel-good movie, and the action scenes do not disappoint. No mutants or space people this time, just humans and their hi-tech toys, making this film truly believable. I have not read any Iron Man comic title, but I believe that Robert Downey, Jr. did an exceptional job at depicting the complex character that's Tony Stark. It was a pleasure seeing Gwyneth Paltrow as well as the faithful assistant Pepper Potts. And Jeff Bridges! My, has he grown old! Or was his character simply meant to be that way?

Overall I love the plot, the eye candy, the characters, the cars, the computers, the robots. The war scenes where the people hide in houses and the enemy throws bombs inside or riddles it with bullets even reminded me of the book I read about World War II in Manila. I wish there was an Iron Man back then.
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