Written by Films

Iron Man

In a turn up for the books, I’ve now seen two of the summer’s blockbusters, and you know what, Iron Man’s not too bad at all (this week’s major title is Sex and the City, and having not seen a single episode of the TV series, I’m certainly not bothered about the film). Iron Man came out a few weeks ago now, but I’ve only just got around to seeing it, and I really was pleasantly surprised.
I suppose the best thing about it is Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark, a brilliant engineer and head of Stark Industries. We see him captured by an outfit in Afghanistan who aren’t the Taliban, and aren’t Al Qaeda. But they’re a bit like both, except they’re armed to the teeth and are going around killing villagers in Afghanistan for no discernible reason. Downey plays the character in a relaxed manner, and he just does what he wants.
Anyway, before you know it, Stark’s modelled himself on MacGyver, and has built a flying rocket man. Back in the US he develops it and is a changed man. Unfortunately for him, his business partner is an evil Jeff Bridges. We’re tipped off pretty early that he’s evil because he’s bald and has a beard. Stark’s aided and abetted by Gwyneth Paltrow who plays his long suffering PA.
The plots implausible, but the action sequences are good, and the big set pieces largely don’t go over the top. There’s no unnecessarily enormous SF spectaculars that just bore the audience (cf. the third X-Men film), and what there is feels pretty visceral, aside from some slightly dubious flying sequences.
As a piece of cinema it’s pretty good. And it’s really worth staying through all the credits right until the very end where there’s a great coda, which sets up the sequel very nicely indeed.
Just one thing to note. This film’s a 12A, which the BBFC defines thus:

Suitable for 12 years and over. No-one younger than 12 may see a ‘12A’ film in a cinema unless accompanied by an adult. No-one younger than 12 may rent or buy a ‘12’ rated video or DVD. Responsibility for allowing under-12s to view lies with the accompanying or supervising adult.

Now that doesn’t stop children younger than 12 going in, but it’s down to parents to determine whether their kids are mature enough for the film. I wouldn’t pretend that this is easy unless you pre-screen the film yourself. But you should be aware. The film is not going to be PG rated. Iron Man has a nasty opening sequence which sees soldiers shot, there’s a torture scene, Robert Downey Jr’s character is shown to be something of a playboy and all told there are more than a few scenes that younger children will find scary.
I know this because the lady in front of me had brought her kids along, the oldest who must have around 12 or 13, and the youngest being 5 or 6. Unsurprisingly the youngest girl was pretty scared on multiple occasions and her mum had to take her out of the cinema several times. This film is simply not suitable for such children and she really shouldn’t have taken her youngest to this title.