I think that any movie that positions Jeff Lebowski (Jeff Bridges) as one of the central antagonists for a sophisticated metal superhero named Iron Man has got some serious problems. Did Iron Man pee on Jeff's favorite rug?
Okay, so Bridges plays Obadiah Stane. He and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) are business partners in Stark Industries, the world's leading producer of high-tech weaponry. Still, I just see Jeff Lebowski. I don't care how fat or bald Bridges gets, there are just some characters from which actors can never escape.
Also, a superhero movie done well does not equal a good movie. "Iron Man" is still that superhero movie that winks at the audience as if both the subject and the issues involved are nothing more than a joke. This is interesting considering director Jon ("Swingers") Favreau fills the movie with contemporary commentary on weapons manufacturing, terrorism, war, peace, and what have you.
Iron Man's origin story begins with Tony Stark getting captured in some third world crap hole (probably Afghanistan) and building the Iron Man suit as a means of escape. He then realizes that all his wealth comes from being a merchant of death and that his weapons aren't used for good purposes. He returns to the U.S. and with the support of his trusty assistant, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), and good friend, Col. James Rhodes (Terrence Howard), redesigns the Iron Man suit to fight evil. That's when we learn that Lebowski is the real nemesis and the whole movie goes to shit.
The Dude builds his own suit, which is lots bigger than Stark's suit and tries to crush him with it, revealing a rather serious flaw in Stark's design. Lebowski truly becomes the Big Lebowski and he and Iron Man have it out.
"Iron Man" is just another in a long line of "wink wink nudge nudge" superhero films that's poised for a series of sequels that will undoubtedly obliterate any notion of originality this first film might have had.
To spread the word about this Iron Man review on Twitter.To get instant updates of Mr. Cranky reviews, subscribe to our RSS feed.