Tag Archives: superhero

Movie Review: Iron Man 3

I saw Iron Man 3 last week. It continues (or perhaps completes) the saga of Tony Stark, billionaire industrialist, and super-hero crime-fighter, a.k.a Iron Man (played by Robert Downey Jr.). And, of course, no super-hero is complete without a super-villain to oppose him. In this installment of the series, the villain in question is the Mandarin, a slippery and insidious terrorist of unknown origin who has the entire country on alert. He is widely-known for hacking national broadcasts and issuing threats and ultimatums to the country and the President of the United States. However, no one can seem to find him. He is an enigma, a ghost, lurking about every corner waiting to strike.

 

Then, one of Tony’s friends is injured in what is believed to be a strike by the Mandarin. Tony Stark, in a brash fit of anger challenges the Mandarin in the press, and even gives out his home address. The Mandarin promptly rises to the challenge and blows up Tony’s house, nearly killing him in the process. But that is just the beginning. Now the gloves are off and it is Iron Man versus the Mandarin. But first, Tony must find his foe. He tracks him across the country searching for the elusive villain’s lair. Slowly, he begins to unravel the clever web of deceptions the Mandarin has built to protect his identity. It all culminates in an enormous climactic battle between the two men … and a lot of iron man suits. Pepper Potts is placed in danger, as is the President. Will Tony emerge triumphant? Or will Iron Man finally go down in flames. You’ll have to watch the movie to find out.

 

Strengths: well, it was a solid action movie. The special effects were excellent, the explosions were numerous (perhaps, too numerous at times), and the story-line was clear and relatively easy to follow. I liked the twist it had. The villain was portrayed as truly formidable, yet his origin was explained in a plausible way (insofar as super-hero movies can be plausible). Weaknesses: as noted above, there may have been a few too many explosions. Although the movie was decent, I wouldn’t call it great. I opted not to join friends for a second viewing, and the only reason I might purchase it in the future is to complete my collection. I’m not quite sure what it was, but the movie was lacking something. Perhaps, I have just outgrown the super-hero type movie (I am forty-one, after all). Explosions and fist fights are only so entertaining for so long.

 

Ultimately, I’ll give this movie three and a half stars out of five.

Old Movie Review: The Incredible Hulk (2008)

The Hulk was pretty much my favorite superhero as a kid. I used to watch the old TV program religiously. Loved the haunting melody they played at the end. I’ve been waiting for an Incredible Hulk movie for years. The first one, “The Hulk” with Eric Bana (I think) was disappointing. This one, with Edward Norton, was not. A much better movie. And the cool thing is, the way the set it up, it doesn’t supplant the first movie, unless you want it too. If you liked the “Hulk” with Eric Bana, then you can choose to view this as a sequel, just with a different actor. That movie ended with Dr. Banner in South America. This movie begins (although there is a brief recap of Banner’s accident in the opening credits) with Dr. Banner in South America. So, is it the sequel to the Hulk or not? You decide.

 

Anyway, Dr. Bruce Banner was a scientist working on a gamma ray project when he was exposed to gamma radiation (of his own accord), and altered. Now, whenever he gets angry, he transforms into a huge green hulk, a beast of all muscle, and incredible strength. Of course, a certain general in the military wants to take the Hulk, find out what makes him tick, and replicate it for military purposes. Hence, poor Dr. Banner is constantly on the run, throughout the world, trying to avoid capture and potential vivisection. He’s also looking for a cure. One scientist in the U.S. is secretly helping him, and it is through that connection that he is drawn back into the United States. Of course, a superhero is nothing unless he has a supervillain to square off against. In this case, one of the general’s men, agrees to biological manipulation and ultimately turns into a horrible monster known as the Abomination, a beast so powerful, he can even give the Hulk a run for his money.

 

That’s the story in a nutshell. Basically, the Incredible Hulk is a Smash-Fest. But a well-done Smash-Fest. When I was a kid, I always watched the TV program waiting for the Hulk to appear. He usually appeared once in the beginning, then once again at the end. In this movie, the Hulk appears three times. And each time is pretty great. Satisfies the inner anarchist in all of us. If you are looking for dramatic plot, serious discourse, and well-scripted dialogue… you might like this movie. The dialogue was good, there were some clever lines, and what can be more dramatic than an unstoppable Abomination ravaging Harlem. But it’s the slug-fest that defines this movie. That was the whole point of the movie; that is the whole point of the Hulk. “Rawr… Hulk… SMASH!” If you are looking for chaos and mayhem and a big green fella kicking tail, then this is the movie for you.

 

I’ll give it four stars out of five.

Movie Review: The Amazing Spiderman

I was a little slow getting to see The Amazing Spiderman movie; I didn’t get around to it until Monday night. It’s not that I have anything against the Spiderman franchise—in fact, I was very fond of Spiderman I and Spiderman II with Tobey Maguire. The fact that they were changing actors, and altering the character somewhat, made me a little more apathetic toward this latest installment. Plus, the fiasco that was Spiderman III also stood as an obstacle to me seeing it. So, it became a I’ll-see-it-if-I’m-in-the-right-mood movie.

 

Well, the right mood eventually came along and I saw it. And I was kind of disappointed. Although it may have been better than the Spiderman III film with Tobey Maguire, it fell far short of Spiderman I and Spiderman II. First off, I think they spent too much time on the development of the backstory; I mean, it must have been forty-five minutes or so before Peter Parker was even bitten by the spider. They went through a lot of stuff that was just echoes of what we’d already seen in Spiderman I. They changed a few things here and there, like the scenario that led up to Uncle Ben being shot, but not enough to give the film the much needed extra juice. The film was long, I think around two and a quarter hours, and a lot of that could have been cut without losing contiguity.

 

They also changed the character; they made him more in line with the original comic book character. Gone are the organic web shooters that were in “Maguire’s” wrists. They went back to the Peter Parker designed mechanical web shooters. That wasn’t a flaw, or anything, it just means they were starting over from scratch. And in that light, I think the movie came out too soon. The Tobey Maguire films are too fresh in my mind. I’m sure little kids (the real target audience) won’t mind, because many of them won’t see the previous films, but it is kind of annoying to me, if for no other reason than that I was just too familiar with the character development. There just wasn’t anything new. They also replaced Mary Jane with another one of Peter Parker’s girlfriends. Again, not really an issue, but I had it set in my head (no doubt from Spiderman I), that Peter had known MJ for quite some time. And in this movie, she never made an appearance. Again, that might have been less of an issue if I were to see this movie, say, five years from now, instead of now.

 

Anyway, I’ll give it a whole two and a half out of five stars. I thought it dragged and it just did not deliver.