Iron Man exposes U.S. arms race


Iron Man

Directed by Jon Favreau

Paramount, 129 min,

Rated PG-13

If moviegoers get past the “Hollywoodisms” and the other distractions, they will learn something about the military industrial complex in the new film “Iron Man.”

Directed and produced by John Favreau, “Iron Man” is a major success. Fortunately, the message of the film is a direct response to out-of-control U.S. arms merchants.

The special effects, lighting, coloring and general computerization of characters in this film are almost bewildering, but just inside the realm of disbelief.

Jeff Bridges plays the role of the profit-thirsty corporate executive who has no redeeming qualities. He does a great acting job.

Robert Downey, Jr., in an Academy award-worthy role in my opinion, plays the role of Tony Stark, the heir to an arms merchant, with all the accompanying playboy failings. Downing the actor is far older than the actual character. But, he makes it work.

After an inspection of his corporation’s weaponry in Afghanistan Stark uncovers a dark side of his business, Stark Industries, that he was unaware of. He is captured and tortured, and goes through a transformation that moviegoers will find very interesting. It is all sort of predictable, but enjoyable.

Actor Terrence Howard plays the decorated Air Force general and the military advisor to Stark and does a fine acting job.

Gwyneth Paltrow does an admirable job playing Stark’s assistant and close confidante.

The movie is a simple moralist film, but has a strong message and hopefully most moviegoers get it because it’s an important one.

Marvel Studios, which produced “Spiderman” and other major productions, is also behind “Iron Man.” The gist of the film comes from a Marvel comic book series.

In the series, which started in the early Reagan period around 1980, the original writer described Iron Man as an anti-communist fighter. But over time that image has changed.

I never was a comic book reader, but delving into an Internet search, you’ll find the whole history of Iron Man and his sequels.

It was good to see Downey back at the top of his acting game especially after his heart rending personal struggles. I believe we have a lot to look forward to from him. We can only hope that he is offered acting roles like his performance as Charlie Chaplin.