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Iron Man

Starring: Leslie Bibb, Jeff Bridges, Robert Downey Jr., Terrence Howard, Gwyneth Paltrow, Bill Smitrovich, Shaun Toub
Screenplay: Arthur Marcum, Matt Holloway
Director(s): Jon Favreau

MPAA Rating: Unavailable

Reviewed by: El Chavo - 04.24.06

Yo the most Dangerous Dominican EL MAYIMBE here with another script review.

Both EL CHAVO and me took a look at IRON MAN this past weekend. I gave him the script first to read because I was at the immigration protests.

Let's see what he had to say and then I will put in my two cents.

Iron Man
By Alred Gough & Miles Milliar
Revisions By David Hayter

Rating: B-: if I'm in a good mood.
C-: if I have enough money and food to survive another idiot as President (note: I did not say 'Republican')

The following is the Iron Man review:

Lets mention the other films that come from comic books and see where we're at:

  • Superman - original versions were cool, if dated — and the new one has superior potential.
    Batman - it started with a bang, then got gay, then got ultra cool with Batman Begins. Probably the only truly 'successful' transformation from comic to screen to date.
    Tank Girl - piece of crap, and I can't believe I remembered to mention it here.
    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - I was already too adolescent to truly appreciate it... but it touched... for bad or good, a generation.
    Constantine - uh... yeah... amazingly so-so.
    History of Violence - uh... k. thoroughly average much?
    V for Vendetta - well acted, poorly conceived... overall: boring and forgettable.
    The Hulk - yeah... could have been called 'The Big Fat Belly Flop'.

Obviously there are many other films that were adapted from comics, but how many were any good? Why the fascination with turning comics into films? Adult sentimentality? or is it the toys and Burger King cross-promotions... Don't you think comic book writers would have been book writers if they could write instead of draw?

Ok. So, lets get to it: Iron Man.

It started off great! Starring Tony Stark; young, rich, handsome — and most importantly — brilliant. This guy isn't just brilliant, he's über brilliant: he can sketch out devices along with algorithms that in the right hands would make the guy manning the science station on the starship Enterprise get wood. He's brilliant, but he drinks like a fish... unlike Aquaman.

The script comes in at a hefty 119 pages... that's 2 hours in movie-land-time, or about twenty minutes too long - for an action film. Don't get me wrong, the dialogue is smart, mature and relevant — so cutting needs to take place with some of the action sequences. HOWEVER. I wasn't necessarily sold on the idea of Iron Man making its way to the screen. The character is visually boring (might as well be a robot). The set-up is over done (rich, successful and handsome — PHYSICIST?). The whole story is one big cliche... but, I had fun (until about page 40... then again for a few pages here and there). It gave me hope that it could be something special - especially because the script is in development hell (which means that it was passed on....at some point). I really liked the Bugatti chase scene though...

The whole thing made me wonder what you can do with a film like this. Batman is dark and adult and that is clearly the benchmark for this type of film (Batman Begins, that is)... how do you start this future franchise off right?

I came to the following conclusions:

1. The film does not directly follow the comic book, not that it is a bad thing. I think the screenwriters chose to make this more relevant to 'today', but I'd definitely incorporate more of the original comic story line. Anthony Stark as a Vietnam POW, for example.

2. It needs to be dark - but different dark. Ultra realistic - to minimize the suspension of disbelief. Having been a physics major - there is a lot of room for improvement and I am SICK and TIRED of seeing Ninja Turtles logic in an adult setting.

3. Iron Man would make a badass movie - IF - IF - it were a character study: about the fragility of man despite his resourcefulness, how ultimately humanity is doomed to succumb to a most artificial evolution in the case of the ends justifying the means. Keep the action powerful, but more subtle and visually stunning.

4. I'm working on the script re-write, pronto.

Pot brownies anyone? hehe.

Iron Man B- A decent script, but not good enough.

El Mayimbe here. So what do I think? Well, I have a theory on why this wasn't made yet - it is the story line that killed the Hulk. That whole father vs. son thing. Here we got Howard Stark vs. Tony Stark - just like in The Hulk - father vs. son. David Hayter wrote Hulk and I guess he borrowed from that and poured that same situation into Iron Man. I prefer the whole father vs. son thing here than in the hulk but I guess the suits didn't think so. Howard Stark is the main bad guy in this draft. He profits by stealing Tony's designs and weaponizing them. I don't read the comic book so I know very little about IRON MAN except from the sixties cartoon and that this pretty boy scientist has an alcohol problem and a bad heart and a brilliant mind. Tom Cruise has been forever attached to this thing and he wanted to do a marvel character movie different than from what has come before. I guess he read this, saw THE HULK, jumped on Toby Emmerich's couch and was like, "Oh Hell No! They did that whole father vs. son thing in The Hulk!" The rights have reverted back to Marvel so we shall see what further development they do on this.

For all you IRON MAN geeks out there - here is what I can tell you - the Mark I and Mark II armor are in here and Howard Stark dons the WARMACHINE armor in the big climatic finale vs. Tony in his Iron Man Mark II armor. It read pretty cool to me.

I have to agree with my little buddy here EL Chavo, the script is a B a decent script but obviously it wasn't good enough to get made.

I wonder what the hard-core Iron Man fans would have thought of this.

Anyways…

Hasta el proximo capitulo…

YO SOY EL MAYIMBE!

mayimbe@latinoreview.com


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