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HEAVY METAL

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Thu, May 1, 2008

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

MOVIE REVIEW: IRON MAN

HEAVY METAL By Kurt Fuhrman and John Grafman Young boys and teenagers alike (okay, many an adult and some girls too) at some point read Marvel comic books. Spider Man, The Fantastic Four, Thor, The Hulk, Captain America - the list of comics is endless. Dreaming of being a super-hero with missions to protect and save the world is a classic childhood past time. No matter how horrible the enemies are or impossible the mission, it is inevitable that the good guys prevail. Saving humanity, the damsel in distress, and all the other trappings makes being a super hero sounds like a pretty good job, if you can get it.

The latest feature film from Marvel Studios and Paramount Pictures is the dynamic and masterful picture Iron Man. Derived from the Marvel comic character with a few twists to the original super-hero, Paramount brings to life Tony Stark, the illustrious billionaire playboy, genius and CEO of Stark Industries - an American weapons design and manufacturing company. Under duress, Stark creates his best invention yet, Iron Man. Iron Man is part human, part robot, and is one tough mother. But of course, one can't have a super-hero without a demonic archenemy that takes every measure to spoil his (or her) goals and missions. Iron Man's adversary is surprising, and it makes the movie even more entertaining. Robert Downey Jr. brilliantly portrays Stark. He has the packed house riveted to the screen from the beginning until the very end in perhaps one of his best performances yet.

Jeff Bridges comes off credible, and plays well as a board member at Stark Industries. Co-stars Terrence Howard and Gwyneth Paltrow round out the leading roles and add comic relief and a tinge of romantic interest. Besides the seamless acting, the CGI is flawless. Just looking at the endless digital animators in this movie's credits shows the magnitude of those that put in solid and often under-appreciated performances. Like many other comics that have taken to the big screen, it's the digital side that makes this movie. Without it, this movie would be impossible to develop in any meaningful way. There are many good reasons why people see comic book hero movies. One has to do with what Tony Stark has in his garage. As we grow up, we start daydreaming about all sorts of fun toys - maybe a Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini, or perhaps a Maserati.

So what does a billionaire Tony Stark actually have in his garage? It turns out he has a few motorcycles, a 1932 Ford flathead roadster, and a few fun cars like the Shelby Cobra, the Saleen S7R and a hot rod or two. There is also a Tesla electric roadster. Now why in the world would a billionaire own an electric car (like he can't afford the price of gas)? When this car moves from 0-to-60 in just 3.9 seconds, with 220 miles between charges, no excuses are needed. Tony's personal favorite is the Audi R8 - an exotic sports car that encapsulates amazing performance with world-class sophistication. The Audi has a 4.2-liter V8 with 420 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque, sending this German sports car from 0-to-62 mph in a mere 4.6 seconds and an exhilarating top speed of 187 mph. The R8 is a blend of both super car and everyday driver without sacrifice, the perfect choice for the youthful billionaire on the go. While one can out-grow daydreaming of comic super-heroes, fantasizing of super cars never grows old.

R8s arrive at Grauman's Chinese Theater for the Iron Man premiere See the trailers at ironmanmovie.marvel.com or paramount.com.

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