Monday, May 05, 2008

Wayne gale on a downward spiral

I read the reviews of Iron Man because I had no intention whatsoever of seeing it. When I learned that Robert Downey Jr. played the main character and got rave reviews, I though, hmmmm, maybe I should take poor little John Bob to see it. Robert Downey Jr. is one of my favorite actors of all time. He should have won an Oscar for Natural Born Killers, Richard III, and just about everything else he's been in.

But then I remembered a quip I read about Ian McKellen and X-Men. Ian McKellen, you may recall, gave what was perhaps the greatest cinematic performance of all time in Richard III, and has had a quite distinguished career on stage and screen in addition to that masterpiece. Anyway, the quip was "Featuring Ian McKellen as Magneto." The sadmess of that statement nearly brings me to tears. And don't even ask me about "Featuring Sir Ian McKellen as Gandolf." Makes me want to puke. It does.

At least we can be thankful that so many great actors are dead and buried. Would you really want to see Sir Laurence Olivier as the Sub Mariner? Or Orson Welles as Thor? Or even John Wayne as Quicksilver? No, god no.

So putting the matter in the proper perspective, I realized that I did not want to see "Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man" and swore to myself that I would not sully his memory by seeing it.

Unfortunately, I was making myself this promise as I was on my way to pick up John Bob after school And what do you think was the first thing out of his mouth? "Dad, can we go see Iron Man?"

So all right, I'm not one of those parents that says yes to everything. I would never take him to see Transformers or 99 out of 100 other summer blockbusters, but what can I say? I'm a sucker for the work of Robert Downey Jr.

Plot spoiler ahead. Stop reading right now if you don't want to know how much the movie sucked, just like you'd think a super hero move would. And the really scary thing was at the end, after sitting through the credits. Samuel Jackson appeared and threatened a sequel. When the guy from Snakes on a Plane and Big Black Scary Mambo, or whatever, threatens to appear in a movie, it's time to be afraid. Very, very afraid.