Since its release last Tuesday I’ve been playing rather a lot of Grand Theft Auto IV, but I still don’t feel quite equipped to discuss it. The scope of the game is unlike anything you’ve played before with the incredible detail of the living Liberty City, and the sheer volume of things to do. Several hours in it feels like I’ve only scratched the surface. So far I’d say it’s easily one of the best games I have played in some time, but falls shy of the perfect tens with which critics have been lauding it. I’m told things happen further in that suddenly make those scores make sense…
Meanwhile this evening Kirsten and I headed out to see Iron Man. She needed some cajoling despite Robert Downey, Jr.’s presence. I’ve been eagerly awaiting this based on the charisma he exhibited in the trailers, coupled with some smart scriptwriting. What I was not prepared for was the best comicbook superhero film since Spider-man 2.
Maturely written but incredibly fun, it is utter fan service to those who love comicbook stories, while retaining an easy accessibility for the average moviegoer. Largely this is due to the disarming billionaire playboy attitude of Tony Stark, from which we see him emerge as he realises the damage caused by his company’s weapons manufacture. While the story is anti-war, the film avoids excessive preaching (nor will it change attitudes), focusing instead on a single man changing the course of his own life.
The flight sequences are exhilarating, the comedy is ingrained into the story and never feels tacked on. The only downside is that as an origins story the character development provides its own arc, leaving one to wonder about the quality of the inevitable sequel. Stay until the end of the credits and a short scene with a surprising cameo quells any fears about about a sloppy second outing — bring it on!