I could care less if a faded and jaded country star ever had an affair (while underage or at any time) with a big time baseball player. If a teenage Disney sensation slaps her fans in the face by posing for a trashy cover on a national magazine. It makes no difference to me if flashy actresses and kinky socialites flame out on drugs and booze or if an actor in a respected crime series tanks his career with heroin and a pharmacopia of other substances. Frankly, none of those stories merits any longer mention than I've just made of them here.
We create icons in this country like shooters posting paper targets on a range and blast away at them with the same stony-faced glee. The difference is, target shooters just want to throw a little lead and punch a few holes, while many of us ache to see celebrity careers shredded.
When I first became aware of Robert Downey Jr., he was already self-immolating with drugs and I dismissed him as just another burnout who'd be found with his brain pan-fried in an alley some day.
After tonight, boy am I glad he went straight.
Iron Man is a damn fine movie but, more than that, it's a testament to a guy who showed up all of us who wrote him off as just another Hollywood loser.
Iron Man has heart. It rockets along from the opening scenes all the way to an after-the-credits bit that, while downplayed, suggests a terrific sequel is in the works. Downey Jr's Tony Stark is a pleasure to watch if for no other reason than the jubilation mixed with boyish wonder shining on his face when he brings his super creature alter-ego to life. In much the same way as he resurrected his career.
Heres to a guy who deserves the round of applause he received in the theatre tonight. Thanks for bringing us a new hero. And on your terms, not ours.