Monday, October 20, 2008

The Battle For War Machine

JA from MNPP here, curious what my fellow TFE readers think about the recasting of Terrence Howard as Rhodes (who's probably set to become War Machine at some point in the sequel-ized future) in Iron Man by one Don Cheadle.

I come at this from a slightly different perspective than the general consensus I think, since I wasn't much of a fan of Iron Man at all. Which is weird because I'm always clamoring for less serious-mindedness when it comes to comic book adaptations, but then this one came along with boozer/user antihero Tony Stark and it didn't sit right with me. Chalk it up to an occasional distaste for RDJ - I liked him in Tropic Thunder, but found him to be, well, kind of boring here - as well as a really vivid, I-still-feel-it-in-my-gut hatred of the movie's lame-ass climax, which was... lame. Really really lame. Like, on a scale from Treat Williams in The Phantom to Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight, Jeff Bridges makes Nick Nolte looks like Alfred Molina! (A cookie to anyone that follows the gist of that sentiment.)

All that's besides the point here though, since we're talking Terrence Howard... whom I barely remember in the flick. Which I'm taking as a good thing, since I normally hate Howard in everything, and since I don't feel anything regarding his performance in the film it must mean he gave an alright, less mannered than usual performance. Right? Course then went on to express the insane notion that everyone was holding their breath for the favorite superhero ever War Machine to show up... humility, thy name is not Terrence Howard.

But I love me some Don Cheadle. Buck Swope, y'all! (Look at him porning it up in that picture over there! I never knew he had that in him.)

So the place I stand with regards to this news is an ambiguous one. It does sound like The Powers That Be treated Howard kinda unfairly if he's to be believed. But on the other hand, Don Cheadle! I just don't know. What about y'all?

And on a seperate but related note, doesn't it suck that we've got two black actors in one superhero-movie role while it's otherwise basically a total wash with respect to minorities in these movies?



you know... i had no idea Terrence Howard was disliked by so many until i saw Glenn's rage over at stale popcorn.

who knew?

anyway. iron man never had the greatest rogues gallery anyway. Why are Spider-man's and Batman's so superior to virtually every other superhero's?

agreed on the climax of iron man. What a strangely empty final setpiece that was. particularly for a film that well regarded by so many. But i still have hope for the sequel. Look how much X-Men improved in its second go round! from generic battles to real intensity. (never mind the third. always never mind the third)

Jason Adams said...

I was going to accuse my dislike of Howard (besides the weird obnoxious baby-wipes-endorsing real-world persona he's cultivated, of course) entirely on that bellwether of my eternal disdain, the film Crash... but then I remembered that Cheadle was in Crash too! I'd honestly completely mind-wiped myself of that fact. It was the Thandie/Terrence/Matt Dillon portion of that movie that annoyed me the most though, so my vitriol aimed at Howard after that film was higher than what I had towards Cheadle's part, which I barely remember (even though I sort of suspect Cheadle's role was larger, wasn't it?).

Anyway, I also really did not like Hustle & Flow, so there's that as well.

But I agree that Part 2's are always the superhero-flicks to catch, so who knows. And as an olive branch to Iron Man, I really liked Gwyneth in it.

Tony Dayoub said...

I just don't think Howard conveys the required "machismo" for Rhodey. I'm not sure Cheadle would either, though he is a step in the right direction.

If Wesley Snipes wouldn't have already played Blade... he is more of who I see in Rhodey, or even a Larry Fishburne... someone with more heft.

Anonymous said...

Terrence Howard was brilliant and devastating in "Hustle & Flow." That'll always give him some kind of consideration in my book, though from what I hear about him, he's a class-A weirdo. I wasn't interested in "Iron Man", so I don't care about this casting change, but I wanted to give some props to TH, since it's become routine to dump on him whenever possible.

Glenn Dunks said...

True fact: If you type in "hate terrence howard" into Google my blog, Stale Popcorn, is the first result. I guess that figures since I've done quite a few entries on my loathing for this man. I liked him in Hustle & Flow although I seem to have forgotten everything about that movie and I apparently didn't think he was terrible in The Brave One, but - again - I don't remember anything about him in that movie so perhaps it was just the fact that he wasn't a complete and utter douchey bad actor in that movie that gave off the illusion of being "not bad".

He is such a horrible human being though so any chance to not have to listen to his annoying whiney voice (which, considering his music career, he probably thinks is sexy and alluring - UGH!) in the second Iron Man movie I'll take. And especially for Don Cheadle who I actually like as an actor and as a person.

Everyone should just be reminded that he is the same man who has been in: Glitter, Idlewild, Pride, Ray, Get Rich or Die Tryin', Awake (with Jessica Alba and Hayden Christensen), August Rush, Crash, Angel Eyes, Big Momma's House and Hart's War amongst other direct-to-DVD stuff you've never heard of. Not exactly the most quality-laden resume.


Glenn Dunks said...

Hmmm, I know I just came off as quite irrational, but I just really don't like him.

Anonymous said...

I hope I get the cookie. Nick Nolte in "The Hulk" is just a squished... guy... okay... next to Molina. "Spider-Man 2" rules.

Janice said...

I really think the last sentence of that post is the thing that should be generating more conversation - shouldn't it?

Girodet said...

Wow, didn’t realize Terrance was so disliked. I was crushed to hear he wasn’t going to be in the sequel. Don Cheadle, of course, is a high caliber actor, but I loved Terrance. He has such a wonderful wounded presence that he can draw on, which to me can add such dimension to a roll. Of course, Crash is one of my favorite movies of all time. However, my favorite Terrance movie would be The Brave. I loved watching him and Jodie Foster in that movie. My earliest experience with Terrance was in another favorite movie of mine Angel Eyes. Terrance seems like such a self less and giving actor when he relates to his piers on screen. I just don’t understand the dislike.

Aaron C. Thomas said...

Terrence Howard was terrible in Iron Man. And I liked the film. It's just that all of the other actors know that they are in a kind of campy version of real life. They are playing free-wheeling and fun. Howard is not.
Howard is working hard in that film, (searching for his through-line I suppose.) But it's altogether too serious for the movie, which doesn't really want to be serious. And so Howard's performance reads as flat in Iron Man. Like Katie Holmes in Batman Begins, you want to watch something else whenever she's on screen.

Anonymous said...

"Hustle & Flow" proved to me that Terrence Howard can be a great actor. He might not choose the best projects for himself, but he has chosen some strong ones, and I give him the benefit of the doubt with him being labeled as "difficult", which has nothing to do with his work product in films. I don't hate him at all as an artist in any capacity.

Glenn said...

My problem is that I don't think he has any presence whatsoever. He always seems so passive (it the voice I tellsya) and uninterested and in Iron Man he just felt all wrong.

Diff'rent strokes.

Anonymous said...

Sign the virtual petition to get Terrence back in Iron Man!! All signatures help!!