If I was Jon Favreau, directing a super-broad ComicCon popcorn comic-book flick with an instant worldwide appeal, I would naturally be focusing on the basics (including, yes, refining the CG and sound design and making sure the alien space ships look extra cool) but I would mainly be working on the small stuff — honing the dialogue, pruning down the running time, and generally making sure that all those little connective-tissue moments and fine narrative fibres are blending just so.

I can almost guarantee you that right now Favreau, who revealed who and what he really is with that godawful Robert Downey, Jr. vs. Mickey Rourke mano e mano battle scene in Iron Man 2, is paying proper attention to the small connective-tissue stuff, but not to any great or obsessive degree. He’s got a surefire hit with guaranteed popcorn potential on his hands, and what matters to him the most, I sense, is delivering primitive popcorn-geek highs. Because he didn’t have the character to resist staging that malignant Monte Carlo race-track duke-out, and because he’s basically a beefy, T-shirted, comic-book-reading nice guy who loves getting standing ovations from the ComicCon-ers….yaaaay! Whoo-hoo!

He’s not Stanley Kubrick, he’s not Sergei Eisenstein, he’s not Billy Wilder, he’s not Budd Boetticher, he’s not David Fincher, he’s not Ridley Scott, he’s not Darren Aronofsky, he’s not Tony Scott and he’s not Jim Jarmusch.