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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Downey flies high!

Author: Michael Longstreet from Sacramento, California
30 April 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When I first heard that there was going to be an Iron Man movie, I was skeptical. Some of the recent origin story comic book movies have been mediocre at best. The Fantastic Four and Hulk are the first two that come to mind. Batman Begins, Spider-Man and Superman were a few of those rare treats where it was done well. Iron Man is one that is difficult to do because of all of the technology involved, not only in the Iron Man suit himself, but because of the fact that the story deals with state of the art technology developed by billionaire industrialist Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.).

Director Jon Favreau hit this one out of the ballpark, making Iron Man an overnight sensation to those who were not familiar with him in the first place. This film is also the first movie to be released under the new Marvel Studios banner. Before, Marvel worked in concert with studios like Warner Bros. and Paramount to produce their properties, but this is the first to be solely made by Marvel, and then distributed by a major film studio, in Iron Man's case, Paramount Pictures.

This is one of the first superhero comic book movies that I can think of where a well-known actor who is playing the title role, actually does a good job. Does anyone remember Daredevil, or dare I mention again, Hulk.

Besides Downey playing the title character, Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, and Gwyneth Paltrow round out the cast. Paltrow actually gives a decent performance as Stark's secretary Pepper Potts, and isn't too annoying like both Katie Holmes was in Batman Begins, and Kate Bosworth in Superman Returns. Howard plays Stark's best friend Jim Rhodes, a military officer who eventually finds out about Stark's 'new toy' and covers for him when his own fighters accidentally engage him, thinking he's an enemy bogey. Just from some of the events in the film, it appears evident that Howard might be back for the sequel, possibly dawning the second suit to become War Machine.

Jeff Bridges plays Obadiah Stane, Stark's mentor and partner in Stark Industries. Not only was he a friend of his father, but he helped Stark build his empire by selling weapons to the U.S. military. Of course Stark doesn't know that someone has been selling his weapons to third world nations as well, to use against the U.S. military. It is partially because of this that Stark starts to build the Iron Man suit and help get his company's weapons back in the hands of the U.S.

The battle between the large Mark I and the Mark III (red and yellow suit) is pretty good. It doesn't get dragged out too long and it keeps you entertained. The film has lots of elements of humor, all used in appropriate places. Most of them revolve around Stark's sarcastic attitude to his friends and his inventions (he talks to his machines in his lab).

There are plenty of shock and awe fanboy moments as we see the armor for the first time on Mark I, and then the machine that puts the Mark III suit on Stark in his lab. It is probably one of the coolest things I've ever seen. Plus, be on the lookout for several agents from S.H.I.E.L.D. The ending is fantastic, with Stark saying probably the most anticipated line in the whole film, easily setting the stage for the eventual sequel.

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9 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Greatest Comic Book Movie...Period.

Author: satankitty13 from United States
8 July 2008

Iron Man is just genius and not only does it live up to the hype, it obliterates with great acting, great dialog, clever humor, and awesome action sequences throughout. What made this movie is simple...Robert Downey Jr. He literally became Iron Man and his stunning performance blew me away. There is really nothing to say bad about this film except one thing, and it's minor. I believe there should have been more action sequences, not a whole bunch, just a little more and I would have given this movie a perfect 10. Overall, Iron Man is the best superhero movie to date, great actors, excellent visuals, and best of all, the amazing script to this film. I haven't seen such an outstanding script in years. This movie practically delivered on all accounts.

I give Iron Man a very solid:

4.5/5 or 9/10

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9 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

A superhero who isn't a pussy is a refreshing change

Author: pop_cornz from New Zealand
9 May 2008

Iron Man is not like other superhero films we have come to know. Unlike, batman, superman and spider-man, Iron Man does not suffer from mental illnesses. He doesn't stalk his girlfriend, pine over his dead uncle, or wish his parents hadn't got shot when he was a kid. Iron Man, just wants to kill bad guys. Another flattering aspect of Iron Man, is his lack of an alter ego. We don't have to watch in panic as Iron Man quickly gets on his iron suit before someone sees him changing. Instead, he boasts "I AM IRON MAN". Another very enjoyable aspect of the Iron Man film, is the setting. Not in a fictional city where the crime rate needs to be high, but in Afghanistan where it actually is. Bottom Line, Iron Man kills people. Nuff said. When did Spiderman, Batman or Superman last kill someone? Pussies! Iron Man is not a pussy.

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9 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Great movie

Author: desire_911 from Qatar
4 May 2008

After watching the overblown Spider-Man 3 last year; and the special effects driven Transformers, I was beginning to think that Hollywood didn't know how to make a decent comic book movie anymore. Then Jon Favreau directed Iron Man. The first thing that he does right is casting Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. He brings a presence to the character that only he could and has the greatest one-liners that would even put Spider-Man to shame. Jeff Bridges, Terrance Howard and Gwyneth Paltrow are also great in their supporting roles. I loved the banter between Pepper and Stark. However, some fans may be disappointed by the lack of CGI and action scenes but I think it works for the better. It's grounded in reality and unlike Transformers, this film has realistic special effects and the CGI seamlessly blends in with all of the practical effects; most notably the Iron Man suit. And after watching Stark tinker around with his first two prototypes (watching the scene in which he tries to fly is priceless), it's a real payoff when after an hour we finally get to see him in action. This makes more sense than other comic book adaptations because we get to see the suit in three different stages. And besides all the action it's the most fun I've ever had watching a movie. There are so many scenes that end with a punch you won't regret watching this with a large audience. Not to mention that it ends on a great note. Also, comic book fans will dig the hints at a sequel and especially the post credit scene. Fans in our theater went crazy. (I won't spoil it for you.) Bottom line, Iron Man Delivers what a good comic book film should. It may not have the brooding darkness of Batman Begins, or the over the top special effects of Transformers, but it's a fun movie that has a terrific blend of humor, a great story, and not to mention some kick-ass action to go along with it. In the end my score is 8.5/10 "B"

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9 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

"Iron Man" the Stark Superhero of Marvel

Author: J_Jammer from United States
3 May 2008

JJ Rating: A+

Billionaire Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) of Stark Enterprises visits Afghanistan to show off his new weapon. Upon being attacked by rebels he sees his weapons were in their hands. They kidnapped him and wanted him to make them a weapon, but instead he creates a suit that will evolve him into Iron Man.

It's another billionaire hero. In this case one that is more deviant than the Bat and far wittier than the Spider. Iron Man is exactly that: he's a man's man. He sleeps around, he drinks and he is cockier than necessary and he doesn't even get paid millions to play a sport. Well he gets billions to create inventive weaponry for America.

Iron Man was never my cup of tea. But when I heard that Robert Downey Jr. was going to play him I was sure that if there ever was a thing like cinematic perfection, that that was it. From that point on I was excited to see the film.

What would I want more from this film? I can't really think of anything. It's not perfect but what movie is? It's just really good. I wanted to see the Black Widow somehow but that was not going to happen. I'm really pleased with the after credits scene. STAY AFTER THE CREDITS.

What did I love about the film? Iron Man's suit. That suit was so freaking cool. I loved the way it looked, how it was put on, what it looked like in flight, how it sounded when it moved about, how it looked when it was damaged. It was just wow. I liked how Iron Man was just intelligent and figured out to do the practical thing without taking too much time to moralize everything. I like the wit of Tony Stark and how Robert Downey Jr. just perfectly fit the role as if he were born to play it.

Terrence Howard mad a great Rohdey. As-a-matter-of-fact there were several scenes that just make a comic nerd giddy. Count them off, if you can. Jeff Bridges was intimidating and imposing as he needed to be to play Obadiah. Gwyneth Paltrow was Pepper Potts and had the charm and smile to pull it off. I liked the way she walked to. It might have had something to do with her shoes, but still it seemed so intentional for the character and it worked.

The story progressed at an even pace and allowed for the development of the entire story within the allotted time. Jon Favreau (who also played the driver who, in the comics, becomes Pepper's love interest) did an iron clad job of directing. He knew what he wanted and executed it and it came out beautifully.

The C.G.I. work was eye candy for the super soul. That Iron Man get up was just marvelous. The battles between Iron Man and anyone else was done well. There was not too much and there was not too little. Just like baby bear's porridge. The C.G.I. even helped with some humor moments that were littered throughout the film either by visual gags or witty lines; humor was not missing from the banter heighten Stark.

Iron Man, the superhero, is a fine balance of cocky, womanizing, billionaire war mongrel with a touch of heroics all rolled into one likable man. It is simply a work of art. Normally such a person is the villain and not well liked, but not only is he liked in the comic books he's liked in the movie and that is thanks to Robert Downey Jr's portrayal.

I was impressed. This is the first movie that Marvel has financed themselves and let's just say…it works magical wonders for them to have more power.

There is no question that I will get Iron Man when it comes out on DVD. There is also no question that this will be the number one movie of the weekend and I even guessed that it would make a little over the amount of money it cost to make it. So I'm going to guess about $165 million dollars. Though because of Grand Theft Auto 4 it might be lower, a lot lower or so the nay sayers would scream. Iron Man is the nity-gritty hero, the one that is all bare on who he is and what he wants; he is Marvel's Stark Superhero and Iron Man is the start of a beautiful movie franchise.

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12 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Great Action Movie

Author: gotmwwg-1 from United States
10 May 2008

By way of introduction, I have no background at all with the Ironman comics or character. I also have very little experience with the "superhero" movie genre, and most of the little I've seen was not that good. Thus, all of this was totally new to me so I was able to see the movie through "unbiased" eyes and with relatively low expectations.

I loved it! A fabulous movie from start to finish. Downey's characterization of Stark was superb, with just the right mix of humor and obnoxiousness to make him endearing, rather than annoying (I especially liked the first twenty minutes or so when he was really over the top). Jeff Bridges was so heavy as to be almost unrecognizable, but played his part well. Everyone else seemed credible in their roles; the Gwyneth Paltrow character was even properly subdued and the chemistry between she and Downey was realistically uncomfortable.

I guess that the best praise I can give to this movie is that it did not feel like a "superhero" movie. Everything was driven by at least superficially-plausible earthly technology, rather than the usual range of superpowers.

My only regret is that it's probably a bit too intense for my seven-year old; perhaps in a few years. I'll look forward to seeing it again.

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12 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Everything one could hope for in a superhero blockbuster

Author: pyrocitor from Ontario, Canada
8 May 2008

With comic book films becoming an increasingly common component of the summer blockbuster season, the question emerges: how to make a mark as unique in the midst of so much superpowered competition while still holding true to the elements which made the originals such successes in the first place? It would seem director Jon Favreau has found the answer. From the opening chords of AC/DC's "Back in Black" it becomes instantly apparent that Iron Man is going to be a different kind of comic book movie. Instead of the filmmaker's usual aspirations to have the source material adapted as darker and grittier than its comic book origins could ever have been, Favreau is not afraid to embrace a very much needed sense of fun without descending into the rampant silliness which consumed Tim Story's Fantastic Four. As such, Iron Man essays a superb balance between embracing every last enjoyable detail while maintaining the gravitas and complexity of its original story and characters, a seamless melding of intelligence and action clout.

What really sells the film is its intelligent script, with a series of astutely crafted lines a far cry from the usual clunking variety which could have been conceived by the average six year old boy. Favreau's Robert Altman influence also leads to some highly enjoyable improvisations on top of the scripted material (Downey Jr.'s exchanges with his robotic helpers are priceless). Similarly. by updating Stark's backstory from Vietnam to a more topical Afghanistan, the film has added political poignancy, making some intriguing tongue in cheek comments about the American military. While the occasional lapse in realism and occasionally conventional character motivations may prove problematic to some, such are easily excusable considering the medium from which the story is faithfully adapted, and Favreau's solid directing outweighs such inconsequential concerns with a sheer unabashed sense of enjoyment and unfiltered movie magic.

Though the bulk of the story is dedicated to the usual origin tale, Favreau by no means skimps on the jaw-dropping action setpieces, generating some genuinely gripping and tense sequences (Stark's capture in Afghanistan is visceral and engrossing) as well as the requisite adrenaline pumping exhilarating ones - Stark's testing of his Mark One armour to escape captivity is full throttle entertainment and the final showdown is easily the show stopping setpiece of the year thus far. The film's flawless special effects are perfectly executed, used to full effect without ever swamping the picture. The Iron Man armour itself both looks and sounds brilliant, a clanking cacophony of assembled parts coming together for a heart pumping streamlined exterior. Similarly, the musical score, while not the most original, provides some suitably heroic themes and proves enthralling in its own right.

Enough praise cannot be bestowed upon Robert Downey Jr., who, overcoming every last inch of apprehension over his casting, is by far the key element to Iron Man's standing out from the waves of other superhero films. Delivering one of the strongest performances in his formidable career, Downey Jr. effortlessly inhabits every last contradictory inch of Tony Stark like the pristine suits the character himself dons. Putting his own unorthodox spin on the character through his wisecracking, motormouthed energy, Downey Jr. still stays true to the spirit of Stark and his darker overtones, even making the transition from callous, arrogant billionaire weapons vendor to iron clad humanitarian feasible through his extraordinary charisma and gleaming, passionate intensity. To say that Downey Jr. is perfect for the role is an understatement; a testament to the use of quality actors for bringing immortalised comic book figures to life instead of ham-handed fresh young faces chosen for looks over talent.

While the rest of the cast cannot quite match up to Downey Jr.'s dynamo of a performance, all prove equally adept in adapting their comic book incarnations in a plausible fashion. Terrence Howard delivers an appropriately curt dignity to Stark's military ally Jim 'Rhodey' Rhodes, adding the perfect clipped acerbic deadpan to the character. Similarly, Gwyneth Paltrow makes a surprisingly convincing potential love interest as Stark's personal assistant Pepper Potts, her natural charisma and share of icy comebacks easily proving a superb foil to Downey Jr.'s livewire of a performance. Jeff Bridges moulds his usual laid back image into one of a despicably greedy businessman concealing his shockingly selfish dealings under a veneer of oily respectability, his unconventional performance easily overcoming the trappings of his otherwise conventional villain figure. Shaun Toub is charming as Yinsen, the mysterious scientist who saves Stark's life in Afghanistan and helps him construct his first suit of armour, with Toub's irreverent edge preventing the role from becoming a stock "mentor" figure.

Simply put, Iron Man is everything a comic book movie could hope to be: a perfect balance between the grittily serious and exuberantly enjoyable, flawless special effects and a roster of incredible performances. Iron Man proves an example of the quintessential blockbuster: one not afraid to think while simultaneously bludgeoning with entertainment - for those in search of entertainment without jeopardising brain cells, Iron Man should prove just the thing.


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12 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

An action film which doesn't put special effects ahead of character development

Author: mvanhorne from United States
29 April 2008

I read the script and worked on this film, so I'm probably prejudiced. But I'm also not a fan of action adventure films which are low on character development and high on endless special effects. Thankfully, this isn't that kind of film. This is probably the most character driven superhero film since Christopher Reeves' "Superman". Downey was born for this role. You could see that in the original screen test (which they should include as a bonus on the DVD release). Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeff Bridges are also very strong and although Terrence Howard comes off a little soft, director Jon Favreau cut out his weaker moments.

The music is great, both in the needle drops chosen and in the original score. Lots of humor peppered throughout the movie and the film makes some good moral points as well. This should be the model for every superhero movie to emulate!

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13 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

A Fun Two Hours Of Nonsense

Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
10 October 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Simply put, this was a very entertaining movie.

Despite the movie running a little long for an intense, action movie, overall it was still very interesting and fun to watch because the pacing was so good. Neither the action segments nor the lulls, the robot scenes or the soldier scenes nor the very low-key romance is overdone. It's all in good proportion. It's not an innocent based-on-a-comic character film but, frankly, what movie is nowadays? There's always some profanity and sexual innuendos that don't belong in a "kids" movie made today. Thankfully, that kind of stuff was a lot lower in content than the recent "Transformers" film I viewed.

The scenes with "Iron Man" a.k.a. "Tony Stark" (Robert Downey Jr.) in his suit and demonstrating his spectacular skills were - no surprise - the most fun to watch. (If you have a chance, catch this on Blu-Ray as the transfer is terrific). At the end of the film we get another robot, piloted by the corporate bad guy "Obadiah Stane" (Jeff Bridges) and that huge Iron Man-clone is fun to see, too.

Some complain the film is not really all that "smart" and it's a bit too predictable, but it's fun ride of escapism that offers a good two hours of diversion thanks to very good special-effects and mostly-likable characters.

Speaking of characters, it wasn't easy to recognize Bridges with a bald head and full beard but once I heard his distinctive voice, I knew who it was. Gywneth Paltrow played a sweet role as Stark's loyal secretary, "Pepper Potts." (Nice name!!). The Afghanistan villain was credible. Actually, I liked him better than the obnoxious Liberal news reporter, who was annoying.

The "moral" of the story the screenwriters preach is that military might as a deterrent to fighting terrorists can easily backfire as companies which manufacture arms for the U.S. could also be acquired by bad guys (because of greedy and corrupt U.S. businessmen). This is naive Liberal propaganda, the kind I would expect out of the movie industry, whether in Hollywood or Europe. Sadly, there will never be a shortage of bullies and evil people, who will then crush an unarmed foe as the people in this film attempt to do. It's also implausible any company like the one shown in this movie could so easily travel to a hot spot like Afghanistan and deal with terrorists. It's unrealistic, but that's today's movies for you.

Also, despite the nonviolent message in the story, the good guy sure wipes out his share of people with a variety of weapons! For someone preaching peace, he sure didn't hesitate in killing opponents.

Iron Man's metal suit is definitely very cool, equipped with about anything you'd need to fight an army of terrorists, or anyone else. The suit - and his super pacemaker - turn him into a Superman-type guy in that he can fly pretty high and pretty high. The latter part - how high he could fly - makes a nice conclusion, by the way, regarding the good guy's battle against the "bad Iron Man."

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15 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Heavy Metal

Author: mstomaso from Vulcan
4 May 2008

Tony Stark - playboy, technological genius, and CEO of the world's largest defense contractor - is about to have a major change of heart. Inexperienced in the reality of war and arms trading, Stark is about to become a prisoner of of a terror cell in Afghanistan. The experience will change everything for him. To escape, he must exceed his greatest technological achievements, and in so doing, he envisions a new way to live for him and his firm.

Iron Man is, far and away, the best film adaptation of a comic book 'origin story' that I have seen adapted to film. Marvel is certainly on a roll at the movies, but the real genius here is not just in the original material. The casting, script and directing make Iron Man a thorough-going success. The film has the pace of a military thriller (though it is more of an action film), the visual appeal of a well-crafted sci-fi spectacular (though it never sacrifices story to spectacle), and an abundance of talent (although star power does not drive this film).

Robert Downey Jr, Jeff Bridges (Obie Stane) and Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper) own the screen, and are nicely supported by Terence Howard and a number of talented character actors. Downey is a perfect Tony Stark - flippant, too-smart-for-his-own-good, utterly dedicated and - at times - hilarious. While the film is far from a one-man-show, Downey's performance could have made this a great comics film even without the fine work by the rest of the cast.

I was also pleased by the appearance of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the film, and hope that their appearance is a foreshadow of things to come, not just a cameo.

Highly recommended for fans of the genre.

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