Iron Man (2008) Poster

(2008)

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10/10
"I am Iron Man" - The greatest origin of a superhero begins the best one in the "Iron Man" trilogy
rambofan4life29 September 2018
Iron Man is the best bad-ass action MCU movie definitely my favorite in the MARVEL comic book films. It has a great story great origin story about Tony Stark 8rober Downey Jr.) how he become armored avenger "Iron Man". The movie has high-flying action sequence and super speed. Iron man was build and not born. Excellent performance from Robert Downey Jr. as playboy billionaire Tony Stark/Iron Man. The first movie in the trilogy is the best one it is my favorite MCU film it is also intelligent and interesting. How from an selfish, arrogant prick turns in to a good heart person who want to do the right thing to protect innocent and destroy the weapons his designed that fall in to terrorists hands.

It begins in Afghanistan on a tour Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is captured by an enemy terrorist and is forced with Yinsen (Shaun Toub) is forced by terrorist known as "Ten Rings" to build in a cave Jericho missile who designed for American military that is his price for a freedom but Tony knows they want let him free so instead he builds an powered armor suit in their escape. But his friend Yinsen during the escape dies. In a battle of fire fight Tony Escapes and try's to destroy the rest of weapons. After returning home Tony Stark industrialist shut's down the factory of weapons and starts building high-tech suit of armor red and yellow color and vows to protect the world from treats as "Iron man". Tony finds out that he was betrayed by his friend Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) who hired Tony's hit and Obadiah was the one who was selling weapons to the terrorist group. Iron Man must not only to protect our world he has to fight Iron Mongler on the end of the film in a suit that is Obadiah Stane. He goes back in to Afghanistan and destroys all his weapons and he defends the weakest people. He also has a blue heart in the chest because the shrapnel hits him.

The film has great direction from Jon Favreau who also plays Happy Hogan Tony Stark's personal bodyguard. The music score for the first Iron Man is excellent from Ramin Djawadi who also made an excellent music for Prison Break TV Series. Great performance from Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts Tony's secretary and assistant I enjoy her performance. Terrence Howard is great and likeable as James "Rhodey" Rhodes he was better as Don Cheadle. Paul Bettany as JARVIS voice was excellent I love hearing JARVIS advices to Tony. Jeff Bridges was super fantastic bad-guy as Obadiah Stane/Iron Mongler.

Great action film and great action sequences watch in which Iron Man battles Iron Mongler best epic sequences ever. I love how Tony Stark redeem him self for his selfishness and decide to make his world a better place. Tony Stark as Iron Man is my favorite MARVEL superhero. Captain America is my number 1 superhero and Iron Man is my second superhero. I was hooked on this film for years I still I am. Great film, great flying sequences I love the suit for Iron Man that was designed. I was researching about his suit if someone could build it in real life an armor suit as Tony did and you would probably need hundred millions $ to build a suit like that. This film is straight from the comic books they didn't change anything new about the film, maybe the names I am not a comic book fan of Iron Man. I have this movie on DVD and Blu-ray and I have watch the DVD many times.

Actually I am been a fan of Iron Man my whole life after seeing him in animated series and animated movies. I was such a huge fan of this movie that I want it to buy in the store DVD but I found only animated movie not this movie. After this film was released I become so excited about seen this film and I never expect how good it would turn too. Everyone from the cast at acting did an excellent 100% of them. It is an 10 year anniversary since this action masterpiece come out. Yes I am calling it a masterpiece cause I love it so much.

The writing work so well with the actors with their roles. There's a lot of development into the writing and made relate to the comics. But of course the main that people loved this film is Robert Downey Jr. He killed it as Tony Stark and Iron Man. I couldn't see any other actor to take the role. He brings so much development and emotions into Tony and make you relate to him real easy.

This movie get's 10 a perfect score is my favorite origin MARVEL superhero movie off all time the best one in the trilogy. From the special effects of the design. You have soundtrack AC/DC in this film "Back In Black" so the film isn't praised only for CGI, action sequences and acting it is praised for AC/DC soundtrack. The band is so popular that director Jon Favreau hired the band AC/DC for the sequel Iron Man 2. The film has tow sequels Iron Man 2 and Iron Man Three not a big fan of those two movies but I enjoy the third film the second one I don't.
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10/10
Delivers Intelligence & Great Acting with its Fun
sacflyzone23 April 2008
Rest assured, Iron Man is an absolutely amazing movie. I won't dare spoil any of this remarkable movie for you but I do recommend it as highly as I possibly can. Marvel needed to get in to the solo movie making business long ago. Instead of leasing out their characters to other studios, they're making movies themselves. Most everyone knows Iron Man is their first effort and what a great lead off film! This movie helps take the comic book genre to the highest level. Just like they did in the books, they reinvent standard epic adventure by "Marvelizing" characters and making them more believable. The Spider-Man and the X-Men movies did this to a degree but only as far as their respective studios wished to stay true to the source material. Anything added or amended was for the benefit of the live action adaptation. Director Sam Raimi pulled this off by talking to the summer crowd, not down to them with the Spider-Man series. Jon Favreau has done the same thing here but I think he's done it even better. Raimi intentionally threw in a little cheese. Favreau adds nice bits of humor but not too much. He also grounds the action and the suit of armor in firm reality. I've said it before but it's brave to reach for the highest common denominator with a big budget film and Favreau delivers a movie with as much feeling as it has action and intensity. Needless to say, Robert Downey Jr. and company deliver the goods. It's a movie that has a wonderful balance that delivers intelligence with its fun.

The amazing yet realistic action is paced by the plot and characters that keep you interested from start to finish. What absolutely blew me away were the phenomenal special effects. I know they built a practical, working armor. What I loved is the use of CGI was used to augment the real life armor and not create something from scratch. Most all CGI constructs feel fake somehow but the stuff in Iron Man didn't seem fake even for an instant. As great as everything looked, what really drives the movie is the emotional resonance and down to earth nature of the plot. Sure the concept is wild but it's all presented so that you really believe it could happen. I doubt anyone will find fault with this movie unless they went in trying to dislike it.

This is, without a doubt going to be one of my top 10 movies of 2008, quite possibly the number one film.
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8/10
Surprisingly Well Done
VithDos17 April 2008
So the world premier of Iron man to regular movie going audiences happened to be here in Seoul Korea on an army installation. I got to check it out and I was delightfully surprised.

Much against the hype, I thought this movie would have been torrid trash acting mingled with cheesy fight scenes. I mean Robert Downey Jr as an action superhero? But I am glad to admit that I misjudged the movie completely. Downey played a very good Tony Stark, in generally every way. From his jokes to his obnoxious lifestyle he looked and walked the part very well. His banter with his right hand assistant Ms. Pepper Potts isn't mind numbing and actually found myself laughing aloud at some of the wit.

The movie itself moved at a very good pace. Mixing action, comedy and some drama to just about the right proportions. As with most superhero movies, its rather predictable, but in all the right ways you'd want a superhero movie to be. The animation used was almost seamless, and of course the Iron Man costume was kicking major ass.

My only gripe with the movie was the fact that several characters were thrown into the mix with little behind them other than 2D character attributes. Leslie Bibb's character, Christine Everhart, is pretty useless other than the two or three lines she has. Hardly worth a hardbody like Leslie Bibb to play. Several other characters didn't feel fleshed out at all. Raza (Faran Tahir), Obediah Stone (Jeff Bridges) , and even Jim Rhodes (Terrence Howard) feel hollow in the fact that they have little justification for many of their actions.

So All in all, I'd give this movie an 8.3. Fun for the whole family, great pacing, and a Superhero movie to give the next Batman movie a run for its money.
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10/10
Wow, very impressive !!!!
ffiisshh21 April 2008
WOW WOW WOW.

This is the movie I have been waiting for for a very long time. I am an avid Ironman reader. I have collected the comics all my life (from #1 in 1968 to the latest in 2008)...40 years of Ironman. Since I was a kid, I used to say to my friends that they should make an Ironman movie, but everyone laughed and said that the special effects would look ridiculous...mind you, that was back in like in the early 1980's. But, now we are in the age of CGI, and what an age it is. Just for you Ironman fans, to see him come to life with such spectacular graphics is reason enough to spend your hard-earned $10. The plot is also pretty well thought out, and the acting is just fine. What better pick could you have for Tony Stark than Robert Downey Jr.? (just wait for the sequels when they can delve into his alcoholism...Mr. Downey has been there and beyond...that's probably why they chose him for the role...fore-thought)The rest of the cast is right on par, as well. The pace is brisk, and the whole thing works as a great addition to the Marvel Universe in the Cinema!! Enjoy!
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10/10
Film That Lives Up To Its Hype And The Expectations Of Comic Readers
z-mbe16 April 2008
As an avid reader of the Iron Man comics, I was excited but also very scared that this movie would flop.

While Robert Downey is not the biggest name in Hollywood, he plays the part perfectly and I was greatly impressed by how he portrayed Iron Man so well.

The humor works well for this film also. It's well-written and has a great cast.

What impressed me the most was the CGI! They're breath-taking, but aren't distracting enough to let you miss the finer points of this movie.

In conclusion, while not perfect, Iron Man lives up to its hype and my expectations as a reader of the comic.
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9/10
Not bad at all
darkmax30 April 2008
Fortunately, I'm not one easily influenced by some users' negative comments. These people should try to restrain their bias opinions and try to review the movies as neutrally as possible.

Now I would say that this movie has slow but steady momentum-building. It is a movie for people who has never known Iron Man in the comic series. The characters are given names and personalities, true to their comic book counterparts.

Acting was among the best comic-turn movie I have seen so far. Effects were believable and not overwhelmingly CGI, except for the tank scene.

This movie, however, has sequel written all over it. We know that because there are many scenes that could have lead to more.

It's well worth its ticket price.
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8/10
Don't waste it…Iron Man
jaredmobarak29 April 2008
There was a big question mark looming over the theatrical adaptation of Marvel's Iron Man property. It was in the guise of director Jon Favreau. Now, don't get me wrong, I love the Favs, but when I heard he was helming a big budget comic book flick…let's just say I was a little worried. Once his cast was set and the fanboys started humming across the internet I started to ease into the decision with high anticipation. Thankfully, after finally seeing the finished product, I was not disappointed in the least. With a great mix of the professionalism and stakes seen in both Spider-Man and X-Men and the comic wit and sheer fun of Fantastic Four, Iron Man shows how a comic can be brought to the screen successfully without all the added drama and weight. We finally have a film with the essence of what makes these picture books so popular, the action and mythology along with a sense of adventure and humor. Favreau never bogs us down with overwrought emotions nor speaks down to us with gags and poorly written jokes. Instead he delivers on his promises and gives us a solid initiation into what could be a great trilogy or more.

Favreau seems to have had an idea to get an origin story out while not boring us with long drawn out backstory. His ability to give us dual information at once is nicely orchestrated, showing Tony Stark in his basement creating while the TV in the background explains what is happening in the outside world of the Middle East and inside his own company. We as an audience are allowed to put the pieces together amidst the witty banter of Stark and the wonderful special effects. By the end of the film it is quite amazing how much information you will realize you now know, all culminating in a decent final battle, but more importantly a segue into the inevitable sequel. We are allowed entrance into the character evolution of Stark as he goes from war profiteer to man of action and cause, all while seeing the technology improve and advance before our eyes. Much like Batman, we have a hero here that needs help in fighting crime. He has no superhuman abilities besides his brain and being able to see his thoughts go from paper to reality is a feat of magic. Every stage is shown, every failure and success. It's quite the ride in and of itself, but when you add onto it the threat of global war and destruction, it can only get better.

The real success here is in the bold move of casting an actor over-40 to be a superhero. This takes guts, because no matter how appropriate it is, most studios would have said, "no, change the story and make him younger so we can churn out as many of these babies as we can." I don't know how he did it, but Favreau got Marvel to get Robert Downey Jr. to play Stark, a sarcastic lothario with the brain capacity of Einstein. I truly can't think of anyone better suited to the role and he proves it by nailing every single scene. I'm sure there was some ad-libbing, but even if not, his comic delivery and ability to switch on a dime to a sincere seriousness at will shows his masterful craft.

As for the rest of the cast, they all do well. Jeff Bridges plays the bombastic creature of villainy over-the-top, but appropriately so; Terrence Howard is nice as the friend and military liason, not given much to do, but definitely sowing seeds for the future; and Gwyneth Paltrow is good as the sweet assistant Pepper Potts who at times seems a little underwritten and more female prop than anything else, but comes through with some nice moments in a very comic sort of way. I also really liked Shaun Toub as Yinsen, Stark's savior, and Clark Gregg as the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. Good to see Favreau giving another actor turned director props, (Gregg's directorial debut comes out later this year in the form of Chuck Palahniuk's Choke). I just wish he would have shied away from putting himself in the film. It's one thing to be seen split-second, (like Stan Lee), but its another to give yourself a thankless role with multiple scenes, just adding fuel to the fire on people's opinions of egotism stemming from the drinking game created off of the TV show "Dinner for Five" and how many references to Swingers was made each episode. I'll forgive, though, because, once again, I'm a big fan.

One can't forget that this is an action film above all else, so we can't just praise the actors; every effect is also quite brilliant. Those scenes of Iron Man flying amongst fighter jets in the trailer seemed really lame, but when in context they deliver. The suit itself is amazing as well, through every mach stage right to the end. My main highlight, however, was with the computer systems that Stark utilizes. The multiple screens, instant holographic reproductions, and ability to actually interact with those 3D representations is stunning. We can create them in fantasy, but it's just too bad we can't yet in real life.

Now Iron Man is not a perfect film, nor even a perfect comic book adaptation. What it is, though, is a fun, comic actioner that should light up the box office. The final showdown is a bit of a whimper in comparison to the backstory and machine creation; a crucial element is saved from destruction in the one contrived bit of screen writing, (not quite utilized in the way I thought, although still for the same means); and some moments seem a tad campy rather than witty, but otherwise this is some topnotch cinema that should definitely be seen on the big screen. I can't wait to see how the story progresses in a couple years.
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Hits a High Standard of Excellence... GREAT Film.
sidfargas15 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
All too infrequently, a much hyped blockbuster hits the mark with such power that it resonates above all others. Mark my words, Iron Man is such a movie. I've been privileged enough to view an advanced screening and, honestly, it's the best big budget movie that I've seen in many years. It hits a high standard of excellence for mass audiences by combining humor, a smart plot, breathtaking action sequences, a heavy dose of self discovery and realization, betrayal, forgiveness, love and puts it all together in one amazing package. The special effects and CGI are probably the best I've ever seen in terms of relatable effects. They're not over the top and don't overwhelm your senses. What's even more remarkable is this movie will surprise a lot of people with its depth while sacrificing none of the fun. The inner turmoil worked well, the beautiful thing is that we can relate to each character, especially that of Tony Stark. Stark's indomitable charm mixed with his flawed character makes this hero more interesting then most. Iron Man delivers action with great emotional moments and a movie that lives up to all the hype it has generated.

The cast is obviously stellar but that doesn't always mean greatness. (American Gangster, Street Kings anyone?) I'm happy to say this amazing cast delivers in every way. Downey himself delivers one of the greatest performances in a comic adaptation film EVER. Maybe it's because the character itself is one of the most complex and intriguing that any genre has to offer but that doesn't diminish just what a home run Downey has hit. They took the character seriously but still remembered to include fun and humor. I almost can't convey how much I enjoyed his performance.

Minor SPOILER....

My only real complaint is the rumor of a Sam Jackson cameo was not fulfilled. He is even listed here as playing the character of Nick Fury. He did not appear in the cut that I saw. After browsing, it's been offered that his cameo was probably just removed for the early screenings. I hope that's true and they put it back for the final cut. This means I'll just HAVE to see this movie again. LUCKY ME!
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9/10
A Marvel superhero film done with class
TheLittleSongbird12 August 2014
When it comes to ranking the Marvel superhero(live action) films, Iron Man is for me up there with the better ones. It looks fabulous, the whole film is very slickly made with top-notch special effects(which look like time and effort was really put into it), awesome-looking futuristic gadgets and Iron Man's suit will be a guaranteed delight to anybody who is familiar or loves anything to do with the superhero. There is a pulsating soundtrack that adds much to the tension of the first half of the story and the enormously fun action sequences, which are exciting and tense with expertly choreography. The script crackles with smart humour that doesn't go overload, all of which is laugh-out-loud funny, yet the hostage plotting that takes up the first part of the film is intelligently written and somehow avoids being over-serious or over-familiar. The story has enough to allow you to emotionally connect with Iron Man(who I've always considered one of Marvel's most interesting and multi-faceted characters) and has a clever mix of the comic's 1960s origins and the effects of contemporary war, which will provide plenty of nostalgia while also feeling relevant. Jon Favreau does a great job directing, he never loses control of the story and he doesn't do anything too fussy. Robert Downey Jnr's performance as Tony Stark/Iron Man is a power-house and one of his best, doing much with the smart dialogue while making the emotional side of the characters wholly believable. Gwyneth Paltrow is a good, loyal side-kick with wise-cracks that don't come across as annoying and Jeff Bridges is surprisingly very good in an against-type role. Personally, the only disappointments were the useless character of Christine Everheart and the somewhat rushed and over-blown finale that wasn't quite as thrilling as it could have been, other than that Iron Man was a classy addition to the Marvel cannon and a great film on its own. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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8/10
It's the big Robert Downey Jr show - and I like it!
Joejoesan16 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
From the first moment Robert Downey Jr comes on screen as Tony Stark, you know that this movie can't go wrong. We are in some desert in Afghanistan and wisecracking Stark tells something about his playboy life to some soldiers. Yes, this ain't no nerdy Peter Parker or tortured Wolverine. Our hero is a person who generally enjoys life (and women) and has no second thoughts on how he lives it. Without any doubt, of all the superheroes that exist, Tony Stark is the coolest person there is!

But of course his bubble bursts when Stark is kidnapped by terrorists and forced to reproduce his killing missile, the Jericho. The sacrifice of a fellow scientist makes him humble and after his spectacular escape Stark decides to better his life. No more manufacturing of weapons for Stark Industries. From now on Stark wants to help his fellow men. Although this decision impresses some (like Stark's secretary Paltrow) it also infuriates others (like Stark's partner Jeff Bridges). This all leads to a action-packed finale in which Iron Man must face a deadly enemy...

Iron Man is the big Robert Downey Jr. show. Downey not only brings humor and flamboyance to his role, he also manages to make you believe that an egocentric person can indeed change into a real humanitarian. The scene in which he realizes that someone is willing to make a sacrifice in order for him to escape is even a moving one. Well done. Downey is really a great actor with great charisma.

But there is a lot more to Iron Man. There are four or five big action scenes. The first four are so great (the escape from the cave and a sequence involving an Afghan village) that the last one - the big finale - disappoints a little bit. But that's okay. There are also a lot of smaller scenes to be enjoyed, focusing on the relationship between Downey and Paltrow and the development of the Iron Man armour. Jeff Bridges is always great to look at, although his role could have been played by several other actors. Maybe his storyline is the weakest of the film. His betrayal is no surprise, but his early involvement in this is hard to believe.

Iron Man is a spectacular and funny popcorn ride that not only has great action scenes, but also some great actors. Hopefully it will do very well at the box office, because I can't wait to see Iron Man 2. Enjoy!

PS: no Samuel Jackson in this version either!

8,5 out of 10
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8/10
Heavy boots of lead, fills his victims full of dread, running as fast as they can, Iron man lives again!
Smells_Like_Cheese2 May 2008
Iron Man, the huge kick off to the big summer blockbusters of summer 2008, a great start. I have to say that originally I had my concerns, when I saw the trailer, this movie looked way over done and Robert Downy, Jr. as the hero? The guy is a great actor, but as a super hero? I wasn't so sure, but I was able to see Iron Man today and all my doubts were put behind me as I watched. This is one of best comic book adaptations put to film in a very long time, since the original Spider Man I think. The effects were not actually too over the top, only when needed, but it gave that extra feel of a comic book. Robert Downy, Jr., I couldn't believe how well of a performance he pulled off, there still is a little question of his casting, but he pulled off Tony Stark seamlessly. This is a very entertaining action film and is such a great blockbuster that is sure to please any film buff.

Tony Stark, rich, handsome, incredibly wealthy, has it all. He also creates war weapons, when he goes to Afghanastan to introduce a new missile, he is captured and told to create the missile for the terrorists. But Tony has other plans, he creates a metal suit and escapes, he goes back home and announces that he wants to retire and close down Stark industries due to the violence he saw. But when he learns that the weapons of his are in the wrong hands, he realizes that maybe he could re-create a metal suit and become Iron Man, the incredible machine to save man kind.

Iron Man is a sure fire hit that I'm sure you won't want to miss. It has everything you could want for a comic book film: action, humor, a great cast, romance, and ultimate effects that just get you excited. Even the soundtrack gets you pumped up and ready to root for Iron Man. The only complaint, as much as the action was cool, I wish it wasn't the war on terrorism they used, I know it's part of the story, but it hits so close, that it may seem inappropriate. The climax, a little cliff hanger, but I'm already smelling a sequel for next year probably. But Iron Man is a fun movie that all ages could enjoy, Iron Man is the new Spider Man for 2008!

8/10
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10/10
A Nutshell Review: Iron Man
DICK STEEL30 April 2008
With a little tinge of shame and regret, my rare dalliances with the Iron Man character stemmed from a few one off comic books, as well as occasions during the teenage years of spending time in the arcade with those Marvel games, where Iron Man was one of my preferred characters because it came together with his incredible arsenal of weapons from repulsor beams to this gigantic cannon which accompanied the execution of some complex combo moves. There's something sexy about the red and gold suit of armour, and having an array of weapons at the disposal of a player, makes perfect sense for variety in dispatching your enemies.

This may irk the fervent fans of Iron Man, but face it, the superhero belonged to Tier B where superheroes are concerned, languishing behind easily recognizable peers who already have movie after movie being made. But thanks to the advancement in digital technology, bringing Iron Man to life no longer consisted of the prospect and worrying thought of having a man running about in a rubber suit passing it off as metal, the way Ultraman would have been done, complete with mechanical clicks and whirrs as sound effects to try and fool the visual sensory. Here, we have a very detailed rendering of the entire design from scratch to final modification, and we're in at every step of the way, with many cheeky and sometimes a tad implausible scenes just for cheap laughs thrown in.

I thought Iron Man the story worked because of stark (pardon the pun) similarities with Batman Begins, also an origin story which took its time to dwell on the man behind the suit, nevermind at the sacrifice of having less action sequences, or by not giving the fans what they want through the showcase of more than the basic powers. Advanced capabilities can always find room in the sequel, and as the first movie used to establish its characters, I felt that it succeeded, given too that it had a cast of capables (just like Batman Begins had) to pull the movie through without resorting to over the top and campy performances, starting of course with the lead in Robert Downey Jr.

In a nutshell, Downey is Tony Stark through and through. His affinity for the character shines, and no doubt it bore some parallels between his own personal, and Stark's life in the narrative future when he hits the bottle. He was allowed to become a Two-Face of sorts, on one hand being and later acting out his flamboyance self whose mission in life was the continuation of his father's legacy of Stark Industries, a weapons conglomerate, versus his personal mission in ridding his own weapons from the hands of the bad guys, now updated to be freedom fighters in the Middle East. The dialogue contained within each scene of Stark's, except perhaps during captivity, is full of one-liners done in double quick time, you probably would think it boiled down to a whole host of natural ad-libbing.

But while Starks spends significant amount of time in his unsecured basement building his masterpiece, his human interaction come in the form of faithful secretary Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) who actually, for the first time I admit, looked really good on screen as Stark's most trusted aide, bringing about some serious spark of sexual tension and chemistry between the two characters of opposite sex, more so than any other comic book movie I have seen. And good friend from the air force Jim Rhodes (Terrence Howard) complete the circle of trust who knows of Stark's secret identity, and you'd be keeping your fingers crossed at the toss of a teaser of a certain War Machine appearance should the sequel be out.

Who's the main villain in the movie? It points the finger at Corporations, or at least here, the weapons manufacturers and the shady deals that go through in the name of profit, the sole objective for any corporation's existence. And Jeff Bridges, in a rare villainous role, got to personify that greed and wrestle for absolute power just like the trailer already suggested. While his performance is refreshing as he disappears behind the ball head and bushy beard, you could see his motivation and how the plot would have been developed to introduced the ultimate fodder for Iron Man to duke it out in a, sad to say, ordinary finale which any audience would probably be able to stay a step ahead.

As mentioned earlier, there are plenty of similarities with the Dark Knight of Gotham in Christopher Nolan's reboot, but more so because of properties inherent with the likeness between Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark. Both are incredibly wealthy to devote time outside of the day job to pursue their "hobby", both have to suffer personal tragedies in order to wake up to the cruel world, and in the movie, both fall prey to the corporate raider type, spend time perfecting their suit of war, have assistants they would trust their lives with, and of course save them from impending doom, and a finales set at their facilities.

But Iron Man is still a special effects extravaganza offering a thrill ride especially when he goes into battle mode, and without a doubt, Robert Downey Jr probably should be credited for raising the profile of this once Tier-B character, to perhaps becoming more recognizable now, and obviously, expanding the fan base of this weaponry filled suit of metal, which of course, in this origin movie, we were only given a glimpse of its potential. can everyone now spell sequel and clamour for more please? Iron Man has set the bar for the other upcoming comic book movies to try and surpass this summer season!
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Move Over Superheroes, Iron Man Is Here
Chrysanthepop9 May 2008
Until May 2008, the few releases this year that I've seen ranged from below average to downright rubbish with the exception of two movies. One being 'Iron Man'. This is the movie we have been waiting for this year. So does it match up to expectations? Hell yes! On the surface, 'Iron Man' isn't very different from other superhero films but on the other hand it isn't like any other superhero movie. This one has rich characters, it perfectly blends humour, drama, action and it has heart, all of which are presented on screen in a wonderful way that keeps the viewer staring at the screen right till the end.

The writing is great as 'Iron Man' sticks to the main story all the way. I liked how Downey Jr's Tony Stark grows from this carefree business-minded tech-tycoon who's only concern is Stark Industries to a man with a mission to save the world and in the process he still stays the same person as he maintains his sense of humour, his courage and his integrity. The dialogues, especially Starks's one-liners are sharp, witty and funny. This movie is an introduction to the famous title character thus those expecting only action from start to end (like 'Transformers') may be disappointed to an extent. But for me there was enough action along with substance to make it a hugely enjoyable experience.

Jon Favreau is proving to be a more versatile director and his impressive filmography, both as actor and director, prove that he's experimented with different kinds of cinema. 'Iron Man' wouldn't have been an easy film to direct but Favreau does a magnificent job. The CGI is excellent as I loved how much attention was given to detail and how the viewer is shown every step of the making of Iron Man. Of course, there's some humour added to lighten up the mood instead of technologically overloading the viewers.

'Iron Man' is just the movie that Robert Downey Jr. needed and it couldn't have come at a better time. At a time, when this talented actor's performances were hardly getting enough notice, 'Iron Man' brings him back to recognition. After seeing him, one would conclude that the part was made only for Downey Jr. His dialogue delivery seems so natural that it would be hard to tell whether he was acting, if the scenes were taken out of context. I don't think Gwyneth Paltrow has ever looked better. Though the role does not allow her to really stretch her acting, Potts isn't just a typical superhero's dame. She is Tony's confidant and the one who supports him through thick and thin. Paltrow provides the necessary charisma, sex appeal and soul that makes Pepper Potts shine and she shares a sizzling chemistry with her male lead. Terrence Howard has a smaller role as Tony's good friend but there's a hint that he might have a more prominent role if a sequel is made. Finally, there's Jeff Bridges as the villain. An odd yet brilliant choice as the actor is refreshing and like his costar, he too needed an 'Iron Man' to give his career a boost.

I noticed that some people were complaining that Muslims/Middle Easterners were portrayed as bad guys just like in any other American movie but I would like to state that this is no 'Vantage Point'. Here, these people weren't portrayed as terrorists working on their own but as men hired for a specific reason (I won't say more to give away spoilers). So I just thought to briefly clarify that this is no anti-Islamic or anti-anything (except, well okay, anti-weaponry) movie. It's a movie for everyone.

Perhaps the story itself isn't anything novel which is what makes it somewhat similar to other superhero movies, but the treatment of it and its execution is quite unique. Add to that a fine cast and dazzling special effects among many things, this is the summer movie experience I've been waiting for in 2008. I wonder what else this summer has to offer as I doubt that it would succeed in providing anything close to the sheer entertainment of 'Iron Man'.
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10/10
Go See this
erinandvictor1 May 2008
This was a great movie. I am a huge Downey fan, but was really unsure about him playing a super hero especially a guy in his 40's. I can say that because I'm right there with him. He was amazing. I normally don't like these kinds of movies and wouldn't have gone to it if I hadn't known someone who was an extra, but I am so glad I did. Jeff Bridges was so good, I'm having a hard time with him being bald, but it was a good move. My only complaint, was Gwyenth Paltrow. She was horrible, it was like she was really trying to play the part, she half-you know. But other than that it was great. Special effects, whoa.

Good job.
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Iron Man is everything a summer movie should be, and more.
McGrit28 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This first big popcorn movie of the year is also the best summer movie since Spider-Man 2.

What I liked is that there's a serious subtext to the story and it leaps out of the very first moments of the film. The playboy, hard-drinking, fast-talking arms merchant goes to Afghanistan to show the military Stark Industries' cool new toy. Events unfold and he sees, first hand, what his ordnance and his creations do to real people.

The movie gets just about everything right but maybe its number one strength is the casting. Downey brings not only his real life baggage and winning personality to play as Stark; he finds his pathos, too. Jeff Bridges certainly has the acting chops to hang with Downey and is the perfect foil and perfect villain because this is no mustache twirling, one dimensional character. Terrence Howard is perfect as the military man and old college buddy. Gwyneth Paltrow's character adds to the casting perfection. She's every bit the wise yet sexy assistant whose a match for her womanizing boss. The interaction and the relationships all work well and is even one one the highlights of the entire movie itself.

Most Superhero comic book movies seem to share a problem in tone. Most films try to cope with wild concepts by emphasizing darkness, even over-emphasizing it. Troubled, brooding characters, black leather and anger rule the day. Here, Iron Man's creators mix everything so well. It leans away from dark but touches on it just enough. Maybe it's the character or maybe it's because they had Downey's talents to play with but Downey's performance leads to more clever banter and genuinely real dialogue than most comic-book movies have ever delivered. So much of the humor works because of this and all the dramatic beats really click. Downey's Stark is glib and even obnoxious at times but he never loses his likability and grows in to something more. That's true character establishment and development in a comic book film, people. Even the flirtation between Stark and his assistant has the undertow of lonely romantic longing and implications. What's also rare for any popcorn movie is that every death carries real emotional weight. This is what you get when you mix great acting talent with outstanding material. They make it shine and give you a remarkable summer movie. Oh yeah, did I mention that Iron Man kicks butt and is loads of fun too? That you could tell from the flood of action clips seen leading up to the movie. The CG is perfect and the action is intense and very well done. That's no shocker. What was a pleasant surprise was that Iron Man is a complete movie.

(PS- It also includes the funniest Stan Lee cameo he's ever done)
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7/10
A well re-mastered legend
Chris_Docker30 April 2008
Since Marvel Comics and CGI started their mystical marriage in the late 1990s, we've had superheroes galore. Hulks, Surfers, Spidermen, not to mention constantly renewed Batmans and Supermans. So what does Iron Man have to offer that's different? A flawed character that becomes honourable is the answer, triumphing in the battle of Good over Evil in spite of being a bit of a prat.

Add to that some of the best features of Robocop, Batman Begins and Terminator II, and you have one of the more satisfying comic-books-turned-blockbuster that we've seen for a while.

Billionaire and genius Tony Stark – with a personality vaguely based on Howard Hughes – is a weapons inventor that gets captured by bad guys in Afghanistan. Forced to work for them, he has other plans. Stark, nicely played by Robert Downey Jr, fashions a hi-tech suit of armour - before going on to save the world in usual exemplary fashion.

This long build-up – to explain how he becomes Iron Man – is arguably the best part of the film. Ingenious special effects give Stark's futuristic Malibu mansion a sci-fi rather than fantasy feel. And the subtle build-up makes us more forgiving as the story slips slowly into comic-book reality.

There are, of course, compromises. It has to appeal to kids as well as adults, so there is none of the gutsiness of Terminator I (or similar adult-orientated sci-fi). And in spite of the heavy moral-political issues at stake, Iron Man stays politically bland – this being the only way to get D.O.D. approval and hence associated goodies like fighter jets and military hardware.

One of the most interesting ideas for me in the film was the idea of 'zero accountability'. This takes the form of having all the wealth, brains and playboy attributes that fiction writers can imagine, but could also be a symbol for U.S. military might, for instance. Stark's first premise, of power being the ultimate deterrent (and hence a peace-keeping force) is undermined when the enemy gets hold of the same weapons and starts killing indiscriminately. Theologians might also muse how power itself has no moral authority. Good guys have to grudgingly beseech permission from whoever wields the biggest thunderbolt.

Iron Man, essentially a symbol of power, abounds in biblical references, even if these come more from the comic book creators than any learning on the part of filmmakers. Jericho, the name given to Stark's finest military weapon, was the city that had to be destroyed, 'as an outward display of faith.' Which makes for great symbolism. Until you consider that modern-day Jericho is in the West Bank of the Palestinian territories, and then Stark's 'rockets' start to look a lot more loaded.

Iron Man's technology has a special feature to avoid targeting civilians. Now this is one military development I would love to see.

The second half of the movie is pure action, but with a well-delivered script and sufficient plot-twists to keep you engaged. Out-of-reach love-interest materialises as Gwyneth Paltrow, who I found very agreeable to watch, and the excellent supporting cast also includes Jeff Bridges and Terrence Howard. This is a film that tries to please everyone and largely succeeds. It's a two-hour thrill-ride that offers a new action-hero for our CGI-sated palates.

On a personal note, my big disappointment was the title track – or rather lack of it. Having heard one of the most famous heavy metal riffs of all time in the trailer, I couldn't wait to see Iron Man flying through the skies to the sound of Black Sabbath's rock anthem. Sadly, the riff is all you get (probably cos the words seem to be based on an altogether different story). But if you sit through the closing credits hoping for more, you do at least get a very important extra scene. So you've been warned: don't leave the cinema beforehand!
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9/10
Don't waste your life, Stark
jhudson-1170427 July 2017
With a B-list superhero, a risky lead actor, a genre that hasn't really done much other than say Nolan's Batman, this movie had a lot to prove. Wow, did it ever. It proved that superhero movies can be realistic, emotional, funny and have highly entertaining action. This is the movie to launch the MCU, and started the shared universe that DC comics and other franchises are following.

Let's start with the number one reason why this movie is so good: Robert Downey Jr. I am so glad that Jon Favreau kept pressing the studio to make sure RDJ had this role because he completely nails it. He effortlessly portrays the cool, sarcastic, alcoholic, playboy that I don't even think he's acting. He's clearly not perfect as he is the guy we think is awesome but don't necessarily want to be. This role is basically synonymous with RDJ now because you can't think of Tony Stark without immediately thinking of RDJ. Iron Man wasn't a househeld name before but thanks to RDJ's performance, it is now.

The action in this movie is incredible as you get to see him fly around, take on terrorist cells and fight the main villain. What I even found to more intriguing is Stark's entire time building his suit, both in the Afghan cave and in his garage because it is amazing to see his genius at work, while still being snarky and basically a tool.

The writing and humor is also very good in this movie. I read that a lot of the lines, especially RDJ's were improv, which is able to keep this movie very fresh, not Rotten Tomatoes style, but it helps a lot by breaking the molds of superhero movies.

A couple complaints in this film is the pacing and the final villain. The pacing starts off very well, not really rushing into him being Iron Man, establishing his character very well before his abilities. Then the final battle comes around and it's basically just an evil version of his character, which sort of works with the problem of his technology getting into wrong hands, but the fact that it's just fighting a mirror is kind of boring. The final battle comes around pretty quick and it resolved fairly quick as if they are trying to wrap it up really quickly. I did like Bridges' Obadiah Stane with his intimidating yet charming persona but in the end he was just a reverse of Iron Man, not that interesting.

+ Robert Downey Jr + Fresh, new start for superhero movies + Writing and pacing (mostly) + Action and Humor - Final Villain

Final Score: 9.3/10
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The best superhero film to date
ametaphysicalshark5 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Unlike pretty much all the superhero movies out there other than the Hellboy movies, I found "Iron Man" improved on second viewing. I'd go as far as saying that it's the best superhero film to date, although I'd have to see "Hellboy II" again before being sure about it. This film is near perfect as a summer entertainment. Light and largely insubstantial, but still not dumb in the slightest, and actually featuring some interesting writing for Tony Stark. The standard-issue moral dilemmas are handled well, without the stifling seriousness and heavy-handedness which sometimes let down the Nolan Batman films. We care about the dilemmas not necessarily due to their nature but because Tony Stark is such a convincing character.

I'm going to be drawing comparisons to "The Dark Knight" throughout this 'review'. I do so not because I dislike "The Dark Knight" (in fact until a few hours ago I thought I liked it a tad more than "Iron Man"), but because I'm attempting to make a case for "Iron Man" as the best summer blockbuster released in 2008, and the best superhero film to date. "The Dark Knight" is often praised for being more adult and darker than any other superhero film to date. First off, 'more adult' and 'darker' aren't necessarily the same thing. "The Dark Knight" is, on paper, really not all that more ludicrous than "Iron Man", nor is it a better story, nor are the characters more interesting. Bruce Wayne barely exists in "The Dark Knight", Rachel Dawes isn't up to much, Harvey Dent's transformation isn't all that convincing.

Beyond just that, the film is stiflingly dark and humorless, almost to a fault because, well, it is about a guy walking around in a batsuit and fighting a maniac in clown makeup and a guy with half a face. The dialogue is often of an obviously expository nature. Where "The Dark Knight" is better than "Iron Man" is in the visual style. It also boasts a better villain. On the other hand, "Iron Man" is a straightforward superhero movie. It's odd, after so many superhero films, to finally see one which really feels like reading a superhero comic. I am not a fan of Iron Man or Marvel in general, but have read some good Iron Man comics in the past, and this film so wonderfully captures the nature of a superhero comic. Sure, Jeff Bridges' villain isn't great, but he fits very nicely into the story of the movie. The story's really very good too.

The real heart of the film though is with Iron Man himself. While I give a lot of credit to Robert Downey Jr., who gives a performance which, like Heath Ledger's in "The Dark Knight", is well beyond the standard for popcorn fare. The complaints about the film having no character development are also pretty unwarranted. Granted, Pepper Potts isn't up to much, but what really matters is Tony Stark himself and I found him not only convincingly portrayed but quite excellently-written as well. The film is concerned with the origins of Iron Man, not with the origins of Tony Stark. We hear about his father, we see what he was like before being in captivity, but the film doesn't bother with the usual clichéd approach which basically usually means the character is defined by two, maybe three if you're lucky, big, clichéd events in his life. All we need to know for this specific film (there's more to come from Iron Man, let's not forget) is who Tony Stark is NOW, and what went through his head after being in captivity and building the suit. With that in mind I felt "Iron Man" provided a well-rounded lead character, much more interesting than Bruce Wayne in "The Dark Knight" and more substantial than Hellboy or Peter Parker or pretty much most of the rest with specific regard to the movie incarnations of the characters.

The screenplay's wise approach to the origin story means it can focus on the story. It's all pretty standard-issue stuff but done well, and while not insightful or deep or anything it certainly isn't a totally lunkheaded approach to the subject matter: the impact of weapons technology and advancements in the field on the world. Also what really matters is that it's a tight, lean screenplay, and while the climactic battle is a little underwhelming (and unfortunately starts feeling a bit like "Transformers"), it is at least very well-shot, with a sort of clarity which helps all the action scenes here shine.

The film is a well-made, tightly-constructed movie which is as long as it should be, and one which strikes a solid balance between character and story. Robert Downey Jr. is a big part of the film's success, no doubt, but credit should go to director Jon Favreau and the writers as well, because they really managed to deliver a movie that's a hell of a lot of fun, and one with easily the best central character in any superhero movie to date, and I say this as someone who definitely doesn't count Iron Man as their favorite superhero as far as comics go.
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9/10
It doesn't get much better than this
DonJohn801 May 2008
Quite possibly the best comic movie ever, hovering around the level of the first Spider-Man (before Raimi lost his mind). Robert Downey Jr was as perfect a casting job as we've been expecting, Bridges plays Obidiah Stane that you won't even think of him as The Dude, the CG doesn't suck,and it doesn't try to cram too much...(read more) in (the runtime of just over two hours feels just right). Any worries I had about this film went right out the window, and they'll stay out the window when I go again... and again... and again. Just remember to stick through the credits, because if you know anything about Marvel (and even if you don't) you'll find the wait worth it.
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9/10
An Experience of a Lifetime
eric26200320 April 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Of the top, my all time favourite superhero movie is the 1989 Batman, and my second favourite was the 1994 Alec Baldwin superhero movie "The Shadow" (the other ones seem to lack a certain formula that doesn't appeal to me very well).

Not trying to be picky, but for a superhero film to work, isn't quite necessarily based on the excitement, the colours, the special gift our hero possesses or the colourful villains. It's fundamental priority is centered around the person behind the costume, the humanly characteristics our hero portrays. That in itself lures me into watching superhero action films. The superhero persona is only the frosting on the cake as to what drives the person behind the goals the character wishes to accomplish and the tactics he/she possesses and the dangers they encounter along the way of their quests.

"Iron Man" is an inspiration of how superhero movies should be made. The man behind the robot, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) suit represent raw emotion, real characterizations and a drive behind his motives. In addition to that, he is fun-loving, intelligent with just the right amount of quirkiness that is over-blown serious or overly silly.

A great trait about the movie is that it isn't forced or rushed into the action scenes right away. "Iron Man" starts with the story behind Tony Stark and gradually it builds up the action. That way, it makes room for more further development as the story progresses. We can easily observe the dilemmas that Tony Stark is faced with and what he plans t do to overcome the obstacles that are upstaging him.

Unlike other superhero films with cheesy dialog, in "Iron Man" the acting is surprisingly excellent. Downey is born to play this complex character, and succeeds rather well with his usual wit and low-key acting. It is by far the best I've seen since Michael Keaton in "Batman" and that was almost 20 years ago. His Tony Stark and the hardships he faces is convincing enough to sympathize with.

Gwyneth Paltrow turns in another compelling performance as Tony Stark's loyal aide Pepper Potts. She provides a certain kind of charm and kindness that isn't just the female lead. Her facial expressions of concern and bewilderment speak more volumes than her voice (though her dialog was excellent too).

Terrence Howard shines as Col. Rhodes, but I would've liked him to have more air time and better interactions between him and Stark, that might be my only criticism there. Plus Jeff Bridges is wonderful as the villain Obadiah Stane.

The special effects are amazingly stunning in a way that it doesn't usurp the dialog like in many superhero moves. It succeeds in it being even balanced and avoids the cheese factor immensely.

Last year I went to the theaters expecting to see another cheap-thrilling superhero action blockbuster, boy it was one of those rare moments where I was glad I was wrong. It was everything I ever hoped for in a superhero movie. Especially the development of the man behind the suit rather than the Iron Man himself. Stay tuned next year folks, the long-awaited sequel is coming soon. Get your tickets while they last. Get that camera rolling Jon Favreau.
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10/10
Great Movie!
g-bodyl17 November 2008
Iron Man is one of the better superhero movies. It's based off the popular Marvel comics. On one of the reviews, I was shocked to see that the person liked the new Hulk better. I agree that Hulk is a great movie, but Iron Man is 100 times better. Tony Stark, a popular weapons company owner gets kidnapped by a cult called "Ten Rings" in the Middle East. They want Stark to build a weapon for them. Instead he builds his Iron Man suit. He eventually escapes and later becomes Iron Man. Will he have revenge on the cult and it's surprising leader? You'll have to watch to find out. The acting is better than expected in this film. Robert Downey Jr. did such a unexpected great job. Gwyneth Paltrow did well as her role of Pepper Potts. I also liked Terrence Howard as Rhodey. The special effects were great as they are with superhero movies. The plot has its share of intriguing twists. I believe that this Iron Man is original, but that is my opinion. I rate this movie 10/10.
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Seamless and Vastly Entertaining
AnnaShade8 November 2008
When I rented this movie, I procrastinated for a week before watching it. I thought, why should I watch yet another superhero movie? Haven't I seen enough of them in my short lifetime? Expecting to be entertained by unimpressed, I decided to watch Iron Man.

The first thing I noticed right off the bat was the sharp dialog delivered by the excellent main actor. It was witty, crisp, and not lacking in the least. When I watch a movie, lame dialog is one of the worst things a movie can inflict upon me. Another thing I hate is bad CGI, and this movie had none of that. They pulled out all the stops on this one.

I recommend this movie highly, especially if you enjoy really cool explosions. Explosions are an art form, people, and this movie is a work of genius.
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9/10
I didn't expect this movie to be so awesome!
departed0713 October 2008
Marvel comics has unleashed superhero movies from The Spider-Man Trilogy, The X-Men Trilogy, The Hulk films, The Fantastic Four films, The Punisher, Blade, and Ghost Rider, where now the metallic superhero Iron Man makes his screen debut.

To be honest, I didn't know too much about Anthony Stark and his alter ego Iron Man since I was into Spider-Man, the X-Men and Hulk. But once I slipped on the DVD, I got more than I bargain for.

Robert Downey Jr. portrays smart technician billionaire and media lover Tony Stark who's gone off to Iraq in showing the army the latest weapons he created until being captured by the enemy. While being a prisoner, he must make the weapons or else he'll be killed off; his heart has been transplanted by a ball device where if it's taken off his chest, he'll die instantly. As a prisoner, Tony gets help from another prisoner by creating a metallic suit to shield himself as he escapes from the underground caves and later thinks about how with his inventions he can get rid of evil after learning that his weapons were not only used by the U.S. army but by the Iraq soldiers as well.

It's fun to watch Downey Jr.'s character as Stark trying to reinvent the machine and at the same time learning from his mistakes that nobody's perfect. His performance is a balanced of comedy and serious technique like watching Bill Murray in Ghostbusters. Tony Stark/Iron Man is a good comeback for Robert Downey Jr. who's really had a bit of ups and downs in the past years of his career, but he finally found the right character at last.

Jon Favreau (Swingers) directs the film balancing a sense of reality along with mixing humor, action, a bit of romance, adventure, screw-ups, and thrills along the way. Other than Downey Jr. in the film, Gwyneth Paltrow portrays Stark's assistant Pepper Potts who isn't a damsel in distress compared to most leading ladies but a tough cookie who knows everything about her employer and speaks the truth. Terrance Howard plays Stark's friend Col. James Rhodes who'll back him up in anyway while making sure that the billionaire doesn't do anything to screw up. And there's Jeff Bridges who plays Obidiah Stane, Stark's business partner with a few secrets of his own.

To conclude, Iron Man rocks in every way! Just be sure to stick around after the credits to see Samuel L. Jackson's cameo performance as Nick Fury.
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9/10
An unexpected blockbuster
collector2562 June 2008
I gotta admit, like most other people I was not a big fan of Iron Man comics or Robert Downey Jr, but after seeing this movie I have new respect for the actor and the character. With his drug/alcohol problems of the past it seemed like Downey would be the perfect guy to portray someone who went through a similar experience and cleaned up his act. Now with Spider-Man being Marvel's mascot, I was very surprised that they made me want to see more of a character that wasn't exactly a house hold name. Big congrats to Favreau & co. for pulling this off. So which makes me wonder how incredible major properties such as Fantastic Four, Hulk & Captain America could have been with the right people on the projects. This movie was so good it's hard to even watch earlier superhero films because they will not be at the level this one is. The actors, especially Downey did a fantastic job and were believable in their roles. As Stark, he perfectly captured the self serving smart ass as well as the guy who redeems himself by using his weapons for good. The story & CGI were amazing especially the origin sequence & the unveiling of the final version of the Iron Man suit. Only gripe is that maybe there could have been more action or a more major villain from the comics, but hey they're just getting started. I am definitely looking forward to the sequel and hope the same quality continues for this new franchise.
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9/10
Man of Steel, Ethics of Plastic
dunmore_ego18 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
*Iron Man* is a steel-belted planet-crusher of a film; alloy feet on the ground, red-and-gold armor streaking for sub-orbital skies. Based in a reality close to current, like the shrapnel lodged in Tony Stark's chest, we feel it close to our heart… technology, physics, corporate backbiting, intimate asides… and a self-made hero that speaks in tongues to our wild fantasies of power.

Not just for 14-year-old boys.

Robert Downey Jr. is Tony Stark, all-American, arrogant, insouciant, egomaniacal billionaire playboy weaponry wizard, who sustains a shrapnel wound in Afghanistan (comic book lore tells us a land mine in Nam; movie places Stark in a *current* non-essential conflict), imprisoned by generic Arabs and forced to make a WMD for them, instead designing an armor suit, first for escape from his oily-complected captors, and then as avenger (wink wink) *against* his own weapon creations and the corporate back door deals that cede those American weapons into oily-complected hands.

Departing considerably from comic book canon, all the familiar characters are here, but tweaked: Jim Rhodes (excellent Terence Howard) is not just Stark's pilot, but a high-ranking air force officer; Pepper Potts (moderately cute Gwyneth Paltrow) is Stark's yearning Girl Friday, who sees the parade of fluff through Tony's bedroom as a prelude to her ultimate spanking; Obadiah Stane (an uncharacteristically sinister Jeff Bridges) is not a corporate competitor but in Stark's trusted inner circle, making his betrayal all the more treacherous…

Directed by Jon Favreau (Vince Vaughn's wife) and screen played surprisingly well by its four writers, *Iron Man* takes its time focusing on the man inside the metal, rather than the mayhem the metal man musters. (Can I have a prize for that one?)

In captivity, a fellow prisoner, Yinsen (Shaun Toub) creates an electromagnet to keep the shrapnel from entering Stark's heart, which Stark refines into a glowing "reactor" or something, forever to remain his albatross - and simultaneously a cool superhero chest-piece.

Yinsen turns Stark from unrepentant war dog to humanitarian avenger by telling him of his "life's work in the hands of these murderers." Let's get the "murderer" definition straight: when Stark shows off his death-dealing toys in callous arrogance ("Respected or feared? I say, Why not both?"), he merely echoes the stance of the Amerikan Military War Machine, who also believe the "best weapon is the one you only need to fire once." Who are the murderers again? Secondly, a business genius like Stark should know how the supposed "enemy" market is the house of sand the Amerikan military economy is built upon. When it comes to killing for profit, Amerikan ethics are quite, quite plastic.

The first taste of the crude, silver armor is magnificent. Though the '63 comic book version now looks like a clown suit next to his red-and-gold juggernauts, the movie gussies up the suit with mechanical ganglions to lend it cave-cred. And in this roughshod mechanical man, Stark escapes the Arabs like a runaway tank.

Back in "civilization" Stark turns his focus from corporate warfare to one project – his new armor. Meanwhile, Jeff Bridges scares us with his shaved head.

Seeing Stark create and test the powers of his technological marvel is half the fun of this origin tale - and when the full armor suit is eventually revealed, it is the sexiest beast this side of Optimus Prime! CGI is used as sensibly as Ridley Scott used it in *Gladiator* – to enhance the story rather than to blow our minds with cheap shots. Seeing Iron Man out-fly combat jets and take on tanks is action enough –

AND - the worst part about Doctor Doom in *Fantastic Four* was his voice remaining the fruity scientist's drawl even when he donned the mask – but when Stark slams on his iron man – yeeees! - he has a Vader thoom!

We have CGI to thank that Favreau didn't put Downey in a rubber suit and dub in clanking foley. And with the armor's complexity, it is only logical a machine should suit him up - and only CGI could render that machine, rather than having to see him pull on his gleaming jeans one pants-leg at a time.

The CGI only falls overboard once, when Stane dons giant armor to battle Iron Man in the final scenes, the movie suddenly turning into *Transformers 2: Electric Boogaloo* for a bad second.

In the final cut, no one will notice the ethics paradox – it's not for this movie's target demo to tangle with. *Iron Man* is still one of the great superhero movies.

IRON MAN opens with AC/DC's *Back in Black.* And we're played out by Sabbath's *Iron Man*!

Not just for 14-year-old boys. But it'll sure make you feel like one.
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