This is one of the best of the marvel adaptations, from one of the more neglected characters in the marvel universe. I was pleasantly surprised to see all parts of the film cohesively made. Where as spider man had excellent peter parker scenes but dire Spiderman action scenes, and where Xmen and hulk had great action scenes but fairly dry `normal people' scenes, Iron man I felt introduced the right balance, with comedy, serious moments, and actions scenes with real punch.
Robert Downey Jr is perfect in the role, always seemingly smarter and riskier in every single way than the other characters in the movie, and spares the time to crack some spot on jokes. He is convincing as a scientist as well as a playboy and manages to take on both roles convincingly. Gwyneth Paltrow's role was not an amazing one and too be honest many actresses of similar physical build and spoken class could have filled the role. Jeff Bridges was very effective and quite an unreadable character for much of the film.
Plot wise it was all good up until the battle with the final villain who transitioned from a real life kind of bad guy, to the straight up insane comic book bad guy a little too quickly. But arguably this film is about its action scenes and it does not disappoint, the special effects are great in that they might not seem like special effects, just complicated real life shots. The suit of armour is everything it should be, looks wise and equipment wise, featuring all the sorts of gaudy weaponry that it deserves. The only parts of the film where I thought the use of CGI, particularly the animation, weren't up to scratch were the mechanical fitting of his armour which just felt too fake, and the final boss battle which just edged itself out of a realistic presentation.
Iron man really is one of those show off films for a Bluray home theatre, it is wonderfully sharp and the facial textures and pores are extremely vivid, made more so by artificially enhancing your TVs sharpness, although this may make the background picture look slightly more grainy. Particular highlights are the desert scenes in the beginning and any of the daytime Iron man scenes, where the metal grain of the suit can look like brushed aluminium, which would never really come across as effectively on Standard Definition. The CGI is superbly believable and immersive, possibly with the exception of the end battle which was probably the weaker part of the film anyway.
The sound is excellent, with your home cinema system booted up there are plenty of ear candy moments, from the test firing of the missile system to the time he takes out the enemies version of it, but the whole movie is generally spot on. The music sound track is also extra well done, with the guitar used to back up many scenes giving the impression that Tony Stark really is a rock star in his field.
Overall this is a great film even for those who struggle to like such non real life style films, as this one is mostly done with a maintained realism and effects base. The action is coruscating and boldly impressive, and the viewing experience is further intensified by the almost immaculate presentation of the picture and sound on Bluray.