19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Brilliant, bombastic fun.,
This review is from: Iron Man [DVD] (DVD)
Marvel had a great run of movies in the early noughties but lost steam with more recent efforts such as the painful X-Men 3 and the lacklustre Spider-Man 3. As the cast list was announced for Iron Man it became slightly intriguing as a couple of left field choices suggested this could well be better than the average. And thank all our lucky stars it is.
Billionaire industrialist and genius weapon designer Tony Stark is captured in the Middle East by a terrorist cell who promptly force him to work on creating a hi tech missile for them so they can blow up some Americans. Tony's in even more trouble as a bit of shrapnel is moving toward his heart and will kill him except for a car battery that is being used to keep his heart beating. Ever resourceful though, he uses the materials supplied by his captors to build a super suit that allows him to lay the smack down and escape. On his return to freedom he tries to turn the direction of his company toward less militaristic practices and faces opposition from his friends and colleagues- especially long time confidante Obadiah Stane. Undeterred however, he perfects his high tech armour and starts aiming to do some good in the world.
It's silly stuff, but no sillier than the last survivor of Krypton or a teenager bitten by a radioactive spider. Suspension of disbelief is aided by brilliant pacing and a well crafted script. The scenes where Tony perfects the Iron Man armour have plenty of comedic asides, including the cutest robot buddy this side of Wall-E, and the action sequences look great. Teases are dropped throughout the movie about an organisation called SHIELD (look out for a short scene after the credits) that plenty of Marvel fans have become excited about. Cast wise it's excellent, Robert Downey Jr makes a great Stark, playing the shallow ladies man to perfection and then easily conveying the growing senses of responsibility and conviction. His easy interplay with Gwyneth Paltrow's "Pepper" Potts (his capable personal assistant) is one of the films delights and they prod each other and flirt so playfully that they are easily the best on screen couple from a Marvel movie. Jeff Bridges brings smarm and menace at all the right times to Stane, while Paul Bettany's dry and somewhat cutting asides as computer AI Jarvis help lighten the load in the scenes where Tony is on his own. Terrence Howard is adequate, if a bit anonymous, as Jim Rhodes, Tony's US Military liaison.
As is a flaw in many super hero movies the final third is a bit rushed and suffers in comparison to the majority of the movie, but it's a minor flaw. While this is no Dark Knight style masterpiece, Iron Man is easily the most fun and repeatedly watchable film of 2008's summer blockbuster slate.