Iron Man (2008)

The summer kicks off with its first superhero movie of the year, Iron Man. The first film fully produced by Marvel, Iron Man can quite possibly be one of the best superhero movies in recent history. Robert Downey Jr. stars as Tony Stark, a billionaire playboy that specializes in weapons manufacturing and is known around the world for his callous nature. While showcasing a new weapon in Afghanistan, Stark is kidnapped by a group of terrorists who are forcing him to create a weapon for them to use. But crafty Stark has some tricks up his sleeves, as he instead builds a suit of metal that allows him to destroy anything and everything. Upon his return home, Stark has a revelation about the dangers he has unleashed to the world, and from that moment on he vows to protect those who he has put in harms way. Using the schematics he made in Afghanistan, Tony builds the famous red and gold suit that transforms him into Iron Man. He makes it his job to save the world, and he must start by defeating his double crossing business partner Obediah Stone (Jeff Bridges).

There are so many great things to say about Iron Man, that I have no idea where to begin. I suppose I should start with Robert Downey Jr., who's performance is nothing short of perfect. Downey Jr completely epitomizes all that Stark is: a careless, womanizing, quick witted, minor alcoholic, yet remarkably likeable jerk. Portraying Tony Stark seemed perfectly natural for Downey Jr, and truly was an excellent performance. Throughout the film, he was able to maintain a comedic overtone that fit in remarkably well in between the scenes of action and drama. Jeff Bridges was a very convincing bad guy as Obediah Stone, Tony Stark's business associate that becomes the Iron Monger. Completely unrecognizable as a bald man with a beard, Bridges delivers in superb fashion as Iron Man's nemesis. His supporting role contributed an extra boost to the film, and serves as a very good character foil to Tony Stark. Gwenyth Paltrow is Tony Stark's assistant Pepper Potts, who is practically Tony's only family or friend. Paltrow (looking exceptionally beautiful) was a lot of fun in this film, and did a pretty good job of displaying the confusing feelings she has for her boss. Every superhero has to have their love interest, but another thing that makes this film great is that it doesn't throw the romance at you right away. From watching recent Spiderman and Superman movies, you can see romance has kind of overtaken the plot, leaving the viewer with a feeling of almost disgust. Iron Man does not bend and break to this convention, which I find to be very impressive. Rounding off the cast is Terrance Howard who plays Jim Rhodes, decorated army soldier and also pal of Stark. The only thing I have to say about him is to all you comic fans out there, expect a sidekick in Iron Man 2 (and yes, with 104 million dollars opening weekend there will be one).

When I first heard that Jon Favreu was directing Iron Man, I wasn't too happy. Elf was pretty good, and I don't think anybody saw Zathura, but I just didn't think Favreu had what it took to be a superhero movie director. Well I have never been happier to be proved wrong in my life. Iron Man was extremely well put together, and if their ever is an Avengers movie, Favreu should be the one to direct it. He manages to keep a stable level of intensity throughout the action sequences without an excessive use of CGI. Favreu also made use of a technique that I find very effective, which is lack of music during some fighting scenes. This allowed for us to here every thud and clang made by Iron Man, making me feel as though I was there with him.

Iron Man is not completely a summer action flick with no mind though. It address an issue that is running wild in our day, which is the question of weapons manufacturing. Who are these manufacturers really helping? When Tony Stark starts the movie as a heartless war monger, you believe that there is nothing wrong with trying to protect our country by any means necessary. Yet as the movie continues on and his character arc begins to unfold, you see that that way of thinking is flawed, and that we should try to find an alternative to war. This message lies underneath the movie's exterior, which means it doesn't blatantly shove itself into our minds, so if we want to ignore it, we can.
I saw Iron Man 2 days ago, and in that time I have managed to come up with 0 negative comments to make about this film. The only thing that comes close to a negative comment is that I feel the final battle was a bit too short, but given the magnificent hour and 45 minutes that preceded it, I was still fulfilled. Iron Man doesn't suffer from any of the cliches of action hero cinema. The storyline was engaging and kept my interest thoughout, and will continue to hold my interest for as long as this franchise lives. The script was not complicated, nor was the integrity of the film ruined by special effects (You hear that makers of Spiderman, special effects DON'T make a movie!). Iron Man provides sustained entertainment for all of its (approximate) 2 hour runtime, and I would be more than willing to pay another price of admission to see it again. And a word to the wise, stay for after the credits. It is SO worth it. My Rating: (10/10)

P.S.- I am aware of the fact that I have just given a superhero movie the same rating as No Country For Old Men, The Shining, and A Clockwork Orange. I am not high, this film seriously deserves it.


  1. Awesome review. I reviewed it also and feel the same way. Put a side the fact it was a superhero movie, it had a great story line and the acting was top notch!

  2. Personally, I found it too predictive. But very well-thought review!
    And you're dead on about the romance-crap forced into other superhero movies.

  3. awesome movie review.

    i got a little nervous in the middle when the movie seemed to turn you into some sort of pacifist, but i'm sure it'll be short lived. lol.

    but anyway, i felt like i was reading something very professional. =]



Movies given a 10/10

  • Milk
  • In Bruges
  • Slumdog Millionaire
  • The Dark Knight
  • Iron Man
  • No Country For Old Men
  • The Shining
  • A Clockwork Orange