Film Review: Iron Man

Just one more Iron Man photoKudos to Marvel and Jon Favreau, you did it. Iron Man is the best Marvel superhero movie to date, bar none. It might actually be one of my favorite films of the genre, period. This was an intelligent movie with humor and heart that didn’t rely on special effects to carry the film. This film is more about the growth of the man behind the armor then really the superhero adventures of Iron Man.

I was in the camp that thought this movie would suffer from Origin Syndrome where we have to through the paces of seeing the Iron Man become Iron Man. Honestly I really liked this element of the film. Iron Man’s origin is one that has been retold ad naseum. I could recount the origin of Superman or Spider-Man in my sleep. Tony Stark figuring out how to create the Iron Man armor in all its incarnations was a cool process to be a part of. It gave the audience a chance to see why he’s a different kind of hero than any we’ve seen onscreen. This wasn’t a kid who got his powers by accident. In Tony Stark we have a middle-aged man building a suit of armor in order to save his life, both literally and figuratively.

To echo everyone else’s praise, Robert Downey Jr. was perfect as the lead character. But a lot of credit also has to go to this screenplay, also to director Jon Favreau for putting together a great cast. Terrence Howard as Jim “Rhodey” Rhodes and Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts were both excellent. These are both key characters in the Iron Man stories, they were brought to the screen with the same level of excellence that Downey provided his portrayal of Tony Stark.

I’d heard some complaints that the end battle was a weakness for the film. I have to disagree. Though it was a predictable as an oncoming train. I didn’t feel that the scene dragged on for too long, nor do I think the film was using this battle sequence as a special effects laden crutch. It was a well done film that got me excited for future installments. I hope they are able to keep the cast together from this first film.

I give it a 4 out of 5 overpriced buckets of popcorn. A fun movie to kick off the summer season. Hulk and The Dark Knight have a lot to live up to here.

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