Written by Hombre Divertido
If this is a sign of things to come in this young summer season, we are in for one great ride. Jon Favreau directs Robert Downey Jr. in the well-paced adventure written by Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby and Art Marcum & Matt Holloway and succeeds where many have failed in the past, when it comes to superhero films, by keeping it simple.
Introduce us to the character, show us how he became a superhero, and have him fight a bad guy. Simple. You would think, but when looking back on the multiple-villain blockbuster disasters of the past, there is always some concern going in.
Here we get some great insight into Tony Stark (Downey Jr.) the billionaire playboy and genius head and chief weapons developer for Stark Industries. Not only is Downey perfectly cast, but displays wonderful comedic timing reminiscent of the sarcastic characters of his youth.
Stark is in Afghanistan with his Air Force pal Rhodey (Terrance Howard) to show the military Stark Industries newest weapon when Stark is taken hostage by insurgents and forced to build them a weapon. Instead he manages to build the first of his super suits right under their nose in one of the more far-fetched premises in this outing.
Stark does manage to escape with the use of the first iron outfit, and returns home with a new attitude about the business he is in. Making a change in the direction of Stark Industries helps to flush out the scheming antics of his associate Obadiah Stane played subtly by Jeff Bridges.
With the help of his faithful assistant Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) Stark manages to refine the suit of iron, enact revenge on the insurgents in Afghanistan, and beat down Obadiah who has built a bigger suit, all while cracking wise, and winking at the audience.
This is 126 minutes of popcorn fun that is sure to leave you wanting more Iron Man. The story is well paced, the dialog is well crafted, the special effects are not obvious, and the music compliments the story.
Howard may be the only weak link in the cast, only because he does not present a strong military presence that some might expect, but he makes up for it by creating a likeable sidekick presence. A few more action scenes could have added to the fun of this film, and some may say that the ending was a little anti-climactic for an action blockbuster, but in this case less is more. Keep it simple and leave them wanting more.
For the true comic buffs: This has one of the funniest cameos by Stan Lee, the creator of many Marvel superheroes, who appears in all the Marvel films. Also, make sure you stay for all the credits. Recommendation: Don’t miss this fun action film. May be too much blood and innuendo for the real young kids, but good family fare for the rest.