Iron Man

"Very Good"

Iron Man Review


The summer movie season arrives with a clang as Iron Man, a second-tier superhero from the mighty Marvel Comics universe, receives a first-rate film adaptation courtesy of director Jon Favreau (Elf, Zathura) and his perfectly-cast leading man, Robert Downey Jr.

A standard origin story, Iron Man stays faithful to its comic-book roots while making necessary upgrades that enhance the characters rich history. Favreau and his screenwriters follow shortcuts instituted by the superior Batman Begins and the inferior Spider-Man. The first half establishes our hero outside of his costume. The second half ramps up the action as it confronts a central villain and lays groundwork for potential sequels.

Iron Man's true identity is Tony Stark (Downey), the genius son of a renowned weapons manufacturer whose family business, Stark Industries, provides cutting-edge technologies for our military's defense systems. In the comics, Stark was wounded while attending an armed-forces demonstration in Vietnam. Favreau comments on our current political landscape by shifting his action to Afghanistan, but he keeps the outcome the same. When Stark's convoy is attacked, he catches a near-fatal chunk of shrapnel with his chest. While detained by terrorists, the inventor builds an armor-plated suit that simultaneously keeps the metal away from his heart as it assists in his escape.

Casting makes or breaks a superhero movie -- Christopher Reeve embodied Superman's hopeful ideals, but Ben Affleck made for a dull Daredevil. Iron Man gets off on the right foot because Downey is Stark. The actor comes equipped with a billionaire's unchecked self-confidence. And while Downey hedges when conveying the role's heroics, that uncertainty actually reflects Stark's own hesitancy embracing his newfound calling.

Only true sadists hope for an actual performance in a superhero movie, and we celebrate whenever we're rewarded with a Downey, Hugh Jackman, or Christian Bale. Summer crowds crave spectacle, and Iron Man packs enough to satisfy. The highlight is Stark's sleek suit, a streamlined piece of geek pop art. Imagine the offspring of a Terminator-Transformer love affair and you're on the right track.

Oscar winners and nominees supplement the special effects. Chrome-domed Jeff Bridges is Obadiah Stane, Stark's business partner who maintains the company's focus on advancing weapon technologies. His resemblance to Dick Cheney, both in look and action, can't be coincidental.

Stark's pal Jim Rhodes (Terrence Howard), a pilot in the United States Air Force, reaps the benefits of Stark's destructive inventions. Iron Man fans know this character one day dons his own suit of armor as War Machine, and Howard tosses off a clever line that hints at his role in future installments.

Finally, uber-secretary Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) keeps Stark's extracurricular affairs in order. Paltrow brings the right mix of bravery and vulnerability, though the film's repeated attempts at forging a love connection with Downey fizzle.

Favreau's Iron Man doesn't redefine the genre the way Christopher Nolan's Batman did, but it's a solid, well-crafted launch for what should be a lucrative franchise.

OK, we got it. You're Iron Man.



Facts and Figures

Box Office Worldwide: $585.2M

Budget: $140M

Production compaines: Dark Blades Films, Paramount Pictures, Marvel Enterprises, Marvel Studios, Fairview Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , Kevin Feige

Starring: Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man, as Jim Rhodes, as Obadiah Stane, as Virginia 'Pepper' Potts, as Christine Everhart, as Yinsin, as Raza, as Agent Coulson, Sayed Badreya as Abu Bakaar, as General Gabriel, as Jarvis (voice), as Hogan, as William Ginter Riva, as Major Allen, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, as Award Ceremony Narrator (voice), as Guard, as Guard, Daston Kalili as Guard, Ido Ezra as Guard, Kevin Foster as Jimmy, Garret Noël as Pratt, Eileen Weisinger as Ramirez, Ahmed Ahmed as Ahmed, Fahim Fazli as Omar, Gerard Sanders as Howard Stark, Tim Rigby as Viper 1, as Viper 2, as Amira Ahmed, Thomas Craig Plumer as Colonel Craig, Robert Berkman as Dealer at Craps Table, Stacy Stas as Woman at Craps Table, Lauren Scyphers as Woman at Craps Table, Frank Nyi as Engineer, Marvin Jordan as Air Force Officer, Jim Cramer as Jim Cramer, Donna Evans as Woman In SUV, Reid Harper as Kid in SUV, Summer Kylie Remington as Kid in SUV, Ava Rose Williams as Kid in SUV, Vladimir Kubr as Kid in SUV, Callie Croughwell as Kid in SUV, Javan Tahir as Gulmira Kid, Sahar Bibiyan as Gulmira Mom, Patrick O'Connell as Reporter, as Reporter, Meera Simhan as Reporter, Ben Newmark as Reporter, Ricki Noel Lander as Flight Attendant, Jeannine Kaspar as Flight Attendant, Sarah Cahill as Flight Attendant, as Stan Lee, Justin Rex as Air Force Lieutenant, Zorianna Kit as Zorianna Kit, Lana Kinnear as Stan's Girl, Nicole Lindeblad as Stan's Girl, Masha Lund as Stan's Girl, Gabrielle Tuite as Stan's Girl, Tim Griffin as CAOC Analyst, as CAOC Analyst, Micah A. Hauptman as CAOC Analyst, James Bethea as CAOC Analyst, Jeffrey Ashkin as Photographer (uncredited), Russell Bobbitt as Georgio (uncredited), Vianessa Castaños as Fireman's Wife (uncredited), Mike Cochrane as Gulmira Villager (uncredited), Crystal Marie Denha as Dubai Beauty (uncredited), Mellany Gandara as Dubai Girl (uncredited), Halla as House wife at Award Ceremony (uncredited), Rodrick Hersh as Insurgent (uncredited), Kristin J. Hooper as Reporter (uncredited), Chris Jalandoni as Dubai Waiter (uncredited), Steve Janousek as Party Guest (uncredited), Laura Liguori as Dancer in Ballroom (uncredited), Flavia Manes Rossi as Reporter (uncredited), Anthony Martins as Village Dad (uncredited), Robert McMurrer as Reporter (uncredited), James M. Myers as Airforce Officer (uncredited), as Dubai Beauty #1 (uncredited), Sylvette Ortiz as Staff Sergeant (uncredited), Brett Padelford as Journalist (uncredited), Ajani Perkins as Voice (uncredited), Chris Reid as Reporter (uncredited), Toi Rose as News Cameraman (uncredited), Arne Starr as Dubai Tychoon in hat / Bus Passenger (uncredited), George F. Watson as Rooftop Fireman (uncredited), David Zyler as Whiplash One (voice) (uncredited)

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.