ironman.jpgI confess.  Before Entertainment Weekly touted Iron Man’s 2008 release, I had never even heard of the Marvel comic book of the same name.  EW’s excitement about it made me figure the movie would be fantastic.  I’m happy to report that I was almost right.

Iron Man is about weapons designer and Stark Industries CEO Tony Stark (played by Robert Downey Jr.), who gets kidnapped by terrorists in Afghanistan.  While being held captive, Tony is forced by their leader, Raza (Faran Tahir), to recreate the latest Stark weapon called The Jericho, which is so powerful that it could decimate an entire mountain. 

Instead of recreating his “masterpiece,” Tony creates a new weapon in the form of a metal suit that can rocket off into the air and shoot fire. Once he has escaped and returned to the United States, Tony decides to give up weapons creation and work on his suit. 

Meanwhile, the folks at Stark Industries are highly upset that Tony has given up a trade that has brought Stark Industries billions upon billions of dollars.

One of the great things about this movie is that Downey is not the typical superhero.  Then again, neither is Tobey Maguire (Spider Man).  Downey is fit, but not gym fit – with muscles that seem to come from working in his lab, not working out on ten different machines. 

With the exception of his ability to have any woman he wants, billions of dollars to build big boy toys, a house totally run by a computer system, “assistants” that are robots  he created, and the most loyal assistant I’ve seen in a really long time, Tony is the typical “every man.” 

Okay, maybe not every man, but he is quite human after his captivity.  Who wouldn’t be?  It’s just nice to see a real man being a super hero.

Another thing I liked about Iron Man is Gwyneth Paltrow’s character, Pepper Potts, Tony’s do-everything assistant who does some dangerous and ghastly things for her main man/boss. 

Paltrow isn’t usually cast to play the girlfriend, but Pepper is more than just the pretty face next to the super hero.  Pepper is a smart woman with a great can-do attitude; a perfect role for Paltrow. 

Terrence Howard plays the sexy Colonel Jim Rhodes.  Howard is so talented that he can play any character he chooses.  Rhodes has depth because of Howard.  I didn’t have any issue with this character, except that whenever he was on screen I couldn’t really focus on anything else.

But, I digress.

Iron Man was written by Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Art Marcum, and Matt Holloway.  With so many writers, I’m glad they got the script right. (Multiple writers often add up to a bad script.) 

Director Jon Favreau created a film that is quite comical and entertaining – even if the subject matter was a tad bit too strong for a children’s movie.  Parents should beware that the movie includes scenes of a brief sexual encounter and a family being divided with guns pointed at their heads that may be a little too extreme for children.

Jeff Bridges, who looks like a completely different man with his white beard, bald head, and extra weight, is the ultimate bad guy.  Bridges plays the ruthless Obadiah Stane, a character that is so bad he makes the leader of the bad guys afraid. 

Iron Man was pretty good. There was a great introduction of characters, great special effects, a really great suit, and an easy-to-follow plot. It is, after all, a movie geared toward children and the little kid inside of many adults that will surely lead to a sequel.