One of the best and most consistently surprising superhero films of all-time. Laced with a ton of CGI spectacle and a sardonic wit, this highly entertaining comic book adaptation has enough humor to keep fan-boys and newbies equally riveted. Robert Downy Jr. fits well into the egotistical persona of billionaire war profiteer Tony Stark. After being held captive in an Arabic country by a terrorist cell and forced to build weapons, Stark uses his available resources to assemble an armored suit that effectively becomes his mode of escape. Once freed and safely back home, Tony has a crisis of conscious and begins a quest of disarmament around the world.
Director Jon Favreau steps into the big time world of summer blockbusters with grace, the film is visually inventive and remarkably light on it’s feet for its 125 minute running time. Downey Jr. and Bridges have excellent screen chemistry as the two screen veterans take a simple script and add pathos to what could have been stock characters in other lesser talented hands. Equally impressive in limited screen time is Gwyneth Paltrow as the long-suffering assistant Pepper Potts and Terrance Howard (slightly under-used) as Stark’s military liaison Cpt. Rhodes.
The only gripe could be that it takes the film almost 40 minutes before Stark appears in the suit. That being said, this is an origins story that deserves to be mentioned along classics such as ‘Batman Begins’, ‘Spiderman’ and ‘X-2’. An unexpected hit for Paramount and Marvel Studios, launching a franchise and resurrecting the once promising career of the brilliant Downey Jr.
Director: Jon Favreau
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow
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