Iron Man (2008) starring Robert Downey Jr., Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow, Leslie Bibb, Shaun Toub, Faran Tahir, Clark Gregg, Bill Smitrovich, Sayed Badreya, Paul Bettany directed by Jon Favreau Movie Review

Iron Man (2008)   4/54/54/54/54/5

Gwyneth Paltrow and Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man

No Need to be Downey about Iron Man

Now I will admit that I like a good super hero movie with emphasis being on the good, because although in recent times there has been a resurgence in super hero movies and bringing comic book characters to the big screen for the most I have been disappointed. The trouble is that some of these recent super hero movies have been too serious, too dark and features a super hero with a tortured psyche but have failed to really entertain me. Thankfully "Iron Man" with Robert Downey Jr. is different, it is funny, entertaining, interesting and most importantly is what I want from a super hero movie.

When Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr. - Zodiac), the playboy millionaire and owner of a weapons manufacturing business, is kidnapped by Afghan terrorists, in an attempt to get him to build them a weapon of mass destruction, he instead uses his time in captivity to build a special iron suit to help him escape. Back in the USA and having had an epiphany over his business, he decides to fine tune his iron suit to use it to fight crime.

Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane in Iron Man

Whilst there is undeniably a slight political under tone to the "Iron Man" storyline, it is the way in which the movie comes across with a mixture of humour and story telling which really captures your attention from start to finish. This is fantasy in a real world with splendidly corny dialogue, a collection of cliché characters and a range of special effects which enhance the movie rather than stealing the show.

The actual story line of "Iron Man" is not by any means complex, we have the creation of Iron Man and a bog standard romantic sub plot featuring Tony's PA Pepper Potts played by Gwyneth Paltrow, yes a gloriously corny but utterly fitting name for the character. Plus there are a couple of twists, which are frankly quite predictable, which is not a bad thing for such a simple yet entertaining movie. "Iron Man" definitely did not need any complexity and I am sure that the whole emphasis of the production was on entertainment value rather than leaving with you with too much to think about. There are no who, what, why and how's but there are big smiles and who cares give me more.

The undeniable star of "Iron Man" is Robert Downey Jr. a rather unlikely choice for playing a super hero but all the same brilliant, especially as a millionaire playboy. It is Downey's quick talking and delivery of one liners that helps to keep the movie moving and entertaining. Very few actors really posses the ability and arrogance to deliver a one line gag with out over cooking it, but Downey does it time and again. Plus for someone you don't necessary associate with being in great shape, Downey definitely looked in good condition.

Although Robert Downey Jr. is the obvious star of "Iron Man", the supporting performances from Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane and Terence Howard as Rhodey are the meat which the movie needs. Each provide perfect stools to Downey's quick fire repartee but add a touch of their own to the humorous moments as well as drama where needed, to make there characters more than just wafer thin bit parts. Plus the fact that each of these characters has their own sub plots helps to add nice extras to the movie.

I can imagine that some comic book aficionados will be disappointed with "Iron Man", with some saying that it is too cheesy whilst others may say that it strays too far from the original comic book creation. Although with this being an independent movie from Marvel Studios, hopefully they have stayed true to the original character. What I will say is that it is hugely entertaining, packed full of action, visual effects and humour as well as feeding you a fantastical story line which will leave you smiling and wanting more.

What this all boils down to is that "Iron Man" is my sort of super hero movie, it has a storyline but one which is easy to follow. It also has plenty of humour from one liners through to amusing set pieces never taking it self too seriously but never going too far and becoming cheesy. And in Robert Downey Jr. it has a charismatic star, someone who we can get behind rather than having to deal with emotional baggage as so many modern super heroes tend to have.