Cast: Robert Downey, Jr., Terrence Howard, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges
Director: Jon Favreau
Theatrical release: 2008; available on DVD
Besides its summer blockbuster status as a great popcorn flick, Iron Man turned out to have an interesting premise and an excellent cast, starting with Robert Downey, Jr. After having been a Hollywood bad boy, Downey, Jr. has mostly cleaned up his act and seems intent on making movies worth seeing, even if they're based on comic books. But then, lots of movies, computer programs, video games, real parts of the world are based on comic books these days, aren't they?! These days, more and more of us act as if future-shock is business-as-usual.
Part of the interesting premise of Iron Man is that the smart-aleck billionaire arms dealer gets a dose of his own medicine when a deal with terrorists goes south and he's held hostage. After his co-captor saves his life, our hero decides to use the skills he acquired in creating his weapons to forge his way out of captivity. And then he goes about saving the world closer to home.
Of course, it wouldn't be a comic book or summer movie if there weren't a lot of special effects, explosions, and fight-outs/shoot-outs. It's all pretty good stuff, too, except for the last fight sequence between our guy and the big bad monster villian, which is longer than it needs to be. But then, if you want to see every nut, bolt, and piece of hot metal trashed, there you have it.
Beyond its appeal to teenage guys and ComicCon groupies, you'll find more story and better story than expected in Iron Man, along with a very fun ride.
Then, check out Hancock for a different kind of superhero story and one with a major twist that gives it a lot of heart.