I saw this movie three times in theaters back in May. The first was an advance cast and crew screening. The second was with a good friend who wanted to go opening weekend. The third was with my mother who loves a good, hearty action flick. Every time I saw this movie it never lost credibility- it just got better and better.
Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is the high-powered CEO of Stark Industries, which, amongst other things, supplies weapons to the US Army. During a visit to Iraq to debut and demo a new weapon he finds himself under attack, captured by the enemy and forced to create a weapon to use against the US. With a piece of shrapnel dangerously close to his heart, he invents a mechanism that will keep him alive, and fuels an indestructible iron suit that allows him to escape. Upon his return, he swears to keep his weapons out of enemy hands and hones his iron suit into the super hero Iron Man.
This film is high powered, adrenaline-fueled fun. Downey is the perfect mix of sarcasm and snark as slightly alcoholic playboy, businessman, and inventor Stark. The action sequences are intense and exciting. Even the romance between Stark and his assistant Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) is sweet and well placed. Jeff Bridges as a fellow businessman at Stark Industries Obadiah Stane is quirky and has a great compatibility with Downey as they clash both literally and figuratively. While making timely changes to Iron Man’s origin, it even stays faithful enough to the comic books to please the fans. This smart popcorn flick, along with The Dark Knight, helped to restore everyone’s faith in superhero films this year.
Best Visual Effects
The visual effects in this film are amazing, however the most impressive accomplishment in this film is practical- a sleek and believable iron suit in all of its incarnations. It’s one of Stan Winston’s last projects and it will be remembered with fondness, but I believe it will also be overshadowed by the other two visually stunning films in this category: The Dark Knight and Benjamin Button.