Pros:Acting, special effects, plot, strong in all areas
Cons:Final battle could have been better
The Bottom Line: Still among the best of the genre.
Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.
Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is a genius in the technology field. He's also an arms manufacturer dealing with the military providing them with very powerful weapons. During an ambush in Afghanistan, he is injured when taking shrapnel to the chest and taken hostage. His life is saved by another prisoner Dr. Yinsen (Shaun Toub). While imprisoned he creates an iron suit to escape. He returns to the states to perfect his suit with intentions on repairing the damage his weapons have created. -summary
Up until this day, Iron Man which was released back in 2008 and directed by Jon Favreau remains one of the best comic book to live action movies I seen. The movie gets better every time I watch it. It captures all the elements that makes a superhero movie; it has a charismatic main character, the action scenes are cool, most of the comedy works, but most importantly it never forgets to be fun and leaves all the melodrama at the door. Even the supposed love interest in the form of Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) was not limited to the annoying damsel in distress. Iron Man is the definition of a fun superhero movie and I was never bored at any time.
The plot follows Tony Stark as he decides to change the intentions of his company and leave the arms trade. Due to his imprisonment and watching young soldiers killed by weapons that carried his name, he becomes plagued by the guilt. His long time friend and associate Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) isn't the least bit happy about this, and he tries to change Tony's mind. While this is going on, Tony is developing his suit and taking it on test runs.
One of the gripes I remember hearing about this film was that there's too much focus on the alter-ego, and not enough Iron Man action. I can agree to a certain extent here, however, as a fan of the comic I can understand this approach. Unlike Bruce Wayne, who a majority of his fighting was as Batman while trying to destroy the criminal element. Tony Stark, in and out of costume, was always fighting and that part of the character was indeed remembered for the movie. It helped provide the necessary character development, and since most of these segments as Tony Stark were interesting and funny at the same time, I really can't complain about it. I also enjoyed how closely the source material was followed.
The supporting characters were used and developed well enough. The main villain Stane, really doesn't come off as that bad of a villain to me. In fact, he was completely realistic to me as that man consumed by greed, and who refused to give up the wealthy life only because some spoiled playboy had a change of heart. Even though I didn't feel a very strong connection between the two, there was still something there, and I commend Favreau for taking one of the more interesting characters in Iron Man's mediocre rogue's gallery and not messing him up.
The special effects live up to the talk here. There really isn't a whole lot of Iron Man, but when it finally gets there, the action fans will find themselves thoroughly entertained. Iron Man gets to show off a few weapons and things are blown up. The final battle against the Iron Monger was pretty short, yet entertaining in that amount of time. Still, I would have preferred it to be a bit longer.
Overall, Iron Man still ranks very high even now; it does everything right and it never forgets its true aim which is to entertain. This movie could have easily fell a few notches for the unnecessary use of psycho babble. When looking at the strong acting performances, special effects and wonderful pacing. This is a movie that can entertain almost anyone and I recommend to those who understand that superhero movies can be very good without being overly intellectual.
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Viewing Format: DVD