Viewed – 31 October 2008 DVD
The super hero / comic-book movie just doesn’t seem to fail these days, what with The Dark Knight & Hellboy 2 hitting hard this summer. So we must not forget the first out the blockbuster-cannon, that much celebrated but painfully ignored hero Iron Man, a Marvel Comics stalwart for several decades.
Casting one of my favourite actors, Robert Downey Jr as billionaire weapons developer Tony Stark was my first bet that this was going to rock, and I wasn’t wrong – Downey Jr is every bit the likable, suave, charismatic lead, and although the origin story that is par the course for a super hero franchise is a little thin, and the climactic battle all too brief (with a deja vu Transformers-style); in between we get some priceless moments of comedy, stylish, feel-good action and plenty of personality (mostly from Downey Jr) that just makes for a guaranteed ‘fun’ two hours.
Jeff Bridges (another fave) is excellent as Tony’s business partner, and a surprisingly sexy Gwyneth Paltrow is on hand as Tony’s ever-faithful secretary / assistant where thankfully we don’t go the love-interest route. So much of this movie plays against genre conventions that it just feels fresh and exciting from the start – and I think this is going to become a great franchise. Roll on Iron Man 2!
Verdict: 4 /5