Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is a billionaire and advanced weapons manufacturer who invents the world's most elite killing machines. The mechanical genius lives his life as an alcoholic playboy who couldn't tie his own shoes without the help of his assistant, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow).

While in Afghanistan demonstrating his newest weapon to the military, Stark is kidnapped and hidden in a cave with the demands of building a missile. At this point Stark is just fortunate to be alive. While being kidnapped, he was hit with a large amount of shrapnel that has severely damaged his heart. Luckily for Tony, the terrorists also kidnapped a doctor/inventor from a near by village who brings the billionaire back to life.

After refusing to build them their weapon, Tony instead creates a suit of armor that allows him to escape. Once back in America he realizes all the carelessness and wrong he's done in creating his weapons. He realizes he has had no accountability and quickly begins taking steps to seize all production. Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges), a fellow CEO at Stark Enterprises, slowly begins pulling the rug from under Stark by stealing his inventions, taking his company, and selling weapons under the table to terrorists. Meanwhile, Tony has been building a new suit of armor... this one like nothing ever seen before.

Directed by John Favreau, Ironman is no doubt an exciting jump start to a movie filled summer. As with Zathura, Favreau successfully takes imagination and adventure into a whole new level of good, clean, family fun.

Robert Downey Jr. did an amazing job of juggling between his quick witty cracks and deep mechanical "he's yours". I was worried that I wasn't going to believe that Jr. was the man behind the suit. I was afraid that Stark would be for laughs and Ironman for action. Fortunately Favreau and Robert Downey successfully pull off the marriage between Tony Stark and Ironman. Kudos!

The other actors were just pretty good. By saying this I mean they stand well in Robert Downey's shadow. Paltrow was beautiful and enduring, Terrence Howard the good friend, and Jeff Bridges looking mean as the bald bearded bad guy (although I kept wanting him to say "the dude abides"). Like I said... nothing too amazing since they all live and breathe with the sole purpose of supporting Junior.

The rating stars begin to drop now that we've begin talking about the story. I absolutely hated the scenes where Stark is being forced to build the terrorist bomb and never once believed in his early version of Ironman. The circumstances felt forced and painful. I hated the character of the Afgan doctor. Standing around in caves with a suit and tie? Telling Stark of his family that has long since seen their maker? Even worse I hate him "buying" Tony more time. Ridiculous.

As with all movies of this caliber, the training and "becoming" scenes are some of the best. Tony Stark building and testing his Ironman suit are hilarious, exciting, and the true definition of summer fun.

The action that follows was equally impressive as Ironman becomes Ironman, searching down Stark's lost weapons and destroying all who operate them. One thing I love about the Ironman character is he never compromises and will do whatever it takes, always running before he walks. Unlike most superheroes and their movies, Ironman does not hesitate to pull the trigger on his enemy. No remorse, no forgiveness, just click click.

The two successful elements of the movie are Robert Downey Jr. and the special effects. Favreau does an impeccable job at bringing these two very important assets to life. The story and the mood are a little too light for me at times, unbelievable even for a superhero. But still... an exciting kick off to hopefully a great summer of movies. Ironman ranks high in the success of comic to film adaptations and will no doubt become a franchise.

Reviewed by: shea
36 Comment(s)
Andy said...
I thought it was cool. I definitely liked the movie more after he escaped from the caves. That went on for too long. The only good that came from it was the explanation of the light/power supply in his chest. The story was a little too average and obvious and definitely takes a back seat to the action and effects. I mean there were 2 scenes of races against computer status bars. And then the enemy is there just as it finishes. Whatever.

Downey Jr. was great. He did a good job with the evolution of Stark. I thought Gwyneth's performance was mediocre and spotty. Some of her lines were delivered like she phoned them in...literally. And I didn't think she was all that beautiful. She needs to go back to her coldplay rugrats in England.

I loved the suit. The times he is trying to figure out how to use it are pretty funny. I got a LITTLE tired of the comic relief robots. But one of the funniest scenes to me was when he is trying to get the suit off. And the first time he tries it on was good too.

Overall it was fun which is what it was meant to be.
Shea said...
Ha... yeah...race against render bars...story of my life.

Spotty is the best way to describe Paltrow. But I disagree she was beautiful. I think she should go back to making Seven.


I want to talk more about the cave stuff wehn Adam and Paul have seen it so I will hold off for now.
Andy said...
The robots were funny, but I thought there was a couple of scenes too many or maybe just too close together. I think it was the back to back to back to back "don't spray me" joke. Almost too cutesy. That's why I said LITTLE in all caps. I'm probably just being too critical.

As for Gwyneth.... Seven was a long time ago. It looked like half of her hair came out when they were making it red. Her role could have been much better.

The caves were weird. The concept is cool of him making the suit, but those scenes turned out
Andy said...
Ha... and I almost forgot. I thought the scene on his plane was hilarious... Over the top but funny.
Pepper Potts? Are you kidding me? Groan....

And I can't believe this got the same rating as The Counterfeiters.
Shea said...
Yeah Karen you can't compare apples with oranges... it doesnt work. Comic movie with Nazi torture camp victims? Eh... yo uare watchign and comparing for too different things. So yes this deserves all 3.5 stars it gets for being a fun action packed super hero movie. Counter gets its 3.5 for trying to do somethign different with an over done story line and a great actor.

Apples are red oranges are oranges... one goes good with a pie the other a Blue Moon.
I have to disagree about the Afghanistan scenes. I loved that part (and the suit).

I do agree, however, about Gwyneth. She was totally miscasted in this movie (and, to me, one of the only major downfalls of the movie with the exception of the final battle).
Paul said...
I have a feeling I am going to disagree when I see this movie. Much like Transformers, I wouldn't knock it down a peg or two because I didn't like some seen with John Tuturro in it. It's like the Batmobile riding on top of the roofs of Gotham. Probably a little too outside the realm of reality line that the movie had done such a great job tight-roping, but in no way diminishes the movie.

...but we shall see
Adam said...
Yeah, I agree. For you guys to have enjoyed the movie so much, it's strange to see only a 3.5, but I agree with Paul - we shall see.

I'm amazed by its almost literal translation from the origin comic, in which Stark was captured in Vietnam and forced to create a suit etc, just dressed up in Post-9/11 Iraqi goodness.
Shea said...
3.5 is good last time I checked...

2.5 is an average whatever movie.

This movie is only 1.5 from perfect... if we are saying 5 is a perfect movie.

Ironman is good...its fun...its worth every minute.... its not perfect.

3.5 is a good rating.
Paul said...
I agree Shea

For comic book movies, I'd say there are 3 categories:

Suck (Elektra, Punisher, X3)
Good (Spiderman, Blade, Superman Returns, X-Men)
Amazing (Batman Begins, X2)

I would say 3.5 is the height of a GOOD comic movie.

4+ I would consider in the upper echelon...Amazing.

Where does Iron Man rate?...we will see
Paul said...
btw...I know there are those of you who would classify Spiderman as "Amazing". I understand, even though I love Spiderman and thought it was a really good adaptation, to me it had too much of a lame factor.
Spider-Man 2 and X-Men 2 have been Marvel's best films - I'm sure Iron Man will join them in being in the top tier of Marvel's film index at this point.

I don't think X-men 3 sucked... it certainly wasn't great, but it wasn't nearly as atrocious as Ghost Rider, Hulk and the Fantastic Four movies.

Also, Batman Begins is the best 'superhero' franchise movie, but I don't know about being the best comic adaptation, there's plenty of room for discussion there - with V For Vendetta, Sin City and even Hellboy with honorable mentions, and lets not forget The Watchmen which, by all accounts, might very well blow all of these films out of the water.

And yeah, 3.5 is a really good score - not saying it isn't. I think maybe I'm just getting burned out with the old 5-star system. I think 3.5 is probably the most recycled rating we've given movies, just because it's better than average, but still safe enough to have people avoid questioning a higher score.

Adam said...
I'm still holding out for two films to complete the "Unbreakable" trilogy... :(
Shea said...
questioning a higher score?

Or maybe it is just that most movies are your average crank of the money wheel. I think most movies a person sees will be average fare. You tend to avoid the bad ones and the 5 stars are special and few between.

ha...needless to say i enjoyed Spidey 3 more than X3. I left X3 angry. Probably like you did for S3.

Andy said...
maybe you two numbskulls should see the movie first and THEN come back and talk your smack.
Paul said...
I'm with Shea about X3. If I was unbiased, I wouldn't say it sucked, but I was pissed off that it was made...again, probably how you felt about Spiderman 3 Adam.

Hmm...V for Vendetta I would certainly put in the "Amazing" category. Hellboy and SinCity were good-to-great movies, and I'm sure could be considered "amazing". Personally, Begins is the best comic book movie I've seen.

...except for Howard the Duck of course

Andy...quit spoiling our fun with your "reason"
Adam said...
Yeah, that's fair - I feel like our levels of anger are relative in terms of X3 Vs Spidey3.

The Crow is an awesome comic adaptation, as well. Wait, should we include Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Men In Black? hah.

Man... Andy called us numbskulls. I'm going to teabag him in 2 months.
aww... I never get teabagged :( .


* (asterisk) ( said...
I will see this sometime cos I like Iron Man and I like RDJ. 3.5 seems high to me, though, for a comic-book adaptation, but I'm a little mean with my marks...

If I were to use Paul's system -- suck, good, amazing -- there are very few comic-book movies that would go in amazing. I thought Batman Begins was okay, maybe good in parts; Sin City was amazing. For me, X2 and Spider-man 2 were both worse than the first movies, which were good. And I say that as a big fan of both comic books up until my early 20s.

I dunno, man. I just think I'm bored shitless by comic-book films. Hollywood should get a freakin' idea once in a while, y'know?
Josh said...
Did you stick around after the credits to see Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury? It was a short, but awesome little scene.

Nick said...
Yeah, I had seen the Sam Jackson scene. When I first heard about it, I wondered why Nick Fury was a black guy (cuz he was white in the comics)... similar to how they changed The Kingpin in Daredevil. But then I read up on it, and the Ultimate Marvel Nick Fury was black and was actually based on Sam Jackson, so that's cool.
Adam said...
I liked it a lot, though I think it suffered from the whole "origin story" disease of having to spend so much time setting up the character, and little on the actual story surrounding him.

Villain was kind of... meh. Felt a lot like Spider-Man with Green Goblin, and even like Fantastic Four... with Dr Doom being the FF's partner but then turning on them.

Also... felt a lot like ROBOCOP haha. I mean, at the end all i could think about was Robocop Vs ED-209.

I'd put it #3 on Marvel's best list, behind X2: Xmen United and Spider-Man 2.

I did love the SHIELD stuff, as well as the shoutout to War Machine. I have no doubt the iron man sequel will be balls to the wall awesome.

A solid 3.5, i agree.
Sheea said... I cannot believe we are all agreeing here. The end is near.... aim for the head.
Adam said...
I say for the summer season we keep a running tally of the films all four of us agree on.
Adam said...
Like... The Love Guru for example.
My review is up, for those who want to check it out...
Wow 27 comments. In my opinion Ironman accomplished what Transofmers tried to do (I liked Transformers, but not as much).

That being said I must very disrespectfully and vengefully disagree on one point from the review...

Not only did I think Bridges character Obadiah was much more than a support to Junior, but I thought he was one of the most iconic villains we've had so far in a comic film. The "Time Magazine" cover with him standing over the world sent chills up my spine. Grant it I'm not looking for a sadistic killer, or a groundbreaking concept character. All I'm saying is Bridges looked and felt like a comic book... like a physical page from a comic (or magazine, or poster)... I'm wracking my brain to think of a villain more iconic than Stane in a comic film and can think of none...

Deal with that flipper!
Shea said...
I am inclined to disagree senior Flanigan. I think most would agree that Obadiah is nothing more than a repeat concept of all other mediocre villains in the comic world. Looked and felt like a comic book??? Straight off the page??? How many comic pages have you actually read or even seen for that matter? Obadiah is nothing compared to the Clown Prince, Venom, or even Lex Luther to that matter. Obadiah? Noone even knows that's his name...every one just calls him Jeff Bridges character.
Hmm Lex Luther... was he related to Martin Luther? Never saw that one. That does remind me of a character named Lex LuthOR!! who I will agree was exactly what I'm talking about, but...

Venom!? Venom!!??? You mean the guy from "That 70's Show"? At least I know Jeff Bridges name! and not, that dude who's on Ashton Kutcher's sitcom!

And the Clown Prince... you're kidding right? I googled the clown prince and got a film from 2004 with Bill Irwin... you know the recluse "whos opinion Cleveland Heep respects"... I can only assume you mean the film that has not come out yet and barring any unrevealed sheamus psychic abilities carries NO MERIT HERE!

I admit, I am no comic enthusiast, but I know a good character on film when I see it!

Cram that in your iconic cigar and smoke it!
Shea said...
Tread lightly my friend. I am a wanna be compared to some of the eyes that review this post.

As far as the Joker is concerned... have you not heard of good ole jack... "Ever Danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?"

Gene Hackman as luthOR...

Heck even Marv from Sin City is more iconis then freaking Obby.

Green Goblin, Doc Octavious, and YES VENOM!

Your boy doesnt hold a candle. The greatest weakness of all Ironman comics and future movies was that the character never had a worthy villain. PERIOD!
Andy said...
I don't consider Obadiah iconic in any way. Nothing about Iron Man was iconic. Same comic superhero movie...different suit.
Adam said...
The comic character of Venom is certainly iconic... the film version however, not so much. About as iconic as topher gace can be... ugh.

I agree though, Obadiah Stane wasn't that interesting. He was a bald old guy who you suspected as a villain from the first time you saw him.

Scarecrow and Raz Al Ghul were ten times more interesting in Batman Begins, not to mention Falconi.

Iron Man suffers from a lack of villains, or all of his villains end up being humans in super-advanced suits. There isn't a lot of variation.

His best villains were always characters like Dr. Doom and the typical role call of marvel baddies that crossed over. I think that's why they're focusing on Avengers, to give all of these characters (who typically have crappy villains) something to actually do.
I'm ok with being the only Obadiah supporter here, let me just say that I'm not by any means saying he is "the best" villain, the most interesting, the most evil, most villainous, strongest, most developed character... none of that.

By iconic, I mean the bald head, the cigar, the beard, the grissley voice, corporate america, your boss's boss, the man, the friend of your father, the man behind the curtain. If anything he is "less" of a developed character because of these things, but more of an Icon, and I thought that was cool.

However, The "memorable quotes" section of the all powerful imdb does not have a single quote from Obadiah. You have to have quotes to be an icon... I'll give you that
Shea said...
Stand down men...stand down.

Chris your off the firing wall. I agree with you he has the look and he doesn tlook like Bridges and if you reread my review I commend him for that.

I thought you were saying all these amazing things about him and you are right...he is not an icon...just an icon wanna bee.

You have chosen... wisely...
Chris (http://is_always_right) said...
How could you like this movie and not like transformers ;).

Understanding your rating system now that you've divulged it for the world to see I def agree with Iron Man, it was a good movie but not great.

It didn't make me want to go home to my secret lab(leaky sheet metal shed in the back of my yard) and create a suit of power armor, but it was definitely a different kind of super hero movie.

I think this movie was a lot more refined than previous Marvel creations and seemed like it was cleaner cut. Hopefully this will carry forward into other movies.

I foresee a lot of introductory films leading up to an Avengers movie. The mistake X3 made was cramming so many great stories and characters into a space too small to even tell the story of Clifford the big red dog.

I believe they're trying to avoid this by providing a simple [backstory] -> [development] -> [confrontation/inner demon triumph] -> [welcome to sheild] and I think it will actually work.