Iron Man is one of the lesser known Marvel Super Heroes, especially for us, living in India. To most of us, his past is unknown. With a sense of humor one rarely gets to see in a superhero, Iron Man is something of a revelation, deviating from the normal "Saving the World" type of Superheroes. With the coolest outfit one could ever lay eyes on, Iron Man is merely the beginning of a Trilogy that could as well be remembered for a long long time to come as one of the best comic book to celluloid adaptations ever made.
Actor/Director Jon Favreau, along with a stellar cast of superstars who have been absent from the big screen of late, have come together and made something top notch after the recent spell of disappointing superhero movies made(think Ghost Rider, Fantastic Four 2, Spiderman 3). With the likes of Robert Downey Jr, Jeff Bridges, Terence Howard, and Gwyneth Paltrow, Iron Man is the first big hit to come out of Hollywood this year.
Iron Man stays true to its comic book, telling the story of billionaire industrialist Tony Stark who devises the idea of a man covered in metallic armor after he is captured by Afghan terrorists. Upon his escape, Stark improves upon his design. And in order to stop 'under the table' sale of his weapons to terrorist groups by his business partner, Obadiah Stane, he becomes the man in the gold titanium alloy suit, named Iron Man by the press.
Certain sequences in the film are highly detailed, some others not so much. It suffers from a spot of bad editing, and it really wouldn't have been bad if it were extended by 10-15 minutes. It is entertaining enough to hold anyone's attention for 15 more minutes. Guess we'll have to wait for a Director's Cut for that. In the theatre, it has a modest running time of 2hours. Broken into two parts, the introduction and the origin. The former being more detailed than the later.
One of the first things one will notice about Tony Stark is his amazing sense of humor. Robert Downey Jr., who is at the peak of his career at age 43 has an undeniable flair when it comes to playing a man who is full of himself and cracks jokes at the drop of a hat. He doesn't even have to try. Its a flawless performance. He acts the part, and boy oh boy does he look the part! Even Gwyneth Paltrow plays her part well as Stark's assistant, Pepper Potts. She looks better than ever. There is a magnificent amount of chemistry between the two which will be something to look forward to in the upcoming movies. Terence Howard and Jeff Bridges are just there, portraying the sidekick and villain respectively. Fair enough, though I would have liked Howard to be given a bit more screen time.
One, very integral part of the movie was the making of the original suit. Shown till the last detail, it was just a treat to watch the testing and assembly of the suit. And once again, even this contains a fair amount of humor. You really dont expect such a lot of humor in a superhero movie, but by the end of it, one realizes that that exactly is what Tony "Iron Man" Stark is all about. He isn't your average superhero. He is as much the khaki professional as he was before he become Iron Man. He did not get transformed accidentally by being bitten by a spider, neither did he descend from space. A little similar to Batman, he chooses to become someone different. Someone who can change things. Unlike most others, he isnt gifted with super powers. Wait till the last scene of the film for deviation, and an amazing piece of rock music in the closing credits along with concept art from the making of the film.
Iron Man ranks right up there with the likes of Batman : Begins, Spiderman 2, and Superman Returns(which, I think is grossly underrated by critics) when it comes to being a comic book adaptation. And it adds a dose of coolness to the genre of superhero movies. Whether it is the miniature arc reactor/pacemaker on his chest or the part French-cut beard he keeps, Robert Downey Jr. will be best remembered as Iron Man. Iron Man, who can take phone calls while flying through the skies with two fighter jets on his tail. Now, thats what I call cool!!
Great start to a promising Hollywood Summer!! 8/10 overall. Great background score. Loved the suit. Cannot wait for the sequel! (Next Week : Speed Racer)