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Suit up for action with Robert Downey Jr. in the ultimate movie adventure, IRON MAN! When jet-setting genius-industrialist Tony Stark is captured in enemy territory, he builds a high-tech suit of armor to escape. Now, he's on a mission to save the world as a hero who's built, not born, to be unlike any other. Co-starring Terrance Howard, Jeff Bridges and Gwyneth Paltrow, it's a fantastic, high-flying journey that is "hugely entertaining" (Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal).
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1. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jnr) is a playboy genius whose passion is making things that go boom, day or night
2. Behind the successful billionaire is a pretty woman (Gwyneth Paltrow) showing off her organizational skills
3. During a product demonstration in Afghanistan, Stark is kidnapped by a terrorist group called the Ten Rings, sustaining serious injuries
4. Ten Rings wants to rule them all, and they want Stark to forge them the one weapon that can do it*
5. Working in the darkness where the shadows lie* Stark and Dr. Yinsen (a fellow prisoner who patched him up) pull a switcheroo and build a full metal power suit with a flame thrower and missile launcher.
6. The Ten Rings are left to pick up the pieces
7. Stark has a new corporate vision which gets a stormy reception from his partner Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) and the Board of Directors.
8. He fashions himself a new and improved armored suit, with all the trimmings, bells and whistles, plus the obligatory arc reactor which is the heart of the design
9. With help from Pepper Potts (Paltrow) and Lt. Col. Rhodes (Terrence Howard), Stark suits up to battle the bad guys
10. Two sequels are planned
The movie takes a while to get to the really cool stuff, and while I enjoyed the whole thing, my son didn't get into it until "suit time." There's no denying that the finished suit is the coolest superhero costume ever, and I'm buying this on DVD just to watch the cybernetic Mark III suit morph, flex and create havoc and mass destruction
Downey proves himself to be an excellent choice for the lead role, and although they are unable to steal his thunder, Bridges and Paltrow are pretty darned good themselves. Howard doesn't have that much screen time, but maybe he'll get his moment in the sequels
Amanda Richards, May 11, 2008
* One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
There is no such internal tension in Iron Man. It's strictly a good guy-bad guy shoot 'em up. Downey plays Stark, the head of a large corporation which manufactures weapons. Stark is depicted as an arrogant playboy who takes no precautions when he travels around in a Humvee in Afghanistan. He ends up being captured by a local warlord and his crew of motley insurgents and realizes that they have been using his company's weapons to fight US troops. Now he suddenly has a change of heart and uses his skills (he's a genius!) to create an iron man outfit to escape the bad guys (they think he's working on a missile).
When he returns to the US, he decides to utilize the prototype of the iron man outfit he created in Afghanistan to become a superhero fighting for good. A good part of the film is taken up with Downey designing the new Iron Man outfit; during the 'testing phase' he gets thrown against the walls of his laboratory numerous times (how exciting!). Finally, he starts flying through the air with this metal suit on and almost crashes when he goes too high up in the atmosphere and his suit gets frozen with ice (funny how he wasn't smart enough to invent some kind of deicing device contained on most commercial aircrafts).
Terrence Howard (of 'Hustle & Flow' fame) isn't doing much hustling and flowing here in a do-nothing part as an army liaison officer for the munitions company. Similarly Gwyneth Paltrow, Stark's personal assistant, engages in a great deal of pointless banter leading to a non-romantic moment at the film's denouement. Jeff Bridges probably has the best part as Downey's partner in the multinational corporation who ends up betraying him and working with the warlords and terrorists in Afghanistan. But how did he so easily get past the alarm system or other security devices in Downey's home? You would think that breaking into a home like that wouldn't be so easy.
In the end, there is the obligatory battle between the two machines (done much better in Teriminator 2). Bridges looks ridiculous when he takes off his metal helmet and all you see is his face inside the metal contraption. I fail to see why so many critics gave this film good marks. It's strictly a film for uneducated teenagers who read comic books all day. It also serves to lull people in this country into a false sense of security vis-a-vis the terrorist threat. By creating an invincible 'Iron Man" who can easily mow down terrorists and bad guys, it makes us forget that the bad guys in real life are not so easily defeated. Case in point: 9/11. The only winners here are the actors who collected nice paychecks for participating in such a cheesy and worthless venture.