The long-awaited film of Marvel's metal-clad superhero Iron Man is absolutely fantastic! John Favreau's vision of the comic icon is well presented, providing full details for the greatest of fans and still managing to capture the audience's attention throughout the entire movie. Beautifully shot, the film uses a powerful palette of colors and images that should be the standard for comic related films. While movies of similar ilk have generally increased in quality over the past few years, Iron Man seemingly pushes ahead to expand the suspension of disbelief to the point of allowing the viewer to emotionally embrace the unfolding of the heroes origin.
Marvel's big guns united forces with the screenwriting team to conjure a wondrously written script. The basics of the origin story are maintained while being updated for a present day setting. The dialogue and character interaction could have been taken straight from an old comic without sounding too over the top (within reason given the nature of the characters speaking.)
Casting for Iron Man could not have been better! Robert Downey Jr. not only looks the part, but his acting ability allows him to express the bad boy attitude of Tony Stark and present a convencing evolution of the character's compassion over the course of the film. Howard shows he is familiar with the Jim Rhodes persona and provides the movie goers with the realism needed to make the film enticing.
MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS BELOW
Jeff Bridges was a good choice for Iron Monger. His development of the evil within himself was fairly straight forward and predictable, but none-the-less it was still exciting. The romance that developed between Stark and Potts was also predictable and anyone that had read the comic would rather expect it, but again, it was well done and did not take away from the main events of the story. It almost seemed that the origin of Iron Man did not need the attack of Iron Monger and the love of Potts to be involved, but not quite. The inclusion of these elements propelled the plot forward instead of feeling like they were forced in to make the film more comic-like.
While the action scenes contain breath-taking special effects and were tastefully placed within the story to enhance and not take over, the real excitation for those movie goers who are also fans of the comic comes from two hints at future films (if you can call being hit over the head with a flat-out reference to anothercoming movie a hint!) Towards the end after Rhodey has helped Stark into his suit, he glances back at the all silver prototype and mumbles, "Next time," we all know that War Machine and Tony's heavy drinking binges are only a few films away!
Perhaps the most talked about portion of the film comes after the credits. For those that stick around long enough to get to the end, you get to see a teaser where Tony Stark finds Sgt. Fury standing in his living room and requests him to help form a team of superheroes he wants to call the Avengers! If that is not exciting enough, Samuel L. Jackson is portraiting Sgt. Fury! Some may immediately say that Sgt. Fury is Caucasian in the comic books, and generally speaking that is correct, but there is an alternate version of Sgt. Fury, one specifically based on Jackson, so it is not only acceptable for Jackson to play Fury, it is fitting and gives Marvel a few outlets for altering stories to fit cinematic needs without upsetting hardcore comic fans.
Iron Man is filled with punch after punch of action excitement and keeps the audience interested through excellent writing, acting, and a great balance of explosions, drama, and romance. Exceedingly well planned, filmed, and presented, Iron Man will satisfy any movie fan and make them hungry for more!