Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow
Director: Jon Favreau
Synopsis: Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) is a genius inventor and eccentric billionaire, who makes the majority of Stark Industries money by creating and selling weapons for war. Following a demonstration of his newest weapon in Afghanistan, Stark’s convoy is attacked, leaving him critically injured by one of his company’s own weapons, used by the group that attacked him. He is captured by the terrorist group known as the Ten Rings and forced to build the missile he was there to demonstrate. He is only kept alive by the electromagnet that fellow captive Doctor Yensin (Shaun Tobb) implanted in his chest to keep the shrapnel shards from sinking into his heart. With the help of Yensin, Tony makes a weaponized suit of armor instead of the missile the Ten Rings demanded and uses it to escape captivity. Traumatized by the event, and now aware of the ways his company’s weapons were being used around the world, Stark decided to stop manufacturing weapons, and steadily improved his armored suit so he can take matters into his own hands as the titular superhero, Iron Man.
Review: Iron Man is a fun, action packed joy ride that shows both the beauty and horrors of technological advancement in a modern setting. This movie utilizes its sleek directing style, a masterclass performance from Robert Downey Jr, and amazing visual effects to deliver a stellar superhero film in a time when the genre needed a rejuvenation. Tony Stark steals the show whenever he’s on screen, but he is surrounded by a fantastic group of supporting characters including longtime friend, Lieutenant Colonel James Rhodes (Terrence Howard), personal assistant Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), and shady company manager Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges).
While the action sequences are smooth and explosive, the writing itself is also something special. Tony begins the movie as a selfish billionaire who couldn’t care less about the potential damage his weapons were producing around the world but develops into not only a caring man that wants to fix the problems he created, but also into a hero. After watching him be tortured, fail multiple experiments, and fall under public scrutiny for his business decisions, there is a rewarding feeling when the viewers finally get to see him don the red and gold final product of his armor and begin his battle against injustice and terrorism.
Favorite Scene: The official public debut of Iron Man in the rescue of the citizens in Yensin’s home village, Gulmira. Tony is informed that more of his company’s weapons were recently shipped to the Ten Rings and are being used to terrorize his old friend’s village. Tony takes it upon himself to put on his finalized version of the Iron Man suit and flies to Gulmira to save the villagers in a high paced action sequence that leaves the Ten Rings in shambles.
Recommendation: I highly recommend this movie to not only fans of the superhero genre, but to anyone who enjoys a story or triumph and self-discovery. Beneath the superb sequences of action supported by computer-generated imagery, there lies a great story with an amazing cast and elite character development. Robert Downey Jr truly breathes new life into a character that is now more beloved and popular than ever before, and the film is still just as great now as it was when it came out!
Written By: Brandon Gayle
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