Superhero film Iron Man is the film that launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe…that was a decade ago!?! After escaping kidnappers in Afghanistan, weapons entrepreneur Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) builds a powered exoskeleton and becomes the technologically advanced Iron Man. After learning that his second-in-command Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) has been arms trafficking with terrorists behind his back, he uses the Iron Man technology to fight terrorism and stop illegal arms dealing.
- This film set the standard for what Marvel films should be, as the screenplay is a clever blend of character-driven drama, superhero action and good humour, while also being good fun.
- Robert Downey Jr. nails it as Tony Stark, bringing serious emotion, but also magnificent comic timing and delivery, making him a flawed but brilliant protagonist.
- Good supporting turns from Gwyneth Paltrow, who has good chemistry with Robert Downey Jr. as Stark’s personal assistant and love interest Pepper Potts; and Terrence Howard, who has an enjoyable rapport with Downey Jr. as Stark’s best friend Colonel Rhodes.
- Excellent special effects brings the Iron Man suit to brilliant life, and makes the well edited action sequences exciting, while brilliant cinematography makes the aerial sequences breathtaking to watch.
- The first half-hour or so of the film is somewhat inconsistently paced, with some parts of it feeling quite rushed, others feeling far slower.
- While Jeff Bridges’s performance is fine, Stane is a very cliched superhero film antagonist, whose motivations and arc prove very predictable.