Heroes Aren't Born. They're Built.
"The gadgetry is absolutely dazzling...and the whole enormous enterprise, spawned by Marvel comics, throbs with dramatic energy... Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
|Suit up for action with Robert Downey Jr. in the ultimate adventure movie you've been waiting for,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 Gwyneth Paltrow, Terrence Howard and Jeff Bridges.|
"A dark delight that combines pop-culture wit and genuine emotional depth. Maitland McDonagh, TV Guide
"As big-budget comic book adaptations go, this one's a gratifying freak--the right kind of conflicted, as well as quick-witted. It's a lot of fun. Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
"An action sci-fi blockbuster extravaganza that provides cartoon thrills for thinking people. Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
"...Favreau is a born storyteller who engages the audience's imagination rather than crushing it in a tsunami of digital noise. Scott Foundas, The Village Voice
For both comic book fans and those who can't tell the Green Lantern from the Green Arrow, IRON MAN is the type of summer blockbuster whose appeal lasts far beyond the season. Robert Downey Jr. stars as Tony Stark, a billionaire playboy and genius who puts as much effort into chasing skirts as he puts into chasing his next big idea. A trip to Afghanistan to sell weapons quickly devolves into chaos, and Stark finds himself at the mercy of a warlord who wants him to build a missile. Instead, Stark creates a powerful suit of armor, turning him into Iron Man and allowing him to escape. When he returns to America, his assistant Pepper Pots (Gwyneth Paltrow), friend Rhodey (Terrence Howard), and right-hand man Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) all marvel at the change in the man they knew.IRON MAN is the first film to be self-financed by Marvel Studios, and they should be proud of their freshman effort. They didn't take any obvious routes with choosing the cast or crew, and it pays off. Director Jon Favreau, who also has a small role in the film, is best known for directing ELF, but his first action-driven effort is nearly flawless. Casting Downey was gutsy but inspired: this is his first big action picture as well, but the wit he displays in films such as the cult hit KISS KISS, BANG BANG works perfectly for the character of Stark. IRON MAN features nods to its beloved source material, as well as to the classic animated series of the 1960s. But even for the uninitiated, this film provides an interesting entry into the Marvel superhero's universe. Audiences who keep watching after the credits have rolled will be rewarded with a bonus scene.
Cast & Crew
3 stars out of 4 -- "In IRON MAN, Downey's likably snide playboy character is cut from the same anti-hero cloth as Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow..."
Los Angeles Times
"[I]t's got an energetic, engaging performance by Robert Downey Jr....This part has been nicely tailored to Downey's talents and is a great deal of fun as a result."
"The well-crafted IRON MAN is one of the smartest superhero films to come down the pike in some time....Robert Downey Jr. again reveal why he is one of the best actors of his generation..."
New York Times
"[A]n unusually good superhero picture....The film benefits from a script that generally chooses clever dialogue over manufactured catchphrases...and also from a crackerjack cast that accepts the filmmakers's invitation to do some real acting..."
"[Favreau] draws on his humanistic gifts to make IRON MAN a compellingly down-to-earth superhero fantasy..." -- Grade: B
"There's winning comedy in Stark's suit-making misadventures, involving a dash of Wile E. Coyote slapstick and some terrific deadpanning from Downey Jr.. And the acting-powerhouse cast doesn't disappoint."
Sight and Sound
"It has Downey's spirited turn going for it, as well as rousing sequences of various models of Iron Man armour in action....It makes a lot of clever decisions..."
3 stars out of 4 -- "Seeing Downey and Bridges duel is one of the film's primary delights..."
4 stars out of 5 -- "A cad-to-crusader origin story, it's funny, smart, charming -- all the attributes of its star."
ReelViews 9 of 10
Iron Man is a different breed of superhero movie - a film that remembers it's possible to be outside the target demographic and still enjoy a tale set in this genre. What makes Iron Man interesting isn't the storyline which, except for a few wrinkles, is pretty much a standard issue superhero origin plot, but the way in which filmmaker Jon Favreau presents the narrative. Iron Man is mature in its perspective and the way it views its lead character, while at the same time tapping into the inner kid during some expertly executed action sequences. It uses CGI to advance the story rather than to populate the screen with pretty images. And, perhaps most importantly, the humor is restrained enough to avoid pushing the film over the line into camp or self-parody. Over the years, there have been only a handful of exceptional superhero movies, and Iron Man is among them...When it comes to tone, Iron Man achieves something at which many of even its most celebrated predecessors have failed: it doesn't feel like a superhero movie. Instead, it's bigger and more inclusive. The superhero elements are present, so devotees will not feel slighted or duped, but Iron Man wants to be more than just a summer genre picture or an appetizer before the next exploit of a better-known icon.
- James Berardinelli
Chicago Sun-Times 10 of 10
Downey's performance is intriguing, and unexpected. He doesn't behave like most superheroes: he lacks the psychic weight and gravitas. Tony Stark is created from the persona Downey has fashioned through many movies: irreverent, quirky, self-deprecating, wise-cracking. The fact that Downey is allowed to think and talk the way he does while wearing all that hardware represents a bold decision by the director, Jon Favreau. If he hadn't desired that, he probably wouldn't have hired Downey. So comfortable is Downey with Tony Stark's dialogue, so familiar does it sound coming from him, that the screenplay seems almost to have been dictated by Downey's persona...It's prudent, I think, that Favreau positions the rest of the characters in a more serious vein. The supporting cast wisely does not try to one-up him...At the end of the day it 's Robert Downey Jr. who powers the lift-off separating this from most other superhero movies. You hire an actor for his strengths, and Downey would not be strong as a one-dimensional mighty-man. He is strong because he is smart, quick and funny, and because we sense his public persona masks deep private wounds. By building on that, Favreau found his movie, and it's a good one.
- Roger Ebert