As you’ll know if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, I LOVE comic book movies! As I don’t really read comics I wasn’t that aware of the story of Iron Man that much apart from he was a guy in a metal suit.  Know I feel I know him a lot better.

 Iron Man is a huge summer blockbuster but is also a huge gamble, not in that the film will be terrible but that it is Marvel comics first self funded movie. In the past they have lent the license out to other comapnies to make the film, but with this one they have gone it alone and put their own money into it and it shows. Marvel Studios have made some choices that most studios wouldn’t. Firstly the director, Jon Faverau. He is more well known as an actor appearing in Swingers with Vince Vaughn and then poping up in smaller roles in other films like Daredevil, as well as the ultimate fighting boyfriend of Monica in Friends. His directing duties have also been quite small, the biggest films being Elf and Zathura, nothing that would hint at a film of Iron Man’s size. The second risk is Robert Downey Jr. as a superhero, but like Michael Keaton with Batman it’s a surprise move that works.

   Robert Downey Jr. plays Tony Stark a billionaire weapons manafacturer who is in Afghanistan showing off his new uber weapon, the Jericho. On his way back from the demonstration the convoy is ambushed by terrorists,  with everyone killed and Stark critically injured. Waking up in a cave he finds himself wired up to a car battery which is powering a magnet that is preventing shrapnel from entering his heart. He is ordered by the terrorists to build them a Jericho missle from the various assortment of his weapons they already own. With the help of a fellow captive he agrees but instead starts creating a metal suit to break out of the base. Nest thing you know he’s kicking terrorist butt and is left in the desert waiting to be rescued. Back in the US he decides to change things, no more weapons, and also to develop his suit idea. This change of direction isn’t welcomed by his company director Obidiah Stane, played by Jeff Bridges and his personal assistant Pepper Potts, (Gwyneth Paltrow) is worried he is losing his mind. After redesigning his chest magnet device he realises that this could produce a lot of power, enough to power a full flying suit. The designing of this suit produces some very funny slapstick sequences where everything seems to go wrong. It’s not long though before it starts to come together, and the classic Red and Gold suit is flying through the air.

  The casting of Downey Jr. is this films jewel, he was born to play this role of the cocky, playboy, billionaire who doesn’t really care what anyone thinks of him. In some ways he’s similar to Bruce Wayne but a lot more flashy.  His presence in the central role seems to have brought everyone together. As Pepper Potts, Gwyneth Paltrow is great bringing a real fun and sexiness to the role, and the chemistry between her and Stark really works as she obviously wants more than a working relationship.  Starks best friend is Jim Rhodes played by Terence Howard, who works for the military and provides another great funny sequence as he talks to Stark on the Phone! (In Comic book history he later become War Machine who works with Stark and there is a little nod towards that in this film!)  Jeff Bridges isn’t bad in the is he/isn’t he a villian role but doesn’t get a huge amount of screen time. As always there is the Stan Lee cameo and it’s pretty good one.

  Some of the reviews of the film have been a bit harsh so far, but I can’t see what they didn’t like. This is your typical summer blockbuster but rather than being all bangs and action this one has great characters and is very funny. It’s not very often I find myself laughing out loud at the cinema but this one did on nuemrous occasions. The action sequences don’t make up the whole film but the ones that are there are pretty good. It is obvious that this is just the Origin Story film and is setting it all up for the inevitable sequel and unlike some sequels I really can’t wait to see it. I hope that Marvel keeep all the crew together and like this first one let the director take chances, because with this film they really paid off.  This is hopefully the start of a great franchise! (Marvel Studios have announced that a sequel is being looked at for a same day release in 2010) Rating 8/10

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