As one of the resident comic/superhero experts on the blog I was really looking forward to seeing Iron Man.  I can’t say I knew much about Iron Man except for the fact that he was a man named Tony Stark who used his knowledge of technology and weapons as well as his vast fortune to create body armor equipped with more weapons and gadgets you could ever dream of.  (Remind you of anyone else?)  He is part of the Avengers which is the Marvel equivalent of  The Justice League.  So I was really looking forward to finding out more about this character from the movie.

It seems like God purposely put Robert Downey Jr on this planet specifically for this role.  His turn as billionaire ladies-man Tony Stark had its fair share of laughs and was pulled off perfectly.  What made Downey Jr special in this role was his consistency as Tony Stark even while wearing the Iron Man suit, never did the dry wit disappear and his personality never changed as we often see in movies of this kind.  His supporting cast played along well with him.  Gwyneth Paltrow played the role of Pepper Potts, Stark’s assistant, with the reluctance and timidness that character at times possessed very well.  Jeff Bridges’ interpretation of Obadiah Stane, the turns-out-to-be-evil business partner of Stark, was perfectly simple.  Stane also ends up building his own version of the suit and takes on Iron Man as the Iron Monger in the movie’s climax.  Lastly Terrence Howard played James Rhodes, who is also the yet to be revealed hero War Machine.

Iron Man itself was a great origin story.  Showing us how Tony Stark came to build the suit and the motivation he possessed to keep up with it.  For people with no existing knowledge of the character this was a great way for them to gain new fans, it certainly worked with me.  John Favreau, who directed the movie, did well in his first big-budget superhero movie.  The movie seemed to lack action at times but I don’t think it took away from what it was trying to accomplish.

There were a few great little moments for Marvel fans in this movie.  Of course Stan Lee made his cameo as man who Stark confuses with Hugh Hefner.  Stan Lee is always in Marvel movies one way or another.  Another great moment in the movie, which I only now realize after some research of the character was a great line for die-hard fans of the Iron Man series, was when Rhodes is in Stark’s house after Stark had left to take on Iron Monger he looks at an Iron Man suit and says ‘Not yet.’  This is a reference to his eventual short-lived turn as Iron Man and eventual evolution into another hero called War Machine after Stark spirals into alcohol abuse.  A great foreshadow into the guaranteed to be made sequel.  In fact, April 30, 2010 is a tentative release date for Iron Man 2.

Overall on enjoyment factor and quality I’d give this movie an A-.