Jamie Kennedy's favorite movie review site
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 32.39%
Just Average: 9.09%
Pretty Crappy: 0%
Sucks: 3.41%

7 reviews, 134 user ratings

Latest Reviews

In Action by Erik Childress

Spiral (2021) by Peter Sobczynski

Woman in the Window, The (2021) by Peter Sobczynski

Those Who Wish Me Dead by Peter Sobczynski

Oxy Kingpins, The by Jay Seaver

Dry, The by Jay Seaver

Water Man, The by Jay Seaver

Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America by Jay Seaver

About Endlessness by Rob Gonsalves

I Was a Simple Man by Jay Seaver

subscribe to this feed

Iron Man
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by David Cornelius

"Heavy boots of lead fills his victims full of dread..."
4 stars

It’s not enough that Marvel Comics is now able to ride the current wave of comic book superhero blockbusters by starting their own production company, and it’s not enough that they’re comfortable pumping something like $180 million into their first effort. What truly reveals where we are right now as a moviegoing public is that Marvel felt their best bet to launch their new studio was with a character not really known at all outside fanboy circles, a character who may not be marginal but is far from an icon. But in a decade ruled by comic book adaptations and colorful sci-fi adventures, even someone like Iron Man could become a guaranteed hit. The geeks haven’t just inherited the earth, they’ve invaded it.

But even non-geeks will find reason to celebrate the arrival of “Iron Man.” This is what a superhero movie should be: an exciting, quick-witted adventure built to entertain. It’s far from perfect - the script is plenty scattershot (the result of having four credits screenwriters, several more uncredited, plus extensive rewrites on the set) and the story never raises itself beyond the too-familiar origin story template - but it’s all handled with such brilliant verve by cast and crew that its very style is energetic.

The movie is directed by Jon Favreau, the actor/director who showed off his fantasy storytelling skills with “Elf” and the underrated “Zathura” and now makes his finest feature yet. Here, Favreau doesn’t just understand what makes comic movies tick - he understands what makes this one tick. He knows what sets Iron Man apart from, say, Spider-Man or Superman. Like those characters, Tony Stark (Iron Man’s secret identity, for you newcomers) brings a certain American optimism to his exploits. But there’s also a bitterness alongside that optimism, a cynical anger that motivates the character. Even more than Peter Parker, Tony Stark’s personal life is a massive complication, from his struggles with alcoholism (a key point in the comics, only hinted at in this movie) to issues of guilt (he’s essentially a war profiteer who learns a harsh lesson and seeks penance). Yet through it all, Stark maintains his smarmy playboy demeanor, and Favreau is smart enough a filmmaker to let this dry, sarcastic tone carry the picture.

He’s also smart enough to cast Robert Downey, Jr., in the lead role. Downey is so right as Tony Stark that it’s impossible to imagine anyone else in the part. Some folks have mentioned the curious connection between actor and role - factoring in Downey’s infamous battle with drug addiction, both he and his character have essentially climbed their way out of dark periods, eager to make up for lost time - but the real issue is that few actors working today are as good as Downey at crafting such restrained wit punctuated by an ice-cold rock-and-roll attitude. Simply put, Downey is made of cool, and when it comes to taking a self-absorbed womanizer and making him someone worth cheering, who else could pull off such a task?

Favreau then overloads the supporting cast with equally impressive talent. Terrence Howard plays Stark’s beleaguered right hand man, Jim Rhodes. Gwyneth Paltrow is Pepper Potts, Stark’s secretary and possible love interest. Jeff Bridges is Obadiah Stane, Stark’s sly business partner. Any one of these actors, when placed next to Downey, could be considered an incredible “get.” To cram all of them into one film, in top roles, is to ensure than even if all else fails, at least the characters will be fascinating.

All else does not fail. The origin story behind Stark’s transformation into Iron Man is one that diverges most from 1960s-era Marvel Comics’ studies in science-gone-awry. Unlike other heroes who gain superpowers by accident, Tony Stark is the self-made man; his superpowers come from his super-powered suit of armor. And unlike other heroes who are either apolitical, Iron Man is rooted deeply in current events; his earliest adventures were anti-Communist heroics set in and around Vietnam, ideas which are upgraded for the movie to a terrorist storyline involving Afghanistan.

Tony Stark is in the country selling the U.S. military on his latest design of smart bomb when his caravan is bombed and he’s captured by a band of vague baddies (the movie never says “terrorists,” but then, it doesn’t have to) led by the wicked Raza (Faran Tahir). They want him to build a missile for them, and he reluctantly agrees - but he’s really building himself a massive, weapons-clad suit to aid in his escape. It works, and Stark, an inventor with a head for mechanics as well as business, gets the itch to build a sleeker, better suit. Having seen how the weapons his company built have landed in the hands of warlords, the rookie hero vows to rid the world of such death machines.

The film’s politics are shady at best - the script falls back on iffy Arab stereotypes (with one exception, they’re all either ruthless terrorists or powerless villagers in need of American salvation); Stark’s anti-weapon motivations come with plenty of holes (it’s never clear if Tony disapproves of American misuse - or even use - of his weapons; is he upset that these devices are made to kill, or that they just wind up killing the “wrong people”?); several of Iron Man’s fight scenes show a hero unconcerned with ending lives (so it’s OK for Stark’s weapons to kill folks, as long as Stark’s the one pulling the trigger?).

But it doesn’t matter. Such thoughts never enter our heads while the movie’s unspooling with a story that zips along at a breezy pace that not once feels like a full two hours. Favreau and company keep everything moving forward; it’s a movie that never slows down, even when it slows down. The film expertly reworks the origin tale into a ripping adventure that’s dependent as much on character as it is on plot.

It’s only when we enter the final half hour when things start to get a little too loose. A connection between Raza and a second villain quickly unfolds yet winds up shifting the focus just slightly off from where it should be, and the whole thing ends with a massive battle between Iron Man and a second mechanical supersuit (developed and operated by that second villain), which seems a little less complicated a finale than a movie this good deserves.

This is not to say, of course, that the movie fizzles in its final act. On the contrary, the fight sequence seen here is as thrilling, as exhilarating, as popcorn-munching fun as anything else that came before it. Favreau knows how to make an action movie sing, even when it comes down to a simple fight scene where people trade comic book-level dialogue at each other. And, heck, if “Iron Man” can be a giant heap of fun when it’s not working, then you can imagine just how good things get when it is working.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=15549&reviewer=392
originally posted: 05/06/08 16:37:03
[printer] printer-friendly format  
Marvel Characters: For more in the Marvel Characters series, click here.
Trilogy Starters: For more in the Trilogy Starters series, click here.

User Comments

10/30/16 morris campbell great fun skip 2&3 though 5 stars
5/11/15 Christian Paulson The rebirth of comic-book movies!!! 5 stars
10/01/14 Horror Lover Still the best solo superhero movie from the Avengers Universe. 4 stars
8/27/12 roscoe disappointing because relies heavily on stark and not enough of iron man 3 stars
10/18/11 Magic The most fun superhero movie at that time. RDJ's best performance in years. 4 stars
1/22/11 Jeff Wilder Easily among the best recent superhero movies. 5 stars
12/02/10 Dr.Lao Definitely one of the better live action marvel superhero movies 4 stars
9/10/10 Barbara Leaf Downey, Jr. looked vulnerable with his puppydog eye -until he donned that iron suit -WOW. 5 stars
2/23/09 man love it 5 stars
2/08/09 Monday Morning Great super hero. He should kick some Wall St. banker and politician ass in the sequel.. 4 stars
1/01/09 zenny not bad, not bad at all 4 stars
10/31/08 Annie G A little disappointing based on reviews, but still an enjoyable action flick. 3 stars
10/20/08 Nichole This is the best movie! 5 stars
10/09/08 man fantastic 5 stars
10/09/08 dude so good 5 stars
10/06/08 Luisa Robert Downey Jr is awesome! Great action flick! 5 stars
10/01/08 Charles Tatum Nothing but fun, great cast and action sequences 5 stars
8/26/08 Shaun Wallner One of the greatest movies ever made! 5 stars
8/21/08 The Talking Elbow Way better than the Dark Knight fo sho 5 stars
8/05/08 E K Zimmerman Extraordinary! Bring on the sequels! 5 stars
7/27/08 David Good, but a little overrated. 4 stars
7/18/08 Susan Lee Love RDJ but was skeptical about his role .. he did awesome job. Gweneth was wasted tho 5 stars
7/14/08 Karen Awesome movie! 5 stars
6/26/08 DK Downey is immense and good script but the ending was like Transformers done worse. 4 stars
6/25/08 Mario A bit overrated, but still a good action film. 4 stars
6/25/08 JD Smith A bit uneven, but overall V entertaining 4 stars
6/25/08 FJ Am ever a fan of RDJ. Thee movie is entertaining, but i would say slightly overhyped. 4 stars
6/22/08 J Black Excellent movie RD, jr was perfect for the role 5 stars
6/21/08 David V Great acting and action, but this is a little over-rated. 4 stars
6/11/08 Heather Incredibly fun movie. Robert Downey Jr. was ubelievably brilliant. 5 stars
6/07/08 John Patricio Great ac tion and acting. How could you not love it. 5 stars
6/05/08 Ming K BEST Comic film of the year...great actions and story 5 stars
6/04/08 Jayson Robert Downey, Jr. was perfect!! 4 stars
6/04/08 katmagick Robert Downey Jr is excellent in this flick! 5 stars
6/03/08 Dana awesome movie i highly recommend it 5 stars
6/01/08 George Barksdale Good action movie and worth going to 4 stars
5/28/08 Raymond What a load of rubbish...how can such crap get good press reviews??!!?? 1 stars
5/28/08 jordan keith i loved this movie but what happens after the credits? 5 stars
5/28/08 Arcane The moive is good, but wayyyyyyyy overhyped. 4 stars
5/25/08 R.W. Welch Hi-caliber perfs for a comic book flick, especially Bridges' smarmy villain. 4 stars
5/19/08 bullit16 Not just a great superhero movie ... a great movie 5 stars
5/18/08 Bert Overrated, formula movie,unlikable people 3 stars
5/18/08 mr.mike Close to awesome , climactic battle could have been a bit better. 4 stars
5/18/08 jm Overrated if you ask me. Good story, crap action. Tony stark is hard to like. 3 stars
5/16/08 Anthony Feor This is the superhero movie I've been waiting for. It is the best one ever made. 5 stars
5/13/08 dude great 5 stars
5/12/08 matt end fight could have been longer, but highly enjoyable 4 stars
5/11/08 pin Finally. Great Casting. a little cheap on the music. 5 stars
5/11/08 austin wertman best superhero movie since spider-man 2 5 stars
5/11/08 kris Overrated. Only the first 30 mins were very good, the rest was formulaic and for kids. 3 stars
5/10/08 Koitus A couple of unlikely plot points (original suit=no eye protection), but still a good movie. 4 stars
5/10/08 Ole Man Bourbon Meh. 3 stars
5/09/08 ironman this film is fkin awsome 5 stars
5/08/08 Quigley Surprisingly excellent comic book film. Great CG effects and spetacular Robert Downey, Jr. 5 stars
5/07/08 dee Great movie, great cast, Downey is terrific 5 stars
5/06/08 Greg It's a movie about evil weapons-makers and it's still non bleeding-heart enough for you? 5 stars
5/06/08 Sarbu Rada Yes, an amazing movie. No wonder it made so much money and they already plan the sequel 5 stars
5/06/08 my precious What a whiney reviewer... forgot to take his meds so that he could properly review a movie. 5 stars
5/06/08 AJ Muller Oh, and I can't take it anymore - Gonsalves is fucking retarded. Erase this if you will - 5 stars
5/05/08 michaelb1478 Downey was spot on, great comic book movie 5 stars
5/05/08 Loserboy2049 When life hands you lemons just dance a disco beat 3 stars
5/05/08 AJ Muller Downey is perfect; Favreau does a kickass job. One of the best comic flicks ever. 5 stars
5/05/08 carlos Not perfect, but > than SM3, X3 & others trying 2 do 2 much. Oh, & easter egg aft credits! 5 stars
5/05/08 Wolfrider Didnt exactly live up to my expectations - but the GF liked it 3 stars
5/05/08 CallistaZM I would agree with others that this is the best superhero movie I've ever seen. 5 stars
5/05/08 diggz it was ok. but the fighting scene at the end has the corniest dialouge ive ever heard. 3 stars
5/05/08 Cherie Partain Great movie -- Robert Downey, Jr. was great! 5 stars
5/05/08 Loserboy2049 Take it from me, rust doesn't taste like ketchup! 1 stars
5/05/08 sue bobier Best movie in a long time, robert downey, jr is awesome! 5 stars
5/05/08 STH Rob, Iron Man kicked ass. nuff said 5 stars
5/05/08 Loserboy2049 One time I got lost in an abdondoned van 5 stars
5/05/08 Excruciator Why is this bonehead allowed to review movies with any measure of authority? 5 stars
5/05/08 mlvassallo You know Rotten Tomatoes labled your review as "Fresh"... so you are helping with the ratio 5 stars
5/05/08 Blue Knuckle Your review is replete with spelling errors!!!!! 5 stars
5/05/08 NB Your first sentence has a flaw. He is repentant 5 stars
5/05/08 Loserboy2049 My feet smell like cat piss after I stepped in cat piss... 1 stars
5/05/08 Brett Your review is inane. Great superhero rollercoaster ride! 5 stars
5/05/08 FredGarvin I'm very sorry for what seems to have happened to you as a child. It wasn't your fault. 5 stars
5/05/08 Amy You just seem to hate that it's popular and that it isn't a bleeding heart anti-war film 5 stars
5/05/08 Mark In the hands of a lesser actor, this movie would have fallen on its face. Props RDJR. 4 stars
5/05/08 igor deviates in a good way from many recent superhero movies 5 stars
5/05/08 MightyMad For God's sake, Rob: it's a summer blockbuster, dummy! Enjoy it for what it is - I did! 5 stars
5/05/08 Ryan Best superhero I have seen 5 stars
5/04/08 Kevin This reviewer is insane 5 stars
5/04/08 JC Awful, predictable movie... this thing didn't surprise me once and relied on cheap humor... 1 stars
5/04/08 Dennis Awesome movie had alot of fun watching it might even go back and see it again your review s 5 stars
5/04/08 BB It's pretty good movie. I supose it's just that you don't like superhero movies that much 4 stars
5/04/08 Andre The movie is true to the source material, and fun, it isnt pro war, or right wing 5 stars
5/04/08 Ya Daddy Anybody that didn't like this plays with Care Bears 5 stars
5/04/08 Bob best movie I've seen lately. 4 stars
5/04/08 Kay Best superhero flick ever! Downey was fantastic! 5 stars
5/04/08 Darkstar Be sure to wait until after the credits roll for the best scene of the movie. 5 stars
5/04/08 Doc Austin I wanna see it again! Sorry if I'm politically incorrect here, but i liked it a lot. 5 stars
5/04/08 bill s stick to art-house. i hate when movies try to drag reviewers down to theri level 5 stars
5/04/08 Michael Quite simply the movie was boring- it wasn't about anything after he escaped from kidnapin. 1 stars
5/04/08 zetronet This critic can not be taken seriously and should not be paid more than minimum wage 5 stars
5/04/08 Jimmy probably great if you're a comic book fan, otherwise it's just kind of meh 3 stars
5/04/08 Destarius This movie rated 94%. You're not intellectual, you're just flatulent and out of touch. 5 stars
5/04/08 Terry You're rating simply shows your liberal upbringing - get a grip! The movie is excellent! 5 stars
5/04/08 Derek C "Iron Man is as thoughtless as it is weightless." Much like your review, Iron Man rocks!! 5 stars
5/04/08 Drei Hw didn't bring up the fact that he killed people himself because he didn't people knowing. 5 stars
5/04/08 joey Your review stinked... awesome movie! .. setting up for a nice sequal 5 stars
5/04/08 Diesel Downey captures the snarkiness of Stark and achieves superhero-movie apotheosis! 5 stars
5/04/08 Kzach What a dumb review. Talk about having an agenda. Get off your political high horse, moron. 5 stars
5/04/08 johnnybgoode Great casting. One of the best superhero movies to date. 5 stars
5/04/08 Dutch Your right , great entry into superhero flicks but the end was a letdown. 4 stars
5/04/08 m price GREAT comic book movie. Plus far-lefty Tom Morello gets it in the cave. Nice touch. 5 stars
5/04/08 Steve Excellent movie, ignore this pretentious wannabe and his subpar review and go see it! 5 stars
5/04/08 MCMC Another bitter, failed critic pooping and screaming for attention and praise. 5 stars
5/04/08 philip Simply incredible, best superhero movie to date. 5 stars
5/04/08 SonofAnon Very good movie I don't know why people give it bad reviews could of been like fantastic 4 5 stars
5/04/08 AJ Gudmundsen "I saw Americans Die" I dont know you didnt understand that. 5 stars
5/04/08 Kyle What the hell is this reviewer talking about? Pretentious douche ahoy! 4 stars
5/04/08 Kanoose One of the best movies I've ever seen. Was enjoyable from start to finish. Good job. 5 stars
5/04/08 ska-boss I was thinking the same thing when he said "I saw Americans die" 4 stars
5/04/08 Jerry N. Wow. Once again Gonsalves has proved himself to be mentally hadicapped. 5 stars
5/04/08 lawl Pretentious douchebag critic drowned in fanboy spam, and rightfully so. I lol. 5 stars
5/04/08 Stephen Glad someone says it. This movie is awful. 1 stars
5/03/08 stavos williams Talk about pretentious critics - Rob "SnobMan" Gonsalves wants a moralistic pacifist Ghandi 5 stars
5/03/08 Rock Star This reviewer does social commentary better than film criticism 5 stars
5/03/08 John Christopher The movie was fantastic, and you review was poor. Maybe you should find a new career. 5 stars
5/03/08 Phil The best super-hero film? It just might be....... 5 stars
5/03/08 Tony G The bar has been set for super-hero movies and Iron Man is IT!!! 5 stars
5/03/08 Jmac64 Saw Movie twice in 12 hours...RDJr...is the only choice for Stark...A Millenium Classic 5 stars
5/03/08 Jacqueline Carpenter Keeps me interered all through 5 stars
5/03/08 gcc Equal to the 1st spidey and x-men, Downey perfect as Stark, well done. 5 stars
5/03/08 sebas1972 Excellent movie!!! Stay during the end credits... surprise at the end!!! 5 stars
5/02/08 Obi Wan Very well done movie. RDJ, JB and GP were on the money! 5 stars
5/02/08 Dan Excellent. Downey Jr. was perfectly cast and did a superb job. Only weakness was PepperPots 5 stars
5/02/08 john nicely done...2008 is finally getting some great movies like '...Sarah Marshall 5 stars
5/02/08 action movie fan very good adaption of marvel super hero-downey is good as stark-good story 4 stars
5/02/08 damalc big fight should have been longer, but very good. downey cast was perfect! 4 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  02-May-2008 (PG-13)
  DVD: 30-Sep-2008


  DVD: 30-Sep-2008

Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
Privacy Policy | | HBS Inc. |   
All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast