** Part 1 of 2 old unpublished reviews. **
I just saw this film earlier tonight and I loved it. I was a little worried that the director, Jon Favreau might not be able to deliver on the action side of things. I'm glad to be proven wrong, and how!
This film just has so many things going for it. The action is great, the performances are for the most part great, especially Robert Downey Jnr. in the title role. It has been said in many places but he really is the right man for the role. He just brings so much charisma to it and it turns out that he can handle the action too with aplomb.
This is the first superhero movie that I have enjoyed the real life identity of the character more than the superhero. That is not to say anything bad about Iron Man himself but the character of Tony Stark is just so good. The other characters aren't really given that much to do as so much of the screen time is given over to Tony Stark's story, which is understandable considering it is an origin story.
The is perhaps the one disappointing thing about the movie. The fact that it is an origin story it spends so much of the time setting up the character that it really fails to deliver a villain to match. At least the story of how he became Iron Man is a very good one and for a change doesn't rely on some sort of weird science experiment gone wrong i.e. Hulk, Flash and others. I quite like Gweneth Paltrow but I found her presence in the movie a little strange. I guess I'm just surprised to see her in an action movie and I did find her a little unconvincing during the action scenes to be honest. Although if I was looking for a secretary I'd hire her in a flash (unless Maggie Gyllenhall was interested).
Another thing that impressed me were the effects. The use of CG was very impressive, especially in the flight scenes. The Iron Man character is one that could easily have turned out looking a bit corny but they pulled if off in style. It was also noticeable that many of the effects were physical rather than CG and I think this added considerably to the believability of the film.
I'm glad to see that it has been a smash hit on it's opening weekend at the box office. Fears of it suffering from the threat of GTA IV seem to have been misplaced. I'm glad for two reasons. Firstly, it is a triumph for the filmmakers and for the casting of RDJ. Secondly, it is a success for Marvel Studios in their first film so that means we are likely to see a sequel and other superhero movies from the studio.
I can see a parallel with the first X-Men movie. It is very enjoyable but you get the feeling that the sequel can be something really special. If you haven't seen it I recommend you do so now.
And oh yeah, it has a killer last line.