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Iron Man
Genre Sci-Fi
Year: 2008

Tony Stark (Downey Jr.) is a wealthy weaponry expert and tycoon, who starts to use technology for good after he narrowly escapes armed forces in an armoured suit made from scrap metal. This Iron Man, a story about unlikely heroes. Most people may have heard about this particular superhero, but don’t have much of a back story. The one big difference between Iron Man and most other superheroes is that he’s a self-made man. Now you wouldn’t guess this at first because Tony Stark’s intelligence is buoyed by the success of a multi-national munitions corporation started by his father. He’s earned his position and his most formidable enemy is his pride and selfishness.

Robert Downey Jr. is an interesting choice for the role of Stark, and is a big fan of the comic book character of Iron Man. He imbibes a dark Johnny Depp disposition and brims with confidence. He’s traded his quirky mannerisms in for the jack-of-all-trades character, who is a flawed man with a touch of genius in the vein of Howard Hughes. The other unsung hero in this match-up is Jon Favreau, whose movie career has come to associate with comedy rather than comics. He has a terrific understanding and balance in the direction of Iron Man, and really gives Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins and Michael Bay’s Transformers a run for their money.

Iron Man is more down to earth like Batman. They both have vested interests in corporations, come from wealthy backgrounds, have access to the latest technology and fight the darkness in their own hearts. They also differ from Spider-Man and Superman because they have both feet firmly on the ground. This isn’t to say they can’t fly, but that they are ordinary men shaped by extraordinary circumstances rather than “alien” superpowers.

Iron Man is rivetting and boosts along at an exciting pace, jam-packed with laugh-and-gasp moments. The writers have done an excellent job with the story that doesn’t home in on one enemy, but man’s inherent propensity for evil. Stark is convicted by his close shave with death and turns over a new leaf to make wrongs right. This is a story about redemption, good conquering evil and all-consuming greed. Iron Man is every man’s saviour and only sides with what’s just. The CGI is mind-blowing and rivals Transformers in every respect. It may not be as loud, but it is meticulous in terms of attention to detail.

The performances stay true to the superhero genre and Iron Man takes the best of Batman Begins and blends it with Fantastic Four. The tone is brooding with Downey Jr. and punctuated by light relief and spontaneity with Favreau at the helm. The best thing: you don’t need to know anything about Iron Man to be entertained by this gob smacking spectacle.

The bottom line: Bulletproof.

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