Let's face it, Super Hero movies nowadays are either hit or miss.
There are the ones that absolutely dominated; Batman Begins, Spider-Man, and X-Men. Then there are the ones that we'd rather not think about/mention in public; Elektra, Cat Woman, Dare Devil, etc. With all the trailers and press releases for the countless comic book movies on the horizon, it's totally expected to be nervous about which ones will be great and which ones will suck, but rest assured Iron Man is incredible.
Incredible in that 'you're really drunk and just found an all night diner' kind of way. Incredible in that 'you're at the drive through and you realize you have exact change' kind of way. Out of all the crap floating around in theaters right now, Iron Man is breath of fresh air in a huge way.
Jon Favreau does a great job directing, and the special effects are visual sex, but Robert Downey Jr. is the true reason that this movie is awesome. Take all the badassity of Bruce Wayne, subtract the emo, and you get Downeys perfect portrayal of Tony Stark A boozing, womanizing, tech genius billionaire who is the head of his own world famous weapons company.
While on a new weapons presentation in Afghanistan, Stark's military convoy escort is ambushed, and he is taken prisoner by terrorists. Regaining consciousness in a hidden cave, Stark is told that during the attack several pieces of shrapnel have lodged themselves deep in his body, and the only thing keeping those pieces from fatally entering his heart is a crude device that has been implanted in his chest. Soon he is beaten, filmed, and forced by the radical group to construct for them the ultimate missile out of parts he realizes are from his very own weapon company. Our hero uses his tech-brilliance to construct a powerful new energy source for his chest, as well as a giant metal war suit to bust his way out of captivity.
Returning back home to the US in one piece, Stark goes public saying his company is going to turn over a new leaf, and no longer create or sell high tech weaponry. While his business partner goes promptly ape shit, Stark goes into a secretive personal project of constructing a better, sleeker version of the Iron Man suit that had saved him from death.
The plot of the movie is great, and the character development is even better. Jeff Bridges plays Tony's power hungry business partner, Obadiah Stane, Terrence Howard plays the military friend Jim Rhodes, and Gwyneth Paltrow is Stark's suspiciously smitten assistant, Pepper Pots.
All actors play their parts flawlessly, but there's just no denying that the show completely belongs to Robert Downey Jr. For an actor who has had so many problems with drugs in the past, this is some serious redemption. His performance as Stark is filled with deep inspiration, hilarious moments, and classy wit all at the same time.
The bottom line: This movie deserves every bit of credit it's getting. If you're even remotely into Super Hero flicks, or just Action movies in general, you NEED to see this one.
And for the love of GOD if you see it in theaters remember to STAY AFTER THE CREDITS. Trust me on this guys. Take the extra 5 minutes, and you'll thank me later.