Iron Man

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner30/04/2008

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 126 mins

Hugely enjoyable, impressively directed blockbuster with a great script, superb special effects and a terrific, note-perfect cast – this is everything you could possibly want from a superhero movie.

What's it all about?
Based on one of Marvel Comics' lesser-known superheroes, Iron Man stars Robert Downey Jnr as billionaire industrialist playboy Tony Stark, the head of Stark Industries, which supplies weapons to the US government. While demonstrating his latest invention to the military in Afghanistan, Stark is captured by terrorists, receiving a serious heart injury (from one of his own weapons) in the process.

Forced to make weapons for the terrorists, Stark instead fashions himself a flying iron suit and uses it to escape, as well as to keep life-threatening shrapnel away from his heart. Once back in the States, he decides to modify the suit and use it to do good, whilst also taking Stark Industries out of the weapons game, much to the concern of his right-hand man, Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges).

The Good
Directed by Jon Favreau (a self-confessed fan of the comics), Iron Man gets everything right, from the terrific costume designs to the superb special effects and thrilling set-pieces. The script is excellent, seamlessly blending the potentially clunky origin story with a tale that pits Iron Man against one of his most famous adversaries.

Robert Downey Jnr is perfectly cast as Tony Stark and he delivers a fantastic performance, nailing the boozing, wise-cracking playboy side of his character but also convincingly portraying Stark's conversion and the discovery of his conscience. There's also terrific support from Terrence Howard (as Stark's best friend Jim Rhodes), Gwyneth Paltrow (as Stark's devoted secretary "Pepper" Potts) and an almost unrecognisable Jeff Bridges (bald and bearded) as Stane.

The Great
Most importantly, Favreau (who appears briefly as Stark's chauffeur Happy Hogan) expertly nails the tone of the comics, combining exciting action scenes with witty dialogue and a smartly written script that will please both fans and newcomers alike. Stick around for a great cameo scene after the end credits.

Worth seeing?
Iron Man is a hugely enjoyable blockbuster that deserves to be a massive hit. Highly recommended.

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Content updated: 19/11/2019 13:42

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