Iron Man (2008)

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Playboy and weapons manufacturer Tony Stark is captured by terrorists and builds a robotic suit of armour in order to escape, but when he returns to find his company has been selling its arms to the bad guys he sets about making things right.

Iron Man was one of the first comics that I bought as a boy, and I must say the big screen version really does do the character justice. Robert Downey Jr. does such a great job as Tony Stark, within 10 minutes I couldn’t imagine anyone else playing the part. The suit looks fantastic and has a really cool Manga-esque functionality about it. The action sequences are also really well staged, especially Iron Man’s first “mission” in which he returns to eliminate the terrorist cell who imprisoned him, Iron Man coming across a super-cool, updated badass version of Robocop. The only real weakness of the film is the predictability of the plot; there’s little here I hadn’t seen before. The idea of a millionaire using military technology to go vigilante was covered by Batman and it lacks the dark tone and intelligent psychology of Batman Begins. The comedy aspect involving his learning to use his new “powers” was very reminiscent of Spider-man, and the climactic showdown bears more than a passing resemblance to the final battle of Robocop II. It also lacks a really strong villain, Jeff Bridges coming across as a kind of less charismatic version of Lex Luther.

But if there’s one thing that Iron Man most definitely is, it’s entertaining. A tried and tested formula executed with real panache.

7.5/10

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