Iron Man (2008) **1/2*

Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 2hr 6min
Director: Jon Favreau
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow
Genre: Drama
Language: English

Merchant of Death

In a Nutshell


Straight as an Arrow

Sound Quality

Easy to Hear

Who's That?

Few Main Characters

Naughty Words


Naked people




Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) is living the good life: running a very profitable business selling armaments to the government and acting the role of the soulless, irresponsible playboy in his spare time. During a promotional trip to Afghanistan to demonstrate the superior killing power of his new Jericho missile, however, he is captured by terrorists, tortured, and ordered to build them one of his new missiles. Amazingly, with a little help from another captive scientist, he manages to build the ultimate suit of armor, an Iron Man, and blast his way out of captivity.

Upon his return to the United States, Stark has an epiphany and decides to renounce arms manufacturing, a move that does not sit well with his company’s Board of Directors or his long-time partner (Jeff Bridges, sporting a gray beard and shaven head). But Stark cannot remain on the sidelines for too long. He has too much time on his hands, too much money and too much genius as an MIT bioengineer not to be creative. And anyway, there is some pay back he needs to deal with. “I finally know what I have to do,” he declares.

So he gets to work developing a better prototype of the Iron Man and jets off to Afghanistan to find more bad guys. Did we mention that the Iron Man flies like a jet rocket, looks like it could reach the moon, fires missiles and flames, and is stronger then a Sherman Tank? Well it is and then some.

Well with a weapon like this, you would expect a lot of mayhem and destruction, and that’s what you get. Why build it if you aren’t going to use it? And what kind of movie would you have if it just sat in the closet?

If you like action, both in the sky (duels with Air Force fighters) and on the land (desert warfare), this is the film for you. Think Rambo or The Terminator; don’t forget Godzilla; and Superman and Batman of course and even John Wayne on steroids. If you grew up on Marvel comics as we did, you won’t be disappointed.

Interwoven with all the action scenes are moments that show a soft, vulnerable and understanding side to Stark, brought out by interactions with his devoted assistant Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow, even more stunning than usual as a redhead), and his friend (Terrence Howard), a beleaguered Air Force Colonel whose job it is to cover up Stark’s mistakes.

Downey’s a fine actor and manages to convince us that Stark got conscience; he’s a changed man but his mission remains a bit vague? And is he ever going to pursue Ms. Potts? They’re obviously hot for each other. Hmmm — anyone thinking sequels?

Shelly Hanner, a retired government executive, is honored to be reviewing for this site, and wants everyone to know his teeth are his own. Janet Garber, a human resources executive and published author, has been living with Shelly's corny jokes for some time now, and her only escape is going to the movies!


Hope said on May 5, 2008


Thanks for the review. Sounds good (particularly, the cast) but I’ll wait for it to come out on video.

Wayne D. said on May 5, 2008


Great name,Pepper Potts! Right up there with Pussy Galore of James Bond fame. Doubt if I’ll waste my time on this one. Not into Marvel Comics superheros anymore.

Marsha said on May 5, 2008


I was thinking of seeing it this weekend, but now I won’t. Doesn’t sound like it’s for me. Maybe the DVD will be fine.

Gail E. said on May 5, 2008


I enjoyed your review, however, I think I’ll pass on this one. It’s not quite my cup of tea.

KATHLEEN said on May 5, 2008


WELL, it seems that others will wait for the cheaper version to watching this. Loved the review will go to see it sounds like a good date movie, just to get brownie points when I want to see a chic flick Thanks

elie said on May 9, 2008


I’ll take my grandchildren with me, thank you.

Margot said on May 21, 2008


Good for my son and husband potentially.

Emma Kafka said on June 19, 2008


Very entertaining review!

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