Iron has always fascinated humans for its strength and comparative indestructibility. Humans have always regarded iron as a symbol of strength. They have always looked at ways of amalgamating this metal into their lives in the form of armour or weapons, to offset their physical weakness. It complements human intelligence and spirit by adding to their defensive and offensive powers.
Iron Man is born out of one such fascinating plot by Marvel Comics, with a premise that appears impossible now but dreams of a path for future generations to explore. The movie Iron Man is an adaptation of this comic.
The story: Multimillionaire playboy Tony Stark is a genius; his main business activity is weapons manufacture. He goes to Afghanistan to demonstrate his new invention, the "Jerricho" missile, to the US military. While returning to his plane, his convoy is attacked by terrorists. Stark is captured and badly injured. But he is saved by Yinsen, a genius surgeon in captivity. Stark has shrapnel pieces close to his heart. Yinsen keeps those fragments from piercing Stark's heart by holding them in place using an electromagnet powered by a car battery; thus Stark's life is saved by this improvisation. Once Stark recovers, the terrorists demand that he build a "Jerricho" for them. But he has different ideas. Genius that he is, he builds a small nuclear reactor that powers his saviour electromagnet and also, a flying iron suit that he builds stealthily. With the help of this suit, he escapes from the terrorists but is not able to save Yinsen. He returns to America as a man with a conscience. He decides to close down his weapon factories and harness the peaceful uses of nuclear technology instead. This is not accepted by his business partners, so they sideline him and continue to produce weapons. But Tony is determined to oppose them. He builds much more sophisticated armour equipped with all that is needed to fight evil. Thus a superhero is born - Iron Man.
This film, an improvement in the superhero film genre, stands out and appears like a beautiful mythology on celluloid. The main pillars that raise this simple super hero story on a pedestal are: The cast, in particular, Robert Downey Jr. and the five central characters that carry the movie on their shoulders; music which perfectly supports and enhances the emotions evoked by the movie scenes; taut screenplay which falters only at the climax; good direction by Jon Favreau, who also does a cameo as Hogan, Stark's bodyguard, and - The Suit, which looks as sleek as a BMW or an Audi.
This is definitely one of the best performances from Robert Downey Jr. and will be remembered for long. He plays the carefree and maverick multimillionaire to perfection.
To see a 42-year-old man develop prominent muscles is a wonder, given that he does not already have a suitable build and does not believe in using steroids and artificial muscle enhancers. Good job!
Gwyneth Paltrow, who plays Pepper Potts, the girl-Friday of Stark, is all grace. Those eyes work magic. There are traces of grace in her even when she shows panic. It is a classy performance from Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane, who looks every bit of the warmonger with a cold heart. He portrays excellently the cold-hearted nature and the haughtiness of a business man for whom money is everything. Terrence Howard as Jim Rhodes looks good in his Air Force uniform and does a neat job as Stark's confidant.
The movie has a lot of one-liners and wisecracks which sound even better the way Robert Downey mouths them. The movie is evenly peppered with lighter moments and jokes; some are hackneyed but you still laugh - thanks to the talent of the actors who can even present the tritest stuff in an enjoyable manner. Brilliant! The scene where Iron Man helps the victims of terrorism in Afghanistan elicits a
Cast : Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges, Terrence Howard, Shaun Toub, Farhan Tahir
Director : Jon Favreau
Writers : Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Art Marcum, Matt Holloway
Music by : Ramin Djawadi
Cinematographer : Matthew Libatique