"Iron Man" is loud Summer Blockbuster fun. From the opening explosion to the final scene AFTER the twelve minute credits sequence, "Iron Man" wears his summer popcorn eating entertainment on his metal sleeve. Paramount Pictures shrewdly balances the entertainment value for comic book groupies and those who have followed the comic book lore.
While in Afghanistan to sell his latest weapons of mass destruction to the American military, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is ambushed and kidnapped by Abu Bakaar (Sayed Badreya) and his Taliban henchmen. Injured with a heart defect, Stark manages to escape his underground prison. By using his ingenuity of weapon science, Stark returns to the United States a changed man, both physically and spiritually.
This epiphany worries some of the Stark Industry coworkers. Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) is Tony’s director of operations and father figure. Virginia “Pepper”; Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) is Tony’s efficient secretary who must change his electronic heart valve from time to time. When Tony turns his swords into a ploughshares, the stock value of Stark Industries decreases. This loss of profit upsets the shareholders and Tony Stark finds new enemies woven in the corporate fabric.
There are a plethora of funny one liners and Robert Downey Jr. delivers them with deadpan conviction. Given his public problems of the past, Tony Stark alias "Iron Man" may help this actor reach for humanistic goals beyond the Hollywood hype machine.
After her work in "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" in which she portrayed Polly Perkins, Gwyneth Paltrow portrays Pepper Potts as a distant relative.
Bald and with a beard, Jeff Bridges looks nothing like his father, Lloyd Bridges, but he share some fine chemistry with Robert Downey Jr. For Science Fiction historians, Bridges is cast against his heroic image from 1982’s "Tron."
Sayed Badreya portrays a terrorist thug who gets his comeuppance from a victimized crowd….or does he? Perhaps "Iron Man 2" can answer this question in a few years.