USA Today - 05/01/2008 3 stars out of 4 -- "In IRON MAN, Downey's likably snide playboy character is cut from the same anti-hero cloth as Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow..."
Los Angeles Times - 05/01/2008
"[I]t's got an energetic, engaging performance by Robert Downey Jr....This part has been nicely tailored to Downey's talents and is a great deal of fun as a result."
Chicago Sun-Times - 05/01/2008
"The well-crafted IRON MAN is one of the smartest superhero films to come down the pike in some time....Robert Downey Jr. again reveal why he is one of the best actors of his generation..."
New York Times - 05/02/2008
"[A]n unusually good superhero picture....The film benefits from a script that generally chooses clever dialogue over manufactured catchphrases...and also from a crackerjack cast that accepts the filmmakers's invitation to do some real acting..."
Entertainment Weekly - 05/09/2008
"[Favreau] draws on his humanistic gifts to make IRON MAN a compellingly down-to-earth superhero fantasy..." -- Grade: B+
Empire - 07/01/2008
"There's winning comedy in Stark's suit-making misadventures, involving a dash of Wile E. Coyote slapstick and some terrific deadpanning from Downey Jr.. And the acting-powerhouse cast doesn't disappoint."
Sight and Sound - 07/01/2008
"It has Downey's spirited turn going for it, as well as rousing sequences of various models of Iron Man armour in action....It makes a lot of clever decisions..."
Premiere - 04/29/2008 3 stars out of 4 -- "Seeing Downey and Bridges duel is one of the film's primary delights..."
Total Film - 11/01/2008 4 stars out of 5 -- "A cad-to-crusader origin story, it's funny, smart, charming -- all the attributes of its star."
For both comic book fans and those who can't tell the Green Lantern from the Green Arrow, IRON MAN is the type of summer blockbuster whose appeal lasts far beyond the season. Robert Downey Jr. stars as Tony Stark, a billionaire playboy and genius who puts as much effort into chasing skirts as he puts into chasing his next big idea. A trip to Afghanistan to sell weapons quickly devolves into chaos, and Stark finds himself at the mercy of a warlord who wants him to build a missile. Instead, Stark creates a powerful suit of armor, turning him into Iron Man and allowing him to escape. When he returns to America, his assistant Pepper Pots (Gwyneth Paltrow), friend Rhodey (Terrence Howard), and right-hand man Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) all marvel at the change in the man they knew.
IRON MAN is the first film to be self-financed by Marvel Studios, and they should be proud of their freshman effort. They didn't take any obvious routes with choosing the cast or crew, and it pays off. Director Jon Favreau, who also has a small role in the film, is best known for directing ELF, but his first action-driven effort is nearly flawless. Casting Downey was gutsy but inspired: this is his first big action picture as well, but the wit he displays in films such as the cult hit KISS KISS, BANG BANG works perfectly for the character of Stark. IRON MAN features nods to its beloved source material, as well as to the classic animated series of the 1960s. But even for the uninitiated, this film provides an interesting entry into the Marvel superhero's universe. Audiences who keep watching after the credits have rolled will be rewarded with a bonus scene.
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