“Iron Man” was released several years ago now (2008). It was one of the prequels to the more recent “Avengers” movie (2012). It starred Robert Downey Jr. as billionaire playboy Tony Stark. Stark is the head of Stark Industries, a weapons manufacturing company. In the beginning of the movie, Stark is portrayed as a carefree playboy unconcerned by the real human costs that come with developing more efficient weapons of death. Things, however, quickly take a turn for the worse for Tony. He is captured by a terrorist group in the mountains of Afghanistan where the head guy wants him to build a Jericho missile for the terrorists. Note to self: if you ever kidnap a multi-billionaire genius to make you a rocket, don’t lock him up in a cave with all his toys! Stark uses his time to build the prototype for his Iron Man suit instead. Basically, it consists of robotic body armor with a slew of weapons that help him to escape from the terrorists’ clutches.
From that point, Stark has something of an epiphany and realizes that he doesn’t want his legacy to simply be the production of weapons. He wants something more. When he returns to the states, he announces a change in direction for the company he controls. But this, of course, draws him into conflict with his ruthless right hand man, Obadiah Stane. It is this conflict which drives the rest of the movie and leads up to a final climactic battle at the end.
Overall, the movie was excellent. It was good enough that I purchased it for my own collection. If there is a flaw, it is probably the inconsistency of Stark’s epiphany. He doesn’t want to make weapons anymore, so he builds a super-weapon… his suit. But we can overlook that, I suppose, because without his suit there wouldn’t be a movie, unless you wanted to turn it into a sappy drama about the evolving sentimentality of a billionaire. Not about a rough and tumble billionaire who can kick butt when he puts on his technological masterpiece. Anyway, the action was great. The comedic moments were also great. And Robert Downey Jr. put in a stellar performance. I can’t think of any major flaws beyond the picayune one I mentioned above. So…
I’ll give the movie 4 1/2 out of five stars. And it might even be worth a 5, but I’ve seen it so many times, it’s lost some of its luster.