You know you're going to get a different kind of superhero when you cast Robert Downey Jr. in the lead role. And Iron Man is different, in welcome ways. Cleverly updated from Marvel Comics' longstanding series, Iron Man puts billionaire industrialist Tony Stark (that's Downey) in the path of some Middle Eastern terrorists; in a brilliantly paced section, Stark invents an indestructible suit that allows him to escape. If the rest of the movie never quit hits that precise rhythm again, it nevertheless offers plenty of pleasure, as the renewed Stark swears off his past as a weapons manufacturer, develops his new Iron Man suit, and puzzles both his business partner (Jeff Bridges in great form) and executive assistant (Gwyneth Paltrow). Director Jon Favreau geeks out in fun ways with the hardware, but never lets it overpower the movie, and there's always a goofy one-liner or a slapstick pratfall around to break the tension. As for Downey, he doesn't get to jitterbug around too much in his improv way, but he brings enough of his unpredictable personality to keep the thing fresh. And listen up, hardcore Marvel mavens: even if you know the Stan Lee cameo is coming, you won't be able to guess it until it's on the screen. It all builds to a splendid final scene, with a concluding line delivery by Downey that just feels absolutely right. --Robert Horton
On the DVD A fat collection of Special Features bulks up the Iron Man experience. The heftiest is I Am Iron Man, a feature-length behind-the-scenes doc that exhaustively covers the making of the movie, with full access to director Jon Favreau and the cast and crew. A half-hour look at the visual effects will satisfy gearheads (the legendary Stan Winston weighs in, shortly before he died), and a thorough chronicle of the comic-book Iron Man provides the character's print history, with Stan Lee noting that the comic brought in more fan mail from women than any other Marvel title. Scenes from Robert Downey, Jr.'s screen test are fun, and a rehearsal with Downey, Favreau, and Jeff Bridges working out a tense scene is a tantalizing look at collaboration. A selection of deleted and extended scenes reveals no special gems, but confirms the editorial judgment. The cherry on top is a splendid Onion parody news bulletin, purporting to report that the awesome Iron Man trailer that everybody loved is now about to be expanded into an actual full-length film--but fans are skeptical they'll ruin it. --Robert Horton
Stills from Iron Man
Customer Reviews for "Iron Man (Ultimate 2 Disc Edition) (DVD)"
IRON MAN IS SOO GOOD
BEST MOVIE IN SUPER HERO GENRE EVAA
Iron Man, September 30, 2008
By Movie goer
I wasnt expecting much from "Iron Man" when I saw it in theatres- weve all seen
countless super-hero movies by now, and although they are among my favorite
genre, they are beginning to all seem basically the same. However, "Iron Man"
surprised me with its emphasis on character over action. Robert Downey Jr. was
a risky but inspired choice for the role of Tony Stark, cocky billionaire-turned
man of the people, a character who is not only well written but incredibly well
acted. Downey Jr. brings a coy wit to the role that makes the whole film a
pleasure to watch. Director Jon Favreaus action debut is incredibly well done,
making this movie a surprise hit as far as I am concerned. I cant wait to add it
to my home collection. Highly recommended!