Iron Man (PG-13) 126 minutes B-
A fast and furious I-robot
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow, Terrence Howard, Shaun Toub, Leslie Bibb, Bill Smitrovich, and Nazanin Boniadi
The concept of a superhero made of iron or outfitted in iron (I'm unfamiliar with the comics) always seemed a little cheesy to me. I've always preferred humanistic heroes like Batman, Robin, Superman, and Spiderman, but after seeing this film I have a new respect for Iron Man.
I still think the concept is a little clunky, but thanks to Downey, Iron Man was more likable than I expected. This film is a nice introduction to how Iron Man was born and why he uses his power for good instead of evil. It's a little better than your typical superhero film (not featuring one of the aforementioned superheroes) but it's not without some predictability, machismo, and cliches. Luckily, some of these weaknesses work as strengths thanks to the direction of Jon Favreau. He gives the film a light-hearted, yet earnest vibe that's not to be taken too seriously.
There are some definite edge-of-your-seat moments here, and the two hours go by fairly quickly. Jeff Bridges and Terence Howard weren't particularly convincing in this film, but Gwyneth Paltrow was a charming and effective sidekick. If you like fancy cars, explosions, and special effects, get your large popcorn, soda, and dig in.