If there’s one movie to see this summer, go see “Iron Man.”
This is the only way to describe the latest of the comic book adaptations to the silver screen.
“Iron Man” is about a man whose mechanical genius helps him survive being kidnapped by terrorists and helps to define his purpose in life.
The man underneath the armor is Tony Stark, played by the excellent Robert Downey Jr., who at age 6, built his own engine and after his father’s death, took the family company and built it into a large weapons manufacturer.
“They say the best weapon is one you do not have to fire,” Stark said to a group of military officers in the rough, rugged, unforgiving land of Afghanistan in his company’s demonstration of the new brand of missiles.
“I respectfully disagree.”
After the quite successful and destructive demonstration, Stark’s convoy is attacked in a rather chilling way: his own weapons and missiles are used against the American military he thought he was protecting.
Waking up with a hole in his chest the size of a fist and with an object connected to a car battery, he is soothed by the doctor that was in the camp before him, Yaza, played by a genuinely sympathetic Shaun Toub.
He explains to Stark that the shrapnel that was still in his chest was stopped by the electromagnet that was put into the hole, using it to stop the small bits of sharp shrapnel from entering his heart and killing him.
“We have a name for people like you…the walking dead,” Toub says, gesturing to the makeshift device.
Stark soon realizes the reason the terrorists have kidnapped him; they want the brutal Jericho missiles he had just demonstrated, and they want it within the week.
Stark is devastated, knowing full well that even if he gave them the missiles, they would not let him leave alive, but at the encouragement of Toub, they formulate a plan that will go on to change Stark’s life forever.
There is no need to be a comic book aficionado to get into “Iron Man.” Downey Jr.’s dry, witty humor comes at the most opportune times to lighten the mood and gives Stark a quality that is genuinely likable, especially when he is dealing with his less than quality robot helpers.
Gwyneth Paltrow, who plays Stark’s assistant, Pepper Potts, was also outstanding, providing a believable partner to the rather eccentric Stark.
Any and all CG sequences are really hard to notice, and you can only really tell where the scenes are if you are actively searching for them.
But if you’re like most other people, watching Iron Man swat bad guys away with his arm using bone-crushing force, flying like a rocket in the night and battling the bad guy, is more than enough.
“Iron Man” with Downey Jr.’s charm and likable personality, is something everyone in the audience can enjoy.
Dan Sayles can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.