Dammit, I finished my last day of law school classes on Wednesday. Never mind finals. I deserve a break, specifically a great movie. And I got one.
Iron Man trailers have had me excited for some time now. I'm not a huge fan of Tony Stark, but like any decent (reformed) comics geek I know who Happy Hogan (amusingly played by the director) is, and the name Rhodey had a specific meaning to me. I was even enough of a geek to LITERALLY smack my head at the end of the movie when one of the jokes had a fantastic payoff THAT I SHOULD HAVE SEEN COMING. Acronyms are easier to catch on paper...
A large part of what makes a movie like this work is casting. Ideally, it should be a good actor who is willing to take the part seriously. Slumming won't cut it for a role (to me) this important. Downey hits it out of the park. Like Hugh Jackman Wolverine out of the park. Downey pulled off all the cheesy cliches about Tony Stark and makes them seem natural. You could understand why everyone around Tony Stark put up with his obnoxious crap. Supporting actors were good as well.
The script and direction were good too. Catchphrases were not being jammed in at every opportunity; lines sounded like people would reasonably say them for the most part. Admittedly I haven't read a lot of Iron Man (or Avengers) but the movie felt consistent to me with what I was familiar with. I will allow for variations as long as the characters feel right to me (see X-Men) and this movie managed to capture that.
The effects were cool, but honestly given the previous two factors were less important to me.
To sum up: I am buying the superdeluxe version of this as soon as it comes out. Go see it. On the big screen where you can really watch Tony fly.