Comic book movies have been in a bit of a slump lately.  Spiderman was revolutionary because it was the first comic book movie which didn’t suck.  As a movie, it still sucked.  Then there was a dearth of horrid films about all sorts of awful comic books.  Then came the savior of the genre, Batman Begins, a drastic and wholly Frank Miller friendly reimagining of the iconic series.  Here comes another sign that the genre might be headed for a better place.

Showing now at theaters which are probably pretty close to you, comes the latest film from Marvel Comics.  Iron Man, starring Jeff Bridges, Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow, is a wonderful popcorn flick and a delightful way to start the summer.

Iron Man is the story of Tony Stark, a playboy genius and zillionaire who runs his own weapons company.  He is captured in Afghanistan and learns that his weapons are being sold to terrorists and warlords.  The warlord tries to have Stark make him a doomsday weapon, but Stark makes an iron man instead.  He escapes and decides to no longer make weapons.  Jeff Bridges is angry and builds competing iron men to fight Robert Downey Jr.  This all comes together in a great finale around Pepper Potts, Tony Stark’s secretary.

As far as special features go, there were some pretty sweet previews before the showing I went to.  This could be a pretty interesting summer when it comes to movies.  One feature that is quite special about Marvel movies is that when it’s a comic which Stan Lee helped develop, he has a cameo in every movie.  In this movie, he plays Hugh Hefner.  That’s hilarious.

I really enjoyed this movie.  I love Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Bridges is delightfully wicked, and Gwyneth Paltrow is absolutely stunning as a redhead in this film.  This is a good techno drama, albeit a little too convenient in how it deals with warlords and terrorists.  It’s the true American story, the guy we love to hate who goes on to make good.  The ending, the last 20 seconds, are what makes this movie so truly good.

This Iron Man rocks.

Go see this movie at your local movie theater.  All across America.

Nathaniel Jonet

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