Tuesday 18th January 2022

Iron Man (12A)
Directed by: Jon Favreau
Reviewed by: Paul Fonz

The start of the summer blockbuster season is normally reason enough for me to start celebrating and enthusing. In fact the start of summer is normally reason enough, but this year I think we all have a reason to celebrate and enthuse a bit more than usual, because the blockbuster season has just kicked off with the release of the latest Marvel comic book film and it's more fantastic than the Human Torch.

Iron Man jets to number one at the box office
Iron Man jets to number one at the box office

Iron Man is the first Marvel film to be produced by Marvel Studios (Marvel's own studio as opposed to Sony for example) and they've done a great job in every aspect of this film. The director, Jon Favreau (writer and star of Swingers, one of my favourite films) has a bit of a chequered directorial past, but it seems he has really hit his stride with this one. The fact that he is an Iron Man fan really shows through in the film and he has done an excellent job of keeping the film funny, interesting, and grounded in reality to the point that it is believable while being fantastic.

The casting is top notch as well, with Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeff Bridges putting in solid performances, but the star of the show is Robert Downey Jnr. (another huge Iron Man fan) who has clearly worked very hard to turn Tony Stark (a.k.a. Iron Man), an alcoholic, rich, womanising genius into an incredibly likeable and charismatic character.

Movies based on comic books aren't renowned for having deep or complex plots, and Iron Man is no exception. This is basically a beginnings story, following Stark's transformation from weapons manufacturer and billionaire playboy to a man who wants nothing more than to construct some innovative armour and fight crime. Not the most exciting story on the surface, but the finished result is believable and downright enjoyable.

This is only the first blockbuster of the year, and there are many more to come this summer (not least of all Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) but I will be surprised and delighted if any of the others are as good as this. This film is well-balanced, perfectly paced, fun throughout and the special effects are spot-on – in short, I'm desperate to watch it again!

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Length: 126 minutes
Certificate: 12A
Official Site:
IMDB Link:
Release Date: 2nd May 2008

Top Five Rating: 90.0%90.0%90.0%90.0%90.0%90.0%90.0%90.0%90.0%90.0% (90.0%)
User Rating: 93.3%93.3%93.3%93.3%93.3%93.3%93.3%93.3%93.3%93.3% (93.3%)

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