Iron Man ★★★★

Marking the commencement of Marvel Cinematic Universe, catapulting Robert Downey Jr. into the league of Hollywood's biggest stars & also announcing the arrival of Marvel Studios into motion picture filmmaking for it is their first fully-financed project, Iron Man not only succeeds as a quality blend of style & substance but is also amongst the best origin stories cinema has come up with for a comic book superhero.

Iron Man tells the story of genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist Tony Stark who, while on his tour to war-torn Afghanistan for the demonstration of his new weaponry to United States military, is ambushed & taken hostage by a terrorist group. Working with another captive, he designs an exoskeleton to get out from there & after returning to US further refines his design. The plot covers the change his captivity brings in his entire personality.

Stylishly directed by Jon Favreau, Iron Man aims for the same grounded approach that Christopher Nolan applied in Batman Begins & succeeds amazingly well for the most part. The screenplay is brimming with energy, wit & charm, and is brilliantly written & narrated. Production design provides it a very modern feel, Camerawork is vibrantly carried out, Editing briskly paces the whole story which also benefits from Ramin Djawadi's fitting score as well as clever use of existing songs.

Coming to the acting department, Iron Man features a star-studded cast in Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges & Terrence Howard but the film belongs to Downey Jr. who blazes brightly in red n gold with a performance that's absolutely fantastic, effortlessly charismatic & downright polished. Overshadowing the input of the rest & fitting the suit perfectly, this is one role that couldn't have gone to a better actor & how this gifted talent renders Tony Stark on screen is a further proof of that.

On an overall scale, Iron Man has enough power in it to please both fans of the comics as well as newcomers. Sure its third act isn't as impressive as the first two but the positives eclipse the negatives by a huge margin. Balancing its storytelling aspects with big budget extravaganza to triumph as a work of quality in the eyes of viewers n critics alike, Iron Man is a highly refreshing, wildly entertaining & largely satisfying crowd-pleaser that's hugely responsible for the foundation on which Marvel Studios stands today. Highly recommended.

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