Tony Stark is kidnapped and forced to create a devastating weapon of mass destruction. Tony, not one to take orders, decides to turn the tables and, outsmarting his abductors, builds a super cool suit of armor, which he uses to thrash the bad guys into oblivion.
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One gets the sense we're supposed to whoop & pump our firsts at the sight of Tony Stark, billionaire weapons manufacturer, taking out a group of obvious Taliban substitutes with his pure American steel, but the endless fetishizing of U.S. military hardware, exploitation of the war in Afghanistan & framing of Stark as literal white saviour, leaves a nasty aftertaste. It's functional for what it is, but not compelling.
I actually only saw this for the first time recently, but it cements my feeling that of the films in the Avengers series that I have seen (Iron Man, Capt. Am., Thor) are well done for what they are, but far from great. A solid 3/5, but not quite as good as Captain American for me.
A simple, well told, well directed, funny, perfectly cast, action packed, popcorn super hero flick. Iron man is lovable and a significant turning point in super hero cinema history. I just wish it were a tad more creative.