Iron Man

Rated 4.0

When a playboy munitions industrialist (Robert Downey Jr.) is taken prisoner in Afghanistan, he crafts a powerful suit of armor to make his escape; back home, he refines his invention to become a self-made superhero. The four-handed script (Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Art Marcum, Matt Holloway) has a too-many-cooks disarray and ends in a familiar showdown, laying waste to huge swaths of urban infrastructure. Still, it’s great fun, thanks mainly to the power of the original Marvel Comics concept and director Jon Favreau’s breezy hand with the material. Downey is excellent, as are Gwyneth Paltrow as his loyal gal Friday and Terrence Howard as his military liaison. But Jeff Bridges gives a rare (for him) poor performance, as a villain so obvious it makes everyone look stupid for not seeing through him.