Iron Man was pretty excellent. I had pretty high expectations since Downey, Jr. was starring and Favreau was directing. Plus, lots of my friends said it was good. So I was a bit surprised that the movie exceeded my expectations. The CG was brilliant, Downey, Jr. was absolutely perfect, and the setup after the credits was awesome for comics nerds. The script was a little weak, but certainly good enough for a summer blockbuster. Robert Downey, Jr. was definitely the story though.
While there have been several strong actors that have donned the cape/cowl/spandex — Christian Bale and Michael Keaton come to mind — I don’t think the casting has ever been this perfect. A lot of people think Christopher Reeve was born to play Superman, but it’s not that hard to cast for perfection. Tony Stark (borrowing more from the Ultimate version rather than the mainline Marvel version) is a rich, womanizing drunk with several other character flaws. Downey, Jr. is pretty much the same thing, minus the scientific genius part.
The post-credit setup was just frickin cool. I’m actually looking forward to seeing how the other movies (The Hulk, Thor, and Captain America) tie in. They’re already going in a different direction than the Marvel and Ultimate Marvel universes, but hopefully it won’t be too watered down. I’m also happy they went with the Ultimate version of Fury and the actor that version was based on. And no, it’s not casting genius to have an actor play a comic-book character that was modeled after him. That’s too easy.