Despite the fact that he doesn't paint, some may say that billionaire playboy and weapons manufacturer Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is the DaVinci of his time (or Bruce Wayne had his parents not been killed, imo). But during a visit to Afghanistan where he is demostrating his latest weapon that could end the war, Tony is kidnapped by the enemy and ordered to build the weapon for them.
Tony is no traitor, building a metal suit of armor to help fight his way out of the enemy encampment and to freedom.
Unfortunately, Tony's business partner (a bald and bearded Jeff Bridges) is a traitor, selling arms to the enemy, putting in danger the lives of the American soldiers Tony has sworn to protect.
Iron Man starts the summer movie season (despite the fact that Summer is officially over a month away) with the proverbial bang! There is quite a lot of bang for your buck, and Downey does a surprisingly good job in the action scenes, but some of my favorite moments are during his scenes with Stark's plucky assistant, Pepper Potts, played by Gwyneth Paltrow under a luscious-mane of red hair.
My favorite scene involves what I call "The Heart Transplant" scene, in which Pepper helps Stark replace the device he created to protect his heart after injuries suffered during his kidnapping (Tony: "It's like the game 'Operation' only... for real.") Pepper clearly thinks she's underqualified, but Tony trusts her enough to remain cool and calm to help her through the nerve-wracking, thirty-second procedure. Despite Pepper's anxiety, Tony keeps the tone light-hearted, no pun intended. I half expected him to turn to the audience and say, "Don't worry folks, I'm sure she can do it."
The plot isn't too complex (although there are a couple of "huh?" moments), the scenes where Stark builds his new suit are fun, the supporting cast is good, the action is exciting, and Bridges does a pretty darn good job as a bad guy. Plus there's that scene after the credits that helped to boast Iron Man's grade to an A-.