Iron Man never feels like a laboured prologue that's simply laying the groundwork for further instalments. It's a zippy, action-packed adventure in its own right, boasting top-drawer special effects and some cracking action sequences.
Iron Man trumps his morally compromised, brooding heroic brethren with the best setback of them all: He has no superpowers. He's just a man with a smart mouth and a head for figures in a really cool, practically indestructible iron suit.
The key, of course, is Downey, who effortlessly conveys that his newfound sense of responsibility isn't going to stop him from having a good time, and in doing so, Iron Man makes saving the world look like fun again.
A completely different superhero movie which not only delights visually, but also engrosses with a very well adapted, character driven story of a redemptive figure who becomes the ultimate global hero.
Iron Man is an appealing superhero movie. It's also clunky. It's welded together out of disparate pieces that clank and ping. Though at times it's leaden, Iron Man also has enough moments of pizazz to intermittently soar.