Iron Man” stars Robert Downey Jr., Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, and Gwyneth Paltrow. It’s directed by Jon Favreau (Elf, Zathura) and the screenplay was written by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby (First Snow, Children of Men).

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is the wealthy CEO of Stark Industries, known for producing advanced weaponry. After demonstrating his latest creation called the Jericho Missile, his Humvee is attacked by terrorists leaving shrapnel in Tony Starks body. He is now required to have a device inserted to keep the shrapnel out of his heart.

Superheros aren’t born, they’re built. “Iron Man” is a great way to kick off the summer season. There are a few problems I had with the movie. The action sequences could have been more evenly distributed and without that frantic feel. It starts off slow and when it picks up the pace, it does it so vigorously it becomes loud and without any real emotional effect. Not to mention the Black Sabbath song Iron Man isn’t played until the credits roll. The dialog is very smart, with truly brilliant lingo scattered throughout. Since I haven’t read an Iron Man comic book, I’m not too sure that it accurately followed the storyline. Seeing that the character development was greatly explored, I can’t imagine it being anything other than faithful to the comics.

Robert Downey Jr. (who is clearly not the hero type) does a surprisingly good job here playing the greatly flawed character Tony Stark. He is a gambler, a compulsive drinker, a womanizer and also a genius inventor. He creates a total of three suits before perfecting his invention, which takes up too much of the running time. I would have enjoyed a little more action to go with my smarts, but the film works on a certain level of popcorn entertainment. His arch nemesis (Obadiah Stone) is played so riotously by Jeff Bridges that it wouldn’t be that same with a full head of hair. What really keeps the films energy intact is Robert Downey Jr.’s ability to keep up with the snappy dialog, pratically carrying the film freely on his shoulders (even with that distracting goatee).

This is the best acting ever displayed in a superhero movie. I am looking forward to a more action packed sequel now that we got to know the tarnished character Tony Stark. Stan Winston, who took part in creating the special effects, proves his talent once again. The work of a master is shown when the special effects don’t weigh down the films story, like most superhero movies do so reluctantly. This will leave fan boys and even those who don’t read the comic foaming at the mouth for more. Be sure to stick around after the credits for a surprising cameo by none other than one of my favorite actors.