Let me just get some things out of the way, I’m a big Iron Man fan. I mean a big fan, I love the comics, the animated movies, etc. To say I had high expectations of this film would be an understatement, unfortunately when I usually have high expectations of something I’m let down. Thankfully this time around it was everything I was expecting and more. To put it bluntly, Iron Man is amazing. To use outdated cliché’s, it’s a heart pounding roller coaster ride. OK, enough with the fanboy gushing, let’s get into specifics.

Iron Man follows Tony Stark’s, played by Robert Downey Jr., role as an industrial billionaire playboy as he launches the latest Stark Industries smart weapon to experiencing first hand the death and destruction his fortune is built on. From his experiences Stark becomes driven to steer his company on a course that doesn’t spread death and destruction, but rather helps people. Unfortunately there are those within the company that want Stark Industries to keep its course as a weapons developer, with Stark’s longtime friend Obadiah Stone, played by Jeff Bridges, spearheading the effort to oppose Stark.

Thankfully Stark can always count on his longtime assistant and confidant Pepper Potts, played by Gweneth Paltrow, to help him when Stone gets his hands on the plans for the original Iron Man suit and plans on recreating an even more formidable suit of armor. Also making an appearance is Starks friend James Rhodes, played by Terrence Howard. While Rhodes has a number of scenes, they aren’t any that have a real impact on the story. It’d be safe to say they wanted to introduce him so he can have his own spinoff as War Machine.

Robert Downey Jr. was born to play Tony Stark, he’s got the billionaire playboy image down to a science. It’s clear that Downey brought everything to the part and you get a sense that his real life antics helped him in his approach of Stark. Jeff Bridges did a fine job as Obadiah Stane, subtle yet brutal. Suprisingly, Paltrow put in an excellent performance and really gave Potts some depth, not to mention how good she looked. Howard did a decent job as Rhodes, but he wasn’t given a whole lot to work with. The rest of the supporting cast was picked perfectly and they all put in excellent performances.

As with any superhero movie, there are several treats for fans of the “Iron Man” comic. The introduction of S.H.I.E.L.D., references to War Machine, and what Marvel film would be complete without a cameo from Stan Lee? It should also be noted that you stay until the end of the credits when we’re treated to a little something extra.

Unlike other superhero movies though, the dialogue is believable and that makes the story seem more grounded, which is an accomplishment for superhero movies. Director John Favreau does an excellent job bringing everything together, blending the story with the sci fi behind the technology. Speaking of the sci fi, the special effects in the movie are absolutely amazing. Iron Man looks great as he’s flying through the sky, pounding on the bad guys or just sitting there getting worked on. Everything just integrates so seamlessly it really helps make the movie as great as it is.

Iron Man is one of the best superhero movies ever made, it’s as simple as that really. The acting is absolutely top notch, the special effects are amazing and best of all the story is engaging. Far too many superhero movies load up with the special effects but fall flat on the story. Here you get the best of both. This is definitely one movie you should see, you won’t regret it.