Scientist by day, superhero by night

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By Quninn McCulloch

Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr., is a man of unusual qualities. Not only is he a genius winning numerous prestigious awards in technology, as well as a very rich man because of his designs at a weapons manufacturing firm, but he is also cocky, handsome and has a way with women that would make even Casanova jealous.

One day, while out demonstrating a new weapon to American military interests in Afghanistan, Stark’s escorting convoy is attacked by Afghan militants. Both the vehicles and soldiers are obliterated, but Stark is captured because of his intimate involvement in weapons design.

While in captivity, Stark plans a means to escape by disobeying the Afghans’ orders to duplicate the new weapon, and instead forges a mechanical suit of armor ,allowing him to break free.

However, Stark is unable to truly break free, as his experiences in Afghanistan have not only left him physically scarred, but have left a deep imprint on his heart and soul.

Upon his return to the United States, Stark begins to realize the effect that his technological creations are having on the rest of the world. With this realization, he begins to refine his iron suit and plans to put an end to the harm he has caused humanity.

“Ironman” was definitely a blast to watch, and one of the best superhero movies to come out in recent years. I’m not sure how true it stayed to the original comic books, but having read a handful of them when I was a kid I can say that director Jon Favreau stayed honest and maintained the original feeling of this iconic superhero story.

There was a small part of me that, being a scientist, started to pick apart the science behind the whole movie. Really, how could anyone assemble a state-of-the-art suit of armor in a couple months while being held captive? But after a short trip down that road, I thought, “Who cares? This is awesome!”

The effects were amazing and seamlessly placed throughout the movie, which one might expect for a big-budget movie like this, but surprisingly even the casting was superb. Who better to play a rich, intelligent, womanizing lush than Robert Downey Jr? This was practically a spitting image of his real life persona, minus the super genius tech know-how and the red-and- gold Ironman getup.

Gwyneth Paltrow was also cast well as Pepper, Tony’s loyal assistant. Also, I never would have imagined Jeff Bridges playing the role of a twisted corporate exec, but after seeing the movie I can say that they couldn’t have picked anyone better.

Luckily, the ending definitely leaves the door wide open for a sequel, so this cool saga will be sure to continue. In fact, Marvel and Paramount Pictures have announced that the next movies are to be released starting in 2010.

So, check this one out in theaters while you still have the chance, and look forward to more “Ironman” fun in the future.

My score: 3.5/5 kernels