I saw this trailer, and the commercials, and the first thing I thought of was "...lame." After all the super hero comic movies that came out in the past 2 or 3 years, I haven't been pleased with a single one of them. X-Men 3 was a "how many characters can we fit into the screen at once" excuse of a movie, and Spider-Man 3 had more scenes about crying and forgiveness than being a super hero and fighting Venom. Aside from that, the fact that they actually used the song Iron Man in the trailer and commercials was pretty laughable.
When the movie came out though, instead of being ridiculed and laughed at, it was pretty much universally praised. Rotten tomatoes gave it a 93%, which was not expected at all. I was prepared to place this movie with the likes of Daredevil and Elektra just from watching the commercials with all the cheesy one-liners like "Yeah, I can fly." and "Lets be honest, this isn't the worst thing you've caught me doing."
After the constant nagging of every soul I encountered since the movie's release, I decided to give it a go, and I walked away pleasantly surprised. It was as good as everyone was saying, and it's well deserving of all of its praise.
The reason it's so good for me is pretty simple. There is no bullshit. None. This is straight up comic book action, with no half an hour breaks dedicated to romance or a love story, or some emotional garbage that nobody cares about. This movie is about explosions, action, and more goddamn explosions. This more than makes up for the cry fest that Spider-Man 3 turned out to be.
It really has everything a super hero movie should be. Introduce main hero, show his intro story for the first part of the movie, then show his evolution into his super hero character, and then end it off with a bad ass fight against some killer rival and handicap the hero to make it interesting, and then by the end show the hero coming to terms with his new super hero role in the world. There was about a total of 10 to 15 minutes in the movie that wasn't about Tony Stark kicking ass or flying around with fighter jets, and that was just enough time to bring the audience energy level down just to bring it back up with more ass kicking.
The only real complaint is that Jeff Bridges just isn't a villain. The guy comes off as too nice of a guy, and when he's in his super crazy iron suit that was recovered from the desert, they manipulate his voice to make him sound menacing, and all of a sudden hes acting like a giant enraged animal, but it still doesn't really give him the right vibe. He just seems like this really nice guy, and all of a sudden hes evil but not frighteningly evil just... nicely evil.
If you're still reading, and you haven't seen Iron Man, then you know what you need to do.