Iron Man (2008)

2014: A Film Odyssey

“Well, good, because that would be outlandish and, uh, fantastic. I’m just not the hero type. Clearly. With this laundry list of character defects, all the mistakes I’ve made, largely public. The truth is, I am Iron Man.” – Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.)

All hail the triumphant return of a fallen actor.

It’s not an award-magnet dramedy or stylistic history film that got Robert Downey, Jr., one of the 1990s’ favorite train wrecks, back on top and onto the list as one of the highest paid actors in the country. It’s not an autobiography cleverly disguised as a gritty biopic, either.

Instead, it’s the origin story of one of Marvel’s most loved superheroes, Iron Man.

Downey Jr. plays Tony Stark, billionaire-genius-playboy-philanthropist whose close call with death stirs in him the need to be a hero. Once he invents a suit powered by the battery that keeps his heart shrapnel-free (and paints…

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