This evening, I was able to fulfill a childhood fantasy to an extent: I went to see the Iron Man movie.
I was not disappointed at all.
I will grant that the movie isn't very deep (although in some ways, it is), and that it didn't have the same amount of action as some other superhero movies, but in this instance the key is quality and not quantity. This is some of the most impressive hero-on-villain action I have seen in a long time. The special effects were a little closer to being invisible than in similar films (what was there looked pretty convincing), the fights were incredible without being ridiculously choreographed.
The casting was exceptional (with two exceptions - Rhodey really didn't fit the picture that I had in my head, but his less-than-tough-as-nails portrayal was actually pretty refreshing, and Jarvis was somewhat absent in the movie, being written as a sentient talking computer program).
The story managed to incorporate the various stages of Tony Stark's development of the armor rather quickly, and you definitely get the vibe that this is a man developing a tool, not some lab mishap or mystical coincidence. The script has plenty of punch and humor and there's rarely a moment when it slows down.
I thought the music was a little off; not nearly as engaging as Spider-Man's Elfman score or Superman Returns's John Williams inspired crescendos, but you could tell that they were going for a rock-industrial theme from the beginning (even the Black Sabbath song is underused). Still, I wish that the soundtrack had a few more epic moments, but that's a small gripe in the overall package.
Of course, a blockbuster like this is set up perfectly for a sequel, and comic book fans will be pleased that ominous portents are subtly given to the identity of a future movie villain. Watch it, you'll know what I'm talking about.
It is what any Iron Man fan could want in a movie. It's faithful to the source material, it's incredibly well done, it's easily accessible to the people who don't read the comics, and it leaves you with a feeling that you're going to want to see more.
To sum up:
1. This film is awesome
2. You should see it
3. Stay in the theater until after the end credits (or you'll miss out on the best after-film add-in of all time).