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Iron Man

Reel Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Reels
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence and brief suggestive content.
Genre: Action Adventure, Superhero, Sci-Fi Thriller
Runtime: 126 minutes
Director: Jon Favreau
Cast: Robert Downey, Jr., Terrence Howard, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges

Sex/ Nudity: Tony Stark is a ladies’ man, so the story includes references to dating and sex. Scenes include a woman waking up in bed after sex, and stewardesses dance suggestively on his private plane.

Violence/Gore: Not a lot of blood, but intense sci-fi action from start to finish, including explosions, missiles, flames, fistfights and characters held at gunpoint.

Language: Mild, including some sexually suggestive language.

Which Kids Will Like It? Kids 13 and older who like superheroes and sci-fi movies.

Will Parents Like It? Yes, the message of good vs. evil is good, but because of the violence and sexual references, this movie is best for kids 13 and older. I got the feeling the filmmakers knew little kids would want to see this movie, so they tried to keep the PG-13 content to an acceptable level.

Review: When a movie begins with AC/DC’s “Back in Black,” you know that no matter what happens, it’s got that going for it. But when a movie gets as much hype as Iron Man, you really hope it lives up to your expectations. This one comes close, but didn’t wow me as much as I hoped. The action is good, the heavy-metal soundtrack is AWESOME (yes, that’s in all caps on purpose), and I love Robert Downey, Jr. as ladies’ man Tony Stark.

Still, the movie dragged a bit for me. I took my 13-year-old son and his friend, and all three of us felt the movie took too long building to the “saving the world” part.

The story begins with industrialist billionaire Tony Stark in a war zone to introduce his new high-tech weaponry to the military. But things go awry when Tony’s Humvee is hit by fire and he ends up in a cave being tortured by terrorists. They force him to build some weaponry for them, but instead, he builds his first crude “iron man” suit of armor, busts out of there, and makes his way back home, thanks to his military-friend Jim Rhodes (Terrence Howard).

At home, Tony re-connects with his able assistant, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow). In fact, the two nearly share a kiss at a party (great chemistry between these two). Also on the scene is Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges, who gets the award for most unrecognizable actor in a role), who was the right-hand man of Tony’s dad before Tony took over the company.

Back in his own high-tech shop — complete with lots of hydraulics and a robot that seems more like a puppy — Tony builds a new ultra-powered incarnation of the exoskeleton that made his escape from the cave possible. With a few amusing hits and misses, he creates “Iron Man,” a superhero that can battle both terrorists abroad and criminals closer to home.

Also playing into things is a metal “can” (for lack of a better way to say it) that was implanted into Tony’s chest during his stay in the cave. Seems he took some mortar during the Humvee raid, and the only thing keeping the mortar from entering his heart is this metal can in his chest. Of course, he creates a newer upgrade for that, as well.

I really did like this movie, but as mentioned, it didn’t wow me as much as I hoped. Robert Downey, Jr. can do just about anything, and I’ll like it. He has great chemistry with Paltrow, and you can tell he was having fun playing the beloved comic book character. However, if I were in charge of the movie (not to diss director Jon Favreau, who did a great job), I would have sped the first part along and had Iron Man take out a few more terrorists. You can tell the audience really loved that part.

Jane Boursaw is a family entertainment writer specializing in movies and TV. Visit her at Reel Life With Jane; follow her on Twitter; become a friend on Facebook; email jboursaw@charter.net.