The first "Iron Man" boasted a not-so-secret weapon in Robert Downey Jr. reveling in his bad-boy rep as the maverick inventor-industrialist Tony Stark. A combination of Bill Gates, Howard Hughes and Hugh Hefner, Stark had more than his share of character flaws for a superhero. Unlike Bruce Wayne, he couldn't keep his heroics to himself, and unlike Clark Kent, he knew how to party ...
The reviews are in for "Iron Man," and they aren't great. One critic calls it "unmoving." Another says it's "crappy." Then there is the one who argues that the superhero saga offers only "aneurysm-inducing frustration."
You might attribute it to 9/11, or simply blame director Joel Schumacher, whose camp take on "Batman" derailed that franchise for several years. But, lately, Hollywood superhero movies have taken themselves awfully seriously.
On Friday, Marvel Entertainment releases "Iron Man," the saga of Tony Stark, a hard-drinking, amoral war-profiteer who redeems himself by donning high-tech armor and trouncing bad guys. Marvel is in the midst of a similar redemption.