Maltreated, detained and compelled to build a weapon by his enemies, billionaire industrialist Tony Stark instead created an advanced suit of armor to save his life and escape captivity. Now with a new outlook on life, Tony uses his money and intelligence to fight injustice
It's faithful to the comic origins without being slavish, draws ideas from the entire run of the series, and stirs a self-aware sense of humor through the action while still taking the enterprise seriously.
His well-honed acting chops aside, a big reason the casting of Downey as Stark works so darn well is that incorrigible streak, which he somehow always has been able to balance with an irrepressible likability and which he uses to full effect here.
Led by Downey's career-resurrecting performance as billionaire weapons peddler Tony Stark, it proves just as indispensable to the movie's giddy escapist appeal as the seamless CGI effects and eye-popping pyrotechnics.