By Omar Mazariego

For as long as I can remember, Robert Downey Jr. has been nothing more than someone who should’ve been classified under Avian when one would speak of species to me. When I was young I was introduced to this actor via Weird Science. There he played the wingman to a jacka$$ who wouldn’t last one minute in Sam’s hood, much less mine. The next memory I have of Mr. Jr. is from Black and White where he made a pass at Mike Tyson. Yes, Mike Tyson. Of all the men in the world to be attracted to, Robby had a thing for one of thee most chopped looking dudes that ever walked the earth. Don’t get it twisted, Mike Tyson has my utmost respect, but he’s chopped to the 3rd degree. And this is the man that Marvel has cast to portray one of its iconic heroes? Might as well cast Woody Allen as Captain America. Or how about James Woods as Thor? Needless to say, my skepticism of the studio’s decision to cast this ex-fiend caused me to write off Iron Man as the next Daredevil or even worse, Elektra.

Man, did white Bubbles make me eat my words. Iron Man pushed my wig back further than Mystikal’s hairline (way worse than Tyra’s). I was absolutely blown away by Don Downey’s portrayal of billionaire Tony Stark. With Downey’s metrosexual swagger and Stark’s comic book cockiness, it was a match made in Hamsterdam.

So the story goes a little something like this: Tony Stark is the brain behind Stark Enterprises. His company manufactures sophisticated weapons of mass destruction and because of this he’s a billionaire who blams out more women than Pretty Boy Floyd Mayweather (That man has been on a tear as of late). After demonstrating his latest creation to the Army in Afghanistan, Tony is ambushed and then taken hostage by terrorists and is forced to recreate the very missile he just demonstrated (In the comic book it was the Vietnamese who took Stark hostage, but the war on terror has obviously influenced Marvel to make the change). But before he can get started on the missile he creates some sort of magnetic light thing that looks about the size of one of Puff Daddy’s rings and puts it IN his chest to keep the metal shrapnel from entering his heart.

Tony now plots his escape and with the help of some dude that I really could care less about, he creates a suit made of iron to break free.

Now back in the U.S., Tony’s remorseful of his life’s work and decides to shut down the weapons manufacturing sector and use his mind to rebuild the world he helped destroy. His partner, Obadiah (Jeff Bridges) on the other hand has plans of his own, and best believe they aren’t as good as Megan, feel me? Turns out Obadiah backstabs ol’ Tony and creates his own Iron Mongol to wreck havoc on anyone who stands in his way. That list includes Tony’s ever sexy assistant, Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow). Sure she’d look 9 months pregnant if she swallowed an M&M peanut, but one can’t dispute her Olive Oylish sex appeal. Call me, Brutus, homie!

Anyway, in an effort to somewhat shake off the burden his lifework done left on his shoulder, Tony perfects the iron suit he created in the caves of the Middle East and uses it to battle the forces of evil. It’s cliché, but hey, it works. Helping him out was Jim Rhodes (Terrence Howard). Look for him to be War Machine in Iron Man 2.

Now I must say that I was taken back by how incredibly well written, cast and directed this movie was. Unlike Daredevil, Elektra, and Fantastic 4 parts 1 and 2, Iron Man absolutely reeked of that “we will not f*ck this up” attitude that it’s makers put into creating it. Not one frame was wasted nor was one word miswritten. The only scene that I was upset about was the one that didn’t make the final cut. Y’all know what I’m talking about. The one where Tony Stark and Tony Starks (a.k.a. Ghostface Killah) chop it up and exchange pleasantries. It’s been a decade in the making and I was really looking forward to it, but oh well. You know life is unfair when no one’s punished for murdering Sean Bell. That verdict was so ridiculous they might as well have had Jackie Chiles doing the prosecution with Kramer as their star witness. I could go on, but I digress.

Straight up and down, Ironman deserves 4.5 Hardcore Gangstas.

The only thing holding back this movie from becoming classic was its lack of Iron Man’s screen time. Given, the budget was only $150 million it still could’ve used one more scene with the red and gold hero. But G-status, it was a fantastic blend of story telling, comedic dialogue and action sequences. When I left I felt the same way Lindsay Lohan feels everytime she leaves the club’s bathrooms… I felt right.