5. Expectations. Unless you're a super-geek, the Iron Man story is probably not as common to you as say Batman which has characters well ingrained in our collective culture. When ever there's talk about a new batman or a new spider-man people instantly have expectations about who will be cast, what part of the story will be told, and which super-villains will or will not be introduced into the story. Chances are you're plot expectations are low...that can only help.
4. Minimal Super-hero distractions. Sometimes I think many superheroes are lazy and easily distracted by the bad guys. I mean, honestly Superman can't be stopped by anything but Kryptonite, and yet, he gets so wrapped around his love-life struggle than sometimes I feel like his focus on Lois Lane really makes him a weak-in-the-mind hero. Tony Stark (Iron Man), especially as portrayed in the film is not built up to be so super or glamorous. But at the same time, he's focused. He uses his skills and brains to do things that will have long lasting impact. At one point in the film he saves some terrorized middle easterners, but saving them is not his end game, but only a side effect of his ultimate aim in destroying there over-arching terrorist efforts. Now that's a pretty cool and intelligent hero...and we get all the action with out a Kirsten Dunst character whining about how the hero missed her lame play.
3. Casting. What a superb cast. Robert Downey Jr. is perfectly cast to play the part of Iron Man. When I originally posted on Downey being cast both Darrell and Reel Fanatic both commented on how some Downey's past struggles and demons with substance abuse mirror similar struggles in Tony Stark's life. These similarities give strength and increased believability. Plus Downey's an incredibly gifted actor. In fact, the four leads all have previous academy award nominations or wins. Downey (1 nom), Jeff Bridges (4 noms), Terrance Howard (1 nom), and Gwyneth Patrow (1 win). Shaun Toub and Leslie Bibb also do well in there roles.
2. Your Brain. That's right, you'll probably use it a little. This film is not at all complicated, like Syriana. In fact you should have no problem following it all. But, while a 13-year old will love the power of Iron Man's suit, the flying, the weapons, the indestructibility, etc. The film will more than likely either sit well with you or disagree with you as you think of America's current defense strategy. The film deals with issues of government contracts with business, business corporate structure and ownership, public relations, and the effects of media on business. The 13 year old might care less, but you'll enjoy it. The comedy elements are all there, but they're quick, snappy and usually more based on word-play and irony than on slam stick or gross out body humor.
1. What If. At this point in your life you know that you probably do not have a genetic mutation, you're not going to be super-powered by any sort of electric shock from a secretive machine in your technology company, you don't anticipate being bitten by any super-animal, etc. But what if technology did advance in such a way to give you the opportunity to be Super, like Iron Man. Obviously, inside your head you know it won't happen, but for two hours you can ignore the realistic side of your brain and say "What if." The intrigue of Iron Man (or even Batman) is that they don't have any true super powers or super strengths. They're just people who have a lot of money, intuition, and a reckless attitude that means fast cars, big dreams, and a desire to have technology work for them at their fingertips to accomplish any and every thought imaginable. In this regard, Iron Man is an appropriate hero for this generation. Who knows where technology will take us, and who knows how we can use it with a global benefit in mind.