Tony Stark is a millionaire weapons designer who decides to ensure his weapons never fall into the wrong hands — but only after being captured by terrorists in Afghanistan using them! The fact that he does so by designing his most destructive weapon yet presents him with predictable problems by the end of the film. Nevertheless rest assured that he triumphs over adversity by killing a large number of anonymous swarthy bad guys in spectacular set pieces.
Despite his fight against the Taliban there is surprisingly little politics in Iron Man. Terrorists function as generic evil doers with largely unexplained motives. When Stark crushes, burns, shoots, and generally obliterates them there is no blood and no consequences, or at least none that can’t be solved by building better weapons. Nor any reflection on the fact that in order to stop unnecessary violence he’s killed a hell of a lot of people.
This seems to be exactly the kind of superhero film people want, and its not hard to see why. Iron Man is an extremely well constructed action film with a great deal of charm, largely thanks to Robert Downey Junior.
Whilst there’s nothing here to think about that also means it isn’t overtly jingoistic or mean spirited like so many vigilante films. If you don’t mind checking your brain at the door its great fun.