Iron Man ★★

John Favreau’s directorial skills have always struck me as hacky at best and in retrospect it’s clear that the Marvel production machinery is the real auteur at the heart of this universe. The designs for Iron Man’s armor and heads up display are still superb even a decade-plus later. Their physicality is still so much more visceral than the “nano technology” conceit in recent movies. But it’s all pointless given the absurd script, which fails to redeem the essential douchbaggery that Robert Downey Jr. exudes in almost every scene. This character is privilege personified, even after his comeuppance. His heroism isn’t heroic, it’s pure arrogance.