Marvel Comics superhero (vintage 1963) rerouted through present-day Afghanistan. Weapons manufacturer Tony Stark, alias “The Merchant of Death,” learns first-hand that his products sometimes land in the laps of America’s enemies, and to combat this he devises a personal suit of flying armor (a gold titanium alloy, actually, not iron), transforming himself into a sort of airborne Robocop to police the world. The current-events tie-in is fairly tasteless, given the conventional jokiness of the approach, aggravated by the couldn’t-give-a-shit affectation of Robert Downey, Jr., in the title role. With Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges, Terrence Howard, and Shaun Toub; directed by Jon Favreau. (2008) — Duncan Shepherd
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