Deep thought while trying to fall asleep last night*:
Robert Downey Jr. does for "Iron Man" what Johnny Depp did for "Pirates of the Caribbean". They both turned in performances so powerful, unique, and persuasive that they transformed what were essentially entertaining but pedestrian entertainment films into that special kind of moviegoing experience that stays with you long afterward -- magic. An outstanding performance elevates the part being played from a character on the screen to someone who seems real. A great performance does the same for not only all of the other actors in the film, but the film itself.
And that is what both Downey and Depp have done with their mass-market vehicles. Pretty cool.
*Yes, I think about super-hero stuff sometimes while falling asleep. Sue me.
I think about super-hero stuff. I think about it all the time. I may be obsessed with it. Or I may just be trying to join Austin Grossman and Rob Rogers in the elite few writing in the genre. Yeah, that must be it. 😉