So my main beef — quite literally — with Iron Man derives in the first couple scenes when Tony Stark is safely back on U.S. soil after having been held prisoner by terrorists for long enough to McGuyver Iron Man 1.0 and kick their collective holy-waring ass. The first thing he does is turn to his colleague in the limousine that’s ready to whisk them away from the freedom bird that brought him back to his homeland of Southern California and he says that the first thing he wants is an “American cheeseburger.” In the scene immediately following he emerges from the limo to a bunch of news cameras and reporters and his driver hands him… a bag that just so happens to prominently feature the Burger King logo.

Seriously Mr. Stark, a Whopper is the best you and your crew could do? Not that I don’t put BK near the top of my fastfood burger list, but hear me out. When one of the richest most successful and powerful men in the world returns home to a hero’s welcome after miraculously surviving three months of captivity at the hands of extremist goons in the rugged and isolated Alabama Hills of Lone Pine, California mountains of Afghanistan, he could pretty much snap one finger and contract TV’s Extreme Home Makeover team to build and equip him a burger stand in about an hour, and with the other finger staff the grill with the finest chef in all the land while simultaneously having a pound of the finest and freshest Angus or Kobe beef delivered.

If not something that over-the-top, at very least hit an In-N-Out or Tommy’s — or better yet, the resurrected Mo’ Better Meatty Meat Burger goodness of Indulge Cafe at Pico and Redondo.

But instead, in this movie that begs me at every turn to willingly suspend my disbelief, I’m expected to swallow that the best that could be done to fulfill this man’s first desire was a warmed-over Whopper? Snagged from the drive-through no doubt? Gah!

With the exception of some other petty issues, this is pretty much the one thing in the entire motion picture that jerked me back to the reality and screamed of product placement.

Those other gripes deal with:

  1. Director Jon Favreau’s cameo scenes as Tony Stark’s bodyguard — was that really necessary?
  2. The whole unrequited love thing between Stark and Penny — yawn!
  3. The climactic finale seemed decidedly not quite fantastic enough — more please!

If you haven’t already figured it out, the shallow extent of such peckings means I thought the movie rocked.

P.S. And there’s a reason to sit through the credits — all of them.