Now that The Avengers era begins, seeing more superhero flicks is a must. One of them is Tony Stark or you may know him by his alter ego, Iron Man. What I come away with is this: I like the confident billionaire a great deal more than reviews would have me think of him.
Iron Man (2008) Marvel Film Review
A brilliant mind is not all that Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) possesses. The company, Stark Industries, that his father started with advanced WWII technology now supplies weapons for the U.S. military. It’s this company that allows him to live in luxury. While in Afghanistan to demonstrate his latest missile technology, Tony is taken from his convoy. When he finally wakes, he learns from his fellow captive that the attack nearly killed him. His survival depends on a device run by a common car battery, which now keeps shrapnel from his heart. The renegade terrorists have a purpose for Tony, which is for him to duplicate the missile. Unbeknownst to his captors, he instead builds a suit of armor as a means of escape. It’s this that changes his life.
Following rescue by his military friend Rhodey (Terrence Howard), Tony begins to see his inventions as dangerous rather than protective. This inspires him to pull his military contracts much to the shock and anger of his business associates, and the press. Despite this, nothing sways Tony. Not even the confusion of his loyal assistant, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) changes anything. In the wake of this, his next venture begins…
Because of the reviews I’d read or discussions I’ve had about Iron Man, I had an idea of who this man is as a character. In my mind, he’s selfish and an unlikable dude who spends his days playing with the toys his billions buy, and this is all there as to him. Imagine my surprise when I discovered there is a lot more to Tony Stark. As my opinions start to form from a prior Marvel blockbuster, I’m glad that the script doesn’t destroy my impression of him. I won’t deny that he’s a playboy stereotype (before twenty minutes pass, we see him take a girl home in a love-em-and-leave-em scenario, then leave Pepper to deal with it) but I can’t help but like him; probably because of the part he plays in The Avengers which is where I “met” him.Before '#Endgame,' it all began with Tony Stark. #IronMan (2008): The Superhero Who Started the #MCU Legend Click To Tweet
Strictly from a production value, this movie is awesome. It’s got gizmos and gadgets galore, and the special effects are cool in those respects. The opening gamut gets the movie off to a great start but then about fifteen to twenty minutes in, things move slowly. Following Tony’s capture, the film flashes back 36 hours prior to lay background which is why the particular section of the film that follows could have benefited from better pacing (until then, it’s quite good). This movie actually shares how Tony Stark comes to be Iron Man and therefore isn’t about ridding the world of bad guys, and more about becoming someone who can accomplish this; without selfish motivation. While I’m surprised this isn’t more exciting, on reflection I like that it takes time to focus on characterization because in the end that’s more important than anything.
RDJ is a fabulous actor and not unlike some of his other memorable impersonations, he does this one justice. The banter between he and Paltrow’s Pepper is underwhelming as is their screen time together but they are cute when together. I just wanted a bit more from their relationship. Likewise veteran Bridges is superb joining the ranks of the rest of the equally fabulous supporting cast.
This film did appeal to me long before seeing it. I held off because I’m the only one in my family who shows interest in Marvel. Still seeing more films, I knew seeing this needed to happen. It may not be as exciting as some of its counterparts or quite as stirring but Iron Man is a phenomenally good time. Now, all I need is the sequel to bring everything full circle.
PG13 content includes: there is one scene that shows Tony and his one-night fling tangled in sheets. We do see her walking around in a shirt. Profanity is scarce but a few minor ones do pop up here and there. Violence amounts to a military convoy that blows up; exploding vehicles and soldiers are shot [there is some blood]. A man wipes out villages and kills innocent people; men are killed with machine guns [off-camera]. There are some tense moments including the climax in which multiple things blow up. There’s social drinking, too.