In 2008 we had two of the greatest comic book films of all time. The first was Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. The second was John Favreau’s Iron Man, the film that jumpstarted The Marvel Cinematic Universe.
When I first watched this film, I loved it as much as The Dark Knight. Iron Man was a great origin story for Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr. His character arc from an arrogant and wealthy weapons dealer to a superhero was fresh, exciting and interesting.
The film starts with the audience seeing what kind of man Tony has become. A man who has become self important, self indulgent and a careless playboy.
Tony is attacked in the film’s first act and is gravely injured. Favreau immediately puts Tony in the worst possible situation to test his character’s heart and resolve. We see Tony in isolation with another prisoner, Ho Yinsen, who becomes a friend and mentor to Tony. As the film continues, Tony’s intelligence and intellect are shown in spades. He comes into his own and escapes using a prototype of what would eventually become the Iron Man armor.
The second act shows his his journey to evolve not only as a businessman who has found a renewed morality but a person who will eventually become the superhero, Iron Man. In many ways, he lost his old heart in the first act and is growing a new one here both physically and metaphorically.
I absolutely love this film. Robert Downey Jr. has owned this character and embodies him perfectly. His sarcastic, charming, yet heroic damenor is served incredibly well in this film. The supporting characters are also served well. I absolutely loved Pepper Pots and Happy Hogan. While the villain, played by Jeff Bridges, wasn’t special, it was nice to see Bridges be in a comic book film.
Iron Man is the best shot film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The score is also fantastic. Melding Iron Man with AC/DC was a a treat. The VFX is also surpassingly great as wasn’t done forcefully or indulgently, but rather used to serve the story.
Iron Man is a pure joy to watch. It’s not only a great superhero movie, it’s a good film in general. Iron man is an important film that defined the Marvel Cinematic Universe but also made an impact to blockbusters in general. Much of the credit goes to the cast. Iron Man would not have a worked without Robert Downey Jr.’s magnificent performance as Tony Stark. RDJ not only continues to embody the character but also elevated him into one of the most iconic superheroes in Morden Pop Culture.
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