"TONY STARK WAS ABLE TO BUILD THIS IN A CAVE! WITH A BUNCH OF SCRAPS!!"— Obadiah Stane
Iron Man is a 2008 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Paramount Pictures, it is the first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Directed by Jon Favreau from a screenplay by the writing teams of Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, and Art Marcum and Matt Holloway, the film stars Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man alongside Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Shaun Toub, and Gwyneth Paltrow. It premiered in Sydney on April 14, 2008, and was released in the United States on May 2, as the first film in Phase One of the MCU.
Tony Stark, genius playboy billionaire and CEO of Stark Industries, the N°1 weapon company in the USA, is kidnapped in Afghanistan during a weapons demonstration by the terrorist group The Ten Rings. During the kidnapping, Tony's chest is impaled by bullet shrapnel that threatens to get stuck in his heart and kill him. Tony wakes up to find himself attached to a powerful magnet on his chest powered by a car battery that keeps the shrapnel from reaching his heart.
The terrorists somehow got their hands on Stark Industries weaponry and blackmail Tony into building a Jericho missile for them with the assistance of fellow prisoner Ho Yinseng. Before starting Tony takes a few resources to build a miniature Arc Reactor, a powerful energy source that his father developed which powers Stark Industries. Stark replaces the car battery with the reactor to increase his chance of survival with the shrapnels stuck in his blood vessels.
Rather than building the missile, Tony and Yinsen build a battle armor out of random weapons they plan to use to escape behind the Ten Ring's back. When they find out Yinsen sacrifices himself so Tony can activate the armor, destroy the Stark weaponry, and escape but at the cost of the armor being destroyed after crash landing in the desert. Shortly after his escape, Tony finds a rescue helicopter that was looking for him. Back at USA Tony immediately announces that he's shutting down Stark Industries' weaponry department as terrorists have been buying them illegally.
Obadiah Stane, an old friend of Tony's father and previous CEO tries to talk Tony out of it, but Tony insists that he's doing the right thing and suggests going back to the Arc Reactor project, which had reached a dead-end years ago now that he has the miniature reactor. Tony builds a second mini reactor to replace the current one and begins building a new version of his battle armor using Stark Industries' resources but decides to keep it secret. Stane, Tony's friend Rohdey, and his assistant Pepper Potts try to pressure Tony into going back to the weapons business to no avail. Stane also wanted to mass-produce the miniature Arc Reactor but Tony refuses. At the same time, a secret agency called S.H.I.E.L.D keeps asking how Tony escaped.
Once the battle armor prototype is completed, Tony takes it on a test flight in which he finds out the armor freezes if it flies too high. Tony has his A.I. butler J.A.R.V.I.S fix the prototype's problems before building the full armor and decides to paint it red to make it look cooler. Tony finds out the Ten Rings are still getting Stark weapons and that Stane's the one who's been selling them the weapons to keep the company afloat. Stane also informs Tony that he's planning to convince investors to have Tony fired from Stark Industries so he can be CEO again, and is dangerously close to doing so.
With the battle armor completed, Tony resolves to fight the Ten Rings and destroy any illegal Stark weapon he can find, which gets the army's attention but Tony has Rohdey to keep the secret. Meanwhile, the Ten Rings salvage the first prototype armor and reconstruct it. Stane appears to negotiate mass producing more armors, and it's revealed that he paid the terrorist group to assassinate Tony in the first place. Stane betrays the Ten Rings, kills them, and takes the armor to reverse engineer it to build an improved version for himself.
Pepper catches Tony wearing the battle armor, she reluctantly agrees to help him find out how Stane's been doing business with the Ten Rings and stop him from getting Tony kicked out of the company. Pepper discovers that Stane is building his own armor and calls S.H.I.E.L.D. to have him arrested. Stane steals Tony's mini Arc reactor to use in his "Iron Monger" suit and leaves Tony to die. Fortunately Tony, with Rodhey's help manages to get the first reactor to save his life and power up the battle armor to go after Stane.
Meanwhile, Pepper and S.H.I.E.L.D find Stane's Iron Monger suit, which is much bigger than Tony's own suit. Stane activates the Iron Monger to attack the agents and tries to kill Pepper, but Tony appears and rescues her. Iron Monger and Tony battle in the middle of L.A., but Tony finds his reactor is running out of power and quickly weakening his suit. Tony manages to trick Stane into flying high enough to freeze the Iron Monger, but Stane survives and the two land on Stark Industries' roof.
Tony asks Pepper to overload the Arc Reactor then blow it up while he keeps Iron Monger distracted. Iron Monger overpowers Tony and prepares to kill him, but his targeting system malfunctions and misses several shots. Pepper reluctantly blows up the roof with both Tony and Stane on top of it. The explosion kills Stane and reloads Tony's mini Arc Reactor allowing him to barely survive.
A few days later Tony finds out his battle armor is being named the "Iron Man", which he liked despite the suit technically not being made of iron. Tony has a press conference regarding recent events. S.H.I.E.L.D. wanted to keep his identity secret and had prepared an alibi for him to hide what truly happened, but as soon as he beings the conference he drops his notes and simply says "I am Iron Man".
Later that night Tony runs into S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury. Fury tells Tony that he's not the only superhero out there and reveals the "Avengers Initiative".
Why This Sparks the MCU
- Robert Downey Jr.'s performance as Tony Stark was fantastic. Down to his character, flaws and wit, Downey has managed to essentially bring the comic book superhero to the big screen seamlessly, to the point that the late Stan Lee himself praised him as born to play the character.
- Memorable cast of characters. To get on point, Tony Stark is a wealthy, womanizing, snarky, but selfish billionaire and philanthropist who becomes a selfless, dedicated hero upon escaping from activity using scraps of metal to build himself a suit of armor. Using his technological expertise, he casts away all weaponry and protects his world as Iron Man.
- Rather than just showing Tony Stark with the Iron Man armor right away, the movie shows how he goes through a few prototypes before building the iconic armor properly.
- Epic final battle between Stark and Obadiah Stane, with pound for pound jabbing and blasting at each other's metallic plates.
- You don't need to be a dedicated Marvel or Iron Man fan to understand the plot and enjoy the movie.
- Funny and well-timed comedy.
- Epic soundtrack composed by Ramin Djawadi that is timed perfectly with various scenes.
- It features an instrumental version of the song "Iron Man" by English heavy metal band Black Sabbath, in the credits
- It jump-started the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the biggest multimedia franchise of all, and many and all elements that compose its entirety all began in this film. It also popularised the post-credit scene that's now seen in many franchises inspired by it.
- This film also helped revitalize Iron Man as a superhero. Formerly a B-lister and fairly obscure, he has now became one of Marvel Comics' most popular and well-known characters due to Robert Downey's portrayal of him.
- Compared to films of now, the special effects are top notch and hold up very well today, with the Iron Man suit being a combination of composite digital and practical effects giving it a very convincing and realistic appearance. This armour design was eventually adopted into the comics.
- Amazing action scenes, such as the armoured Tony burning his way through the terrorist captors who attempt to fire at him, as well as Iron Man's awesome superhero landing to save a local town.
- The post-credit scene; As well as popularising it, the scene after the credits, at the time, excited a lot of fans as it hints at the formation of the Avengers, which eventually culminated in the 2012 film. It also has a surprise appearance by Nick Fury, played by Samuel L. Jackson, whose appearance is an inspiration for the character's design. This has become a staple element of the MCU, as fans will have to wait for the credits to see the post-credit scenes that set up future stories in the franchise.
- I am Iron Man.
- Obadiah Stane (Iron Monger) isn’t the best villain, despite Jeff Bridges providing an excellent performance. He ends up getting a suit of armor randomly offscreen.
- Although the final battle is epic, it is rather unnecessary and it felt like the only reason it was there was because every superhero movie needs to have a big battle in the end.
Iron Man received critical acclaim from critics, audiences, and fans alike, especially for Downey's performance. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 94% approval rating with an average score of 7.71/10 based on 279 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "Powered by Robert Downey Jr.'s vibrant charm, Iron Man turbo-charges the superhero genre with a deft intelligence and infectious sense of fun." On Metacritic, the film has an average score of 79 out of 100, based on 38 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.
- The iconic "I am Iron Man" line at the very end of the movie wasn't part of the script, instead it was improvised by Robert Downey Jr.
- This was the first film in the MCU.
|Marvel Cinematic Universe|
The Infinity Saga:
Captain America: Civil War - Doctor Strange - Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - Spider-Man: Homecoming - Thor: Ragnarok - Black Panther - Avengers: Infinity War - Ant-Man and the Wasp - Captain Marvel - Avengers: Endgame - Spider-Man: Far From Home