"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. It is the first installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, starring Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man.
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 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 It Rocks
- Robert Downey Jr.'s performance as Tony Stark was fantastic. Stan Lee himself said that Downey was born to play the role.
- 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.
- 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.
- Good soundtrack.
- It features the awesome credits song "Iron Man" by Black Sabbath.
- It jump-started the Marvel Cinematic Universe which is popular and ongoing today.
- Good action scenes.
- Spawned a trilogy and the Avengers films.
- Jeff Bridges' portrayal as Iron Monger is also excellent.
- Obadiah Stane (Iron Monger) is a mediocre villain, despite Jeff Bridges providing an excellent performance. He ends up getting a suit of armor randomly offscreen and his plan isn't very clear. In fact, he barely even has a plan.
- Tony Stark was a bit unlikable in the beginning.
- 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.
- 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.