Iron Man (2008)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-fi
Directed by Jon Favreau
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow and Terrence Howard
Plot: After being held captive in an Afghan cave, an engineer creates a unique weaponized suit of armor to fight evil.
Movie Trivia: Agent Phil Coulson, played by Clark Gregg, was originally a much smaller part. In fact the character was at first only called ‘Agent’ and as filming went on and it became apparent on Gregg’s chemistry with all the other actors, they added more and more scenes.
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Iron Man is one of my favorite superheroes, if not the absolute favorite, so this movie has very little wrong with it for me. First off, Robert Downey Jr is perfectly cast as Tony Stark, the wise cracking, sarcastic business man that you can’t help but love no matter how questionable his morals might be. His transformation as he uncovers the true dealing of Stark Industries is mirrored perfectly into his transformation into Iron Man. It is a transformation on all levels, and RDJ brings the character completely to life with his performance. I can’t help but wonder if he drew from his past experiences. Through all of his drug problems, rehab stays and Hollywood drama, he never truly lost the love of his audience. This marked his first big comeback in my opinion. His role as Sherlock was fun and it was the start, but this role marked his full return, in my opinion.
Hands down, the best part of the film was his journey creating the suit in his secret laboratory. For a moment, you actually forgot that you were watching an actor in front of a green screen, and you could believe for that moment that this was actually happening. This combination of effects and performance worked to their best ability in these scenes. The humor was spot on both verbally and physically. After he completes his suit, it takes on a more serious tone as he gets down to business. It feels at times almost like a Terminator movie with more sarcasm.
RDJ, Paltrow and Bridges were a joy to watch in this production. The history and weight behind all three characters did not feel rehearsed or faked. It felt like these people have known one another for many years, have developed a history forged in business deals and holiday dinners. It is a dysfunctional family with so many secrets, but still a certain amount of love and trust. That is why it works so well when Bridges becomes the true villain of this story. The betrayal and heartbreak feel real, but we have also been given enough time to learn Tony thoroughly, so we know he has to do what needs to be done.
Overall, this is a great origins story for a character that is a major part of the Avenger’s universe. While it may not be the best of the Marvel Studios movies, it is still required to fully understand the scope of what you are watching. I love this movie. It is not a favorite, but it is really a great movie. I think anyone could enjoy watching this film with any interest in the action-adventure genre.