Archive: Iron Man (2008) A Review

It was the little superhero movie that could.  No one could have imagined what this would lead to. Tony Stark, we love you 3000.

Certificate: 12

Director: Jon Favreau

Screenwriter: Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges

Genre: Action, Superhero

Runtime: 126 Minutes

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

Back in 2008, Jon Favreau had an idea to make a small superhero movie, starring his buddy Robert Downey Jr.  When he took this idea to the studio, because it was a bit of a risk, they allowed him to cast RDJ, who at the time was a bit of wild card, as a favour to him.  What they actually did was find a diamond in the rough.  We all know eleven years later, that RDJ is completely synonymous with the role of Tiny Stark, but it is a little tingle inducing to go back and see where this monumental story began.

While demonstrating weapons for the US military in Afghanistan, Tony Stark is abducted by terrorists and forced to build a missile for them.  Instead he builds himself a suit, powered by a power core embedded in his chest, which helps to keep bomb fragments out of his heart.  Once he returns home, his eyes are opened to the harm his weapons are creating and he decides to dedicate his time to fixing the harm he has caused.

As superheroes go, Iron Man is not exactly the coolest, or the most powerful.  Neither does he have the coolest origin story.  But what Tony Stark does have is plenty of charisma and a magnetic personality.  These are the qualities that make the film the most appealing.  Watching RDJ embody this character in every way.  The red and gold suit may be iconic to us now, but is was RDJs portrayal of the character that has made his into a household name all over the world.

This first of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films doesn’t have the best storyline, no origin story ever does.  Jon Favreau does make good use of montages of this film, there are a LOT of montages.  Which I guess help to movie the story along without making the runtime to long.  What this film (and the subsequent Iron Man Films) lacks, is a good villain.  Obadiah Stain makes for a rather lack lustre villain, with boring motivations and zero menace.  The final battle lasts no time at all and is there eer really any doubt that he is going to win?  I mean what would be the point of spending an hour and a half building up a hero only for him to lose.  That is always a let down the Superhero films.  The very nature of them means the hero always wins…. well…almost always anyway.

If there is a chance you haven’t yet seen Iron Man, it is the gateway to one of the best movie franchises ever made and you should treat it as such.  It isn’t the best in the Universe by a long way, they were only just finding their feet.  But it has nostalgic value for long time fans and a steppingstone for those new to the MCU.  Give it a try.

1 Comment

  1. It is really interesting to me that the MCU sprung from a second tier character being turned into something more, because Marvel sold off their A list movie rights to keep afloat in the 90s. RDJ and Favreau made it work and gave us v1 of the Marvel formula that still lies under most of the MCU solo films. Calling it a “gateway” is perfect. It certainly got me hooked!

    Liked by 1 person

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