run time: 126 mins
considered: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
director: Jon Favreau
starring: Robert Downey Jr., Terrance Howard, Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow, Leslie Bibb, Shaun Toub, Faran Tahir, Clark Gregg, Bill Smitrovich, Sayed Badreya, Paul Bettany, Jon Favreau, Peter Billingsley, Tim Guinee, Samuel L. Jackson.
movie summary: Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is one of the world’s brightest industrialists who gets kidnapped during a weapons expo in Afghanistan. While in captivity Tony builds an iron suit that helps him escape. When he returns to the United States he grows his new idea into the world’s first man-made indestructible fighting suit, Iron Man.
Stark Industries was created by Howard Stark to help promote the discovery of new technologies and that those new discoveries would be used to help people live better. When Howard passes away, Tony is too young to take over the company so those duties were passed on to Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges). When Tony returns from school and living the billionaire playboy life, he is dispatched to test a new mission called the Jericho in Afghanistan. His escort ride in the desert gets ambushed, Tony survives the initial attack but barely survives a Stark Industries missile that blow up right beside him. He gets carried away to a cave where his wounds are cared for, Tony has several pieces of shrapnel near his heart so the doctor installs an electromagnet into his chest. Tony uses his new gift to power an iron suit that allows him to fight his captives and escape.
Lieutenant Colonel James Rhodes (Terrance Howard) rescues Tony in the middle of the desert and returns him to the US where he holds a press conference. Tony explains his absence for the last few months and tells a story about what he experienced. He points out that the weapons his company makes, that should help prevent war, are actually being used for all the wrong reasons and threatens to shut this part of the company down. Obadiah doesn’t like Tony’s new plans to advises him to take some time off and recover from his traumatic experiences. Tony agrees before going into hiding in his laboratory.
Over the next few weeks Tony focuses all his energy into building a better suit then what he had in the desert. Through trial by error Tony manages to control the suits movements, flying power, and defense mechanisms. Thanks to help from his computer, Tony creates Iron Man, the most bad ass fighting machine the world has ever seen. It can soar through the air like a jet, it has firing powers from the palm of the hand, with guns and missiles on the shoulders. The helmet is lined with a digital screen to provide Tony flying information, fighting information, and handle any forms of communication he may need during combat. On his first real flight test Tony aims for the moon before icing up and falling back down, he returns home to fine tune his machine before flying back to Afghanistan to clean up the mess in the town where he was once held captive.
Obadiah is back at Stark Headquarters processing orders to Afghan tribal leaders for the purchase of Stark Weapons to use against their own people and keep the war going. Tony and Rhodes have no clue that Obadiah is using the weapons to fuel corruption and war over seas. When Tony starts snooping around with the help of his assistant Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), Obadiah takes out Tony’s electromagnet causing him to slowly start dying. Pepper enlists the help of Special Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) to help Tony restore his health and find Obadiah.
Deep down in the basement of a Stark Industry warehouse Obadiah uses Tony’s electromagnet to power up his own iron suit that looks to challenge the real Iron Man. Tony manages to restore his original electromagnet from the desert and powers up the Iron Man suit. Obadiah has already blasted out of the warehouse and is waiting for the chance to end Iron Man and Tony once and for all.
my thoughts: Sadly I really wasn’t into Iron Man or the Marvel Universe back in 2008 when this movie came out so I never bothered to see it in theatres. By the time Iron Man 2 came out in 2010 I had finally sat down to watch this one.
Iron Man was an impressive introduction into the superhero character and his human counterpart Tony Stark. In one of Hollywood’s best casting jobs ever recorded, Robert Downey Jr is the only person on the face of the planet that could play Tony Stark/Iron Man and play them perfectly. He has the cockiness to be the billionaire playboy who has all the toys in the world at his disposable, but is also so over-confident that he could create something that will change the world while believing he’s not breaking a single rule along the way. Tony has been blessed with the gift of knowledge and even though he doesn’t act like it on a personal level, he is by far one of the smartest people in the world. His mind is always a step ahead and his ability to create something out of nothing puts him in a class of his own.
Downey takes Iron Man from being a pile of junk in a cave to the California sunshine and the worldwide stage. He defies logic, physics, and the US Government but proves his point that Iron Man is needed to help keep peace in the world. His best friend and assistant Rhodes and Pepper will go to extremes to help Tony on his secret journey to be a superhero while accepting the fact he is slowing dying. Tony aims to live a long life and do the right thing, prevent war and promote peace throughout the globe. Thanks to his keen knowledge of technologies he is able to turn his chest deformity into something special.
Anyone familiar with the Marvel Universe will pick up on the clues that will lead to the eventual formation of the Avengers. For someone who had no clue about either, many years later I finally see all the pieces sprinkled throughout other Marvel movies that will lead to bigger plots involving other Marvel characters. In 2010 I just had no clue about the great things that lay ahead for certain characters and their counterparts.
The first installment of the Iron Man series is fantastic under Jon Favreau’s direction. I was impressed to see his vision come to life with so much creativity, humor, and action. He allows Downey to breathe life into Tony Stark and Iron Man like no one else could. People try their best to copy the suit and techniques, but there is only one Iron Man and you don’t want to piss him off.
my star rating: 8 out 10
imdb.com: 7.9 out 10
rotten tomatoes.com: 93% out 100%