Sunday, April 19, 2015

Movie Review: "Iron Man" (2008)

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Movie"Iron Man"
Director: Jon Favreau
Year: 2008
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 2 hours, 6 minutes

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is the billionaire playboy owner of Stark Industries, a weapons manufacturer and dealer, who is also an engineering genius. While demonstrating his company's new missile system, The Jericho, in Afghanistan, Tony's convoy is attacked by a terrorist group known as The 10 Rings. He is abducted and held in order to build them a Jericho missile. The 10 Rings have managed to get their hands on a lot of Stark Industry weapons which he is to use to construct The Jericho. Instead, Tony uses all the parts to build himself a metal suit to escape his captures. Once he escapes and returns home, he decides his company can no longer produce weapons. This doesn't sit well with the board, nor his old friend and fellow board member Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges), who wants to continue with making weapons no matter who is buying them. Meanwhile, Tony works on perfecting his suit in private, which he plans to use to get his weapons out of the hands of terrorists.  

"Iron Man," or as we call it, the film that started the entire shared Marvel Cinematic Universe. We love this film. It is an outstanding movie, in our opinions. It's fun to watch and one you can see over and over again and still enjoy it just as much upon multiple viewings. Robert Downey Jr. was the perfect choice to play Tony Stark. With a confident swagger, an ample amount of sarcastic humor and all around perfect attitude, Downey Jr. makes Tony Stark his own and has since almost become Stark in a way when it comes to his mannerisms and appearance. Stark can also be arrogant and condescending, yet sincere when he wants to be, which fits this role perfectly. The character of Tony Stark has a great story and a really good arc overall. He starts out believing his weapons are a tool for peace and that what his company does is for the greater good. When he eventually learns that people are also using his weapons for terrorism, it throws him into a moral conflict about what he should do to right that wrong. This draws him to question who he can trust and who he is as a person. In the end, Stark decides that the only right hands for his next project are his own. Of course, that project is the Iron Man suit. Can't you hear the song playing in your head right now? The suit begins as something he originally developed out of necessity to escape his captors. When that first suit appears on screen in the Afghan cave and looks similar to the one in the old Tales of Suspense comics, we get excited, especially when he starts to knock people around and bust down doors and shoots his flamethrowers. We also like when he finishes his more modern, more advanced, and more familiar red and gold suit, which is also the ultimate badass weapon, but nothing beats that first cave reveal in terms of initial pure joy. Jeff Bridges is also good in this film as the sinister, two-faced Obadiah Stane. Bridges, donning a bald head and an evil glimmer in his eye, is featured in this movie in a time before he started using his marble mush mouth style of speech, which he has become real fond of in recent years. The ultimate showdown between Tony Stark and Obadiah Stane is an impressive one, and they accomplish way more, much better than any of the crap we have seen "Transformers" attempt in 4 movies. We also get a solid performance from Gwyneth Paltrow as Stark's assistant Pepper Potts, something we can't always say about her and her performances since she's one of the worst people in Hollywood, but hey, that's for another time. Terrance Howard plays Rhodey, Stark's...friend?, who was soon to become War Machine, but got cut from the film because, for the money Howard cost, Favreau and team could have gotten Don Cheadle for that kind of money....oh, wait....

This is a comic book film done right. It has well written characters with their own little complexities and an engaging story that covers the whole spectrum of emotions when watching it. It also deals with a rather topical issue as well, considering the War on Terror was/is in full swing when this film came out/sort of now. You can also tell it had a greater story in mind as it introduces S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Coulson, played by Clark Gregg, who appears in multiple other Marvel films as well as the "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." television show. There is also an after credit scene that teased a movie that wouldn't come out until a few years later. Overall, Jon Favreau, as unexpected as it was, pulled off an amazingly immersive beginning to one of the biggest, best cinematic universes in film history. Ripe with humor, intrigue, topical debates and, of course, a lot more to come, "Iron Man" is still not only one of the best Marvel movies, but one of the best superhero movies out there.

My Rating: 10/10
BigJ's Rating: 10/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 93%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!
For our "The Incredible Hulk" review, click here.

For our "Iron Man 2" review, click here.

For our "Thor" review, click here. 

For our "Captain America: The First Avenger" review, click here.

For our "The Avengers" review, click here.

For our "Iron Man 3" review, click here.

For our "Thor: The Dark World" review, click here.

For our "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" review, click here.

For our "Guardians of the Galaxy" review, click here.

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