This was the first production ever released in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film itself was in limbo for a few decades, before rights reverted back to Marvel. Around the same time Marvel decided to form Marvel Studios and to build a whole franchise around this MCU concept. This, it turns out, was a good decision.
I’ve seen Iron Man once before and parts of it again later on, but it has been a while, so I decided to watch it again for this MCU project of mine. Last film was origin story of Captain America, this one is origin story of Iron Man. A brilliant inventor and a playboy billionaire, who turns his life around, when he is captured by some militants in Afghanistan and he sees the weapons he has developed used for bad. He escapes by building a miniaturized arc reactor and utilizing that to power a scrap iron contraption that is strong enough to defeat a few badly armed and trained militants. Back at home he builds a proper high tech version of the suit and returns to destroy his own weapons. Afterwards he finds out that it is his own second in command, who has been dealing the weapons to the militants and ends up facing said man, Obadiah Stane, mano-a-mano, when he too builds a suit.
This is definitely an entertaining film. Jon Favreau was right, when he said, that Robert Downey Jr. is Tony Stark – Downey is clearly comfortable in his role and having fun. This crosses the screen. There’s some flashy combat scenes, a cute love interest that doesn’t go anywhere yet in Pepper Potts (played by Gwyneth Paltrow), and a nicely menacing villain that you love to hate in Stane (played by Jeff Bridges).
The list of negatives is obviously long. The depiction of the Afghani militants is… well, no effort was put into that. The descent of Stane from corporate asshole to a megalomaniac… well, you have to buy into super hero comics to find that believable for one second. Camera work is boring. In the end it’s just made for pure entertainment with no ambition for anything but making fanboys drool and some millions of dollars… But that’s obviously the case with all the Marvel films, so I’ll try to not mention that too often, while writing these reviews.
There’s again a few quick nods to the rest of the MCU – S.H.I.E.L.D. plays a role and Captain America’s shield is in Stark’s private workshop. Nick Fury and a few other names flash by in some news clippings. Obviously there can’t be too much, as the its the first MCU release. Nice that they worked some of that into the film though.
Altogether a fun and harmless film.
- Director: Jon Favreau
- Watched on: 24th May 2017
- Watched at: Home (DVD)
- Fanboy grade: 4/5