Monday, February 17, 2014

The Ultimate Superhero List 2: "Iron Man"

Heavy metal hero.

If You Build It...

     2008's Iron Man was the first film to be made by Marvel's own Marvel Studios as well as the first film in what would eventually become The Avengers series. Directed by Jon Favreau (Elf) and written by dual writing teams Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby (Cowboys and Aliens) and Art Marcum and Matt Holloway (Punisher: War Zone), though mostly done through improvisation, the film follows Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), the billionaire head of a weapons manufacturer alongside partner Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges). However, when Stark narrowly escape captivity from terrorists using his weapons against him, Stark has a change of heart and with the aid of friends Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and James Rhodes (Terrence Howard), Stark builds robotic armor and names himself Iron Man and sets off the help those he hurt. And then the credits ended...

Nope. Nothing to say here.
Bad Bad Guy

      I won't like about the fact that this won't really be much of a review of Iron Man. Yes, it's an absolutely fantastic movie that if you haven't already seen, well, how's your rock? It's still just as smart, clever and fun as you remember it being. Downey Jr. still surprises as the titular hero with enough charm to carry the rest of the movie if it didn't work, which thankfully it does. The supporting cast is all fun and interesting. The story is by now a classic and the action is about as insanely fun as a guy flying around in a robot suit thank shoots lasers against tanks and other robots sounds. In fact, the really only bad part about this movie is that Stane isn't really all the interesting a villain and the final fight is a bit short. But other than that, it's still one of the best superhero movies ever made.

Where It All Began

      The real interesting to talk about when it comes to the first Iron Man is THAT ending. When Samuel L. Jackson comes out as Nick Fury and announces that the countdown to The Avengers has officially begun. We kinda take it for granted how, seeing as how the first Avengers already came and went. And yes it was completely fantastic and yes, DC is still utterly incompetent at playing the game Marvel essentially just invented. We have already seen two other Iron Man movies as well as four other Avengers-related films, four already announced on the horizon, including another Avengers, a TV series based in the universe with a character from this film in the lead and upcoming Netflix series to keep the whole thing going. It's easy to forget just how insane this whole thing seemed when no one expected Jackson to appear at the end of the credits in this movie. Hell, no one expected anything after the credits period. Marvel delivered on a game-changing promise and now we are living in a post-Avengers world. But back then, it would be 4 full years before The Avengers surfaced, where Thor and Captain America weren't on anyone's minds movie-wise and the idea of doing movie-based superhero continuity like in their comics brethren was a seemingly impossible idea. And now we are seriously talking about Edgar Wright's Ant-Man and how will Groot and Rocket Raccoon look in Guardians of the Galaxy, along with how Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will tie into Captain America: The Winter Soldier. And that all started here. Cool, huh?

Gotta start somewhere.
The Verdict

      You know it and I know it. Iron Man is a damn great movie that set in motion a chain of incredible film events that have changed the way we think about continuity in film. It's also nice that this starting place was all on it's own smart, funny, exciting and fun all with a great cast and story to back it up, save for a weak villain. If you're ever in need of a laugh, remember, Marvel's Cinematic Universe started with Iron Man, one of the best superhero movies ever. DC's Cinematic Universe began with Man of Steel. Yeah, good luck it that, Warner Bros. Iron Man gets 6 stars out of 6.

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