Iron Man (2008)
Plot: Billionaire playboy/brilliant weapons manufacturer Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is taken prisoner by terrorists in Afghanistan. After building a suit of armor to escape, he perfects his design, becoming the hero ‘Iron Man.’
The first fifteen minutes are outstanding. Robert Downey Jr’s charisma is bursting out of the screen. From his first moments in the army car to the introduction of his arrogant and playboy ways, Downeyis almost Oscar caliber as the most likable asshole ever to appear on screen. It also helps when the writers give you great line after great line. The first half in general is pretty damn good. The opening moments where Stark gets captured is directed flawlessly by Jon Favreau. I love when he wakes up plugged into a car battery. That’s kind of a rude awakening. Iron Man is a good movie, but there are two flaws hindering it from being great. The first is the pacing. Stark building the prototype suit in the cave is pretty well done, and I love his escape, especially the suspense of the power bar on the computer powering up. But once he gets back to the States, he builds the suit again. Didn’t we just see this? I understand that the movie is called Iron Man, but two separate scenes of watching Stark build the suit…eh. And the second building sequence is just a lot of bad comedic moments where Stark crashes into walls. But this is a minor complaint compared to the real problem. Stark is the only character worth watching in this film. It’s got nothing else. Terrence Howard as Rhodey is forgettable. Despite a couple scenes, Gwyneth Paltrow is just there and has no chemistry with Downey. The movie desperately needed a villain. All we get is random terrorist #46. There’s a moment where he’s collecting pieces of Stark’s prototype suit after escaping, but we know this guy is never going to be a threat, so nobody cares. (Spoilers Next) And then the movie realizes in the last twenty minutes, ‘oh shit, we better make Obadiah Stane a bad guy.’ Jeff Bridges does what he can, but he’s totally wasted and completely underdeveloped as he’s thrown into a giant transformer at the end so the film can have a climax. Honestly, the only other character I liked was Agent Coulson. Everyone ignored and treated him like a joke until you find out he’s SHIELD. Iron Man is a fun ride that’s completely carried by Downey. It could have been so much more though.
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Good)
Category Rankings (Spoilers Throughout):
Best Performance: Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man
-Pretty much a no-brainer here.
Worst Performance: Faran Tahir as Raza
-The most generic and cliché boring terrorist in the history of movies. He does absolutely nothing with this role.
Best Line: “I am Iron Man.” –Stark revealing himself at the end in the press conference
-I didn’t know anything about Iron Man beforehand, so this completely took me off guard.
Worst Line: “Damn…next time baby.” –Rhodey on watching Iron Man fly out of his roof, and then notices the silver suit in Stark’s workshop
-Other than the fact that he uses ‘damn’ and ‘baby,’ I really hate the blatant, ‘Ohhhhhhhhhh, wait till the sequel.’
-The only fight is Iron Man and Obadiah Stane at the end. It’s pretty mediocre, although we do get to see Iron Man use his chest laser thing.
-How is Obadiah able to use his giant Iron Man suit so well after just jumping into it for the first time? And I’ve got to think that it being much larger, it’s even harder to control. That’s really stretching it.
-Iron Man’s first appearance in the good model when he saves that village from terrorists. It’s completely bad ass as he’s firing lasers and missiles everywhere. And then you get the walk away moment after he blows up the tank.
-Tony and Pepper standing out on the balcony after dancing. Gwyneth Paltrow is a complete mess, using phrases like ‘totally’ ‘just’ and ‘likes’ a lot.
-A lot to choose from, but when Stark walks by a gorgeous woman who says, ‘Remember me,’ Stark just goes ‘Sure don’t.’ That had me laughing the most.
Bad Ass Moment:
-This is one that kind of happens by accident, but when Stark walks out of the cave with his prototype suit, one of the terrorist’s walks up to him with a pistol and fires. The bullet bounces back and hits him in the head. Hahahaha…awesome.