*Originally written December 29th, 2015*
Marking the start of Marvel's 'Cinematic Universe', Iron Man is a really great start to a franchise that has been victim to the law of diminishing returns as of late. Not saying they're bad, they just aren't as fresh or fun as they like to think they are.
Following Robert Downey Jr as a sarcastic billionaire weapons dealer who gets captured by terrorists in the Middle East and escapes, but changes his ways to stop making weapons and helps people instead... with a suit, that is essentially a weapon.
I did like the progression of Tony Stark's character. He's an asshole, but he's an asshole you hate to love. He's nothing more than a playboy that also happens to be a scientific genius. Despite this, there is a certain charm to Robert Downey Jr's performance that I can't see the role of Tony Stark being played by anyone else. The guy is a charisma magnet. I found him much more endearing than say the humble Captain America, or any of the other Avengers for that matter.
Jeff Bridges plays Obidiah Stone, the villain of the piece, and while he is a more interesting villain than most of the MCU, that really doesn't say much. By the end of it, he is just another throwaway villain that ends up fighting the hero with powers that are the same as the hero, but evil. Yawn.
There are some fun action scenes though. The first 40 minutes are easily the strongest, especially with Tony in captivity and it feels weird to see the small beginnings of these films that mostly seem to end with a whole city being leveled in a CGI frenzy. Here, things seem more restrained and it works.
As the first film in the now huge MCU, there is obviously some world building. We get the first appearance of Agent Coulson, a good character, but he's not given a lot to do here rather than say the name of his agency. Then in the first post credits sting we have Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury, trying to recruit Tony to the Avengers Initiative. I'm sure the film was also littered with references to Marvel comics and what not, but I don't really know any of that stuff.
Iron Man is great start to Marvel's MCU, it is carried by Robert Downey Jr's charisma and there are a couple of shortcomings, but this was a lot of fun and I can't wait to go forward with my rewatch of the MCU.
Iron Man is out now on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK
Watch the trailer below:
Twitter: @FigmentReviews, @DanBremner96 and @ArronRoke91
Instagram: @DanBremner96 and @ArronRoke
YouTube: Figment Reviews
Letterboxd: Dan and Arron