Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Day #20 of my Month of Superhero Film Reviews! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best and worst comic book adapted films. So now we again return to 2008 with what I believe to be one of the best comic book films ever in the form of Iron Man.
Yay! Time to talk about one of my favourite films in the last few years and just in general. When Iron Man came out in 2008 my life was changed forever. This was the first film I saw three times in the cinema and it really had an impact on me, I became an Iron Man fan, I became a Robert Downey Jr. and I became obsessed with what other films Marvel Studios would release leading up to The Avengers. So after five years has my obsession with this film changed or is it just as great as ever? Well let’s find out in review.
In plot in this film the follows Tony Stark, a billionaire playboy and genius who is a weapons contractor through his company Stark Industry. During his time in Afghanistan he is captured by a terrorist group and held hostage, and in this film he crafts a suit of armour and escapes, upon returning to the USA, Stark decides to stop making weapons and become a force for good by upgrading his armour and becoming the superhero known as Iron Man. Unknown to Stark, Obadiah Stane, Stark’s business second-in-command is planning to take the company for himself and take Stark out.
I loved the story in this film. Tony Stark isn’t the typical kind of superhero, he is a man with everything, has no cares in the world and all is perfect for him, but once he’s nearly killed in an explosion, captured by terrorists and has to work with an unknown man in order to survive he learns the values of life and sees the errors of his ways because of the work that his company has been doing. It is a great and well-told story that’s smart, witty and hilarious. While it was again another origin story, this was the first film to deliver one that was different, original and realistic. One of the film’s strongest points is its realism and its ability to feel grounded in the real world, even though the technology and armour that Tony creates is totally futuristic and fictional, the way that the story, characters and tone is crafted makes it work very well in present times.
Now let’s talk about the cast of this film who are all fabulous at bringing these comic book characters to life. Firstly we have Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man. It’s been said before and I’m gonna say it again… Robert Downey Jr. was born to play this role. RDJ perfectly emulates all of the qualities and mannerisms from his carefree, arrogant and funny attitude to the more dramatic and emotional elements of the character once he changes after his capture. RDJ is great and this was the role that put him back on the map and got his career started again and he owes his life to Marvel for giving him the star power that he has now. Also Gwyneth Paltrow as was fabulous Pepper Potts. Paltrow was wonderful, smart, witty and very unlike most female characters who are attached to the main hero in these superhero films. Her character was great because she had some great scenes with Tony, there was a lot of witty banter between the two of them and I really loved seeing the budding relationship building between the two of them.
Terrence Howard as Lt. Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes. Howard was great as Stark’s friend and weapons development person in the US Air Force. You could see that Rhodey genuinely cared about Tony and wanted the best for him while also having to do what was right and take care of his own business. I loved Howard in this role and I was gutted to see him go after this film ended. Now let’s talk about Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane, the villain of the film. This was probably my first Jeff Bridges film and I really liked him in this role, Stane was a business man first and you could see that he looked a bit shady. I liked how he pretended to be good but was doing dodgy dealings behind the scenes and discovering his evil plot over the course of the film. I only wish that his character had been a little more developed in the villain role. Also Shaun Toub as Yinsen, I thought he was great. This character was essential to the transformation of Tony Stark and he becomes the only true friend that Stark has, Toub played his role well and had some good screen time. I also liked the inclusion of Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan and lastly this is obviously the film that introduced used us to Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson of S.H.I.E.L.D. and even though his role was small it left a big impact.
Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually the film is fabulous, there is a great use of special and practical effects that blends well throughout the film. As for the CGI it is sharp, detailed and well-done, but I expect nothing less from Industrial Light & Magic. The action scenes and sequences are pretty awesome and epic, but unfortunately the last fight in the film is not as impressive as it should have been. As for the soundtrack by Ramin Djawadi I really liked it, there were some kick ass tunes that really worked in the action sequences and that point when Tony Stark first crafts his first armoured suit.
And lastly how does it compare to the comics? Well I’ve never read any of the comics, but from what I understand from Marvel Ultimate Alliance and the internet, it seems like for the most part the origins of Tony Stark and Iron Man are accurate besides being updated for modern times.
So to conclude Iron Man is a cracking superhero film that really changed the genre with its serious nature, grounded realism, great story telling and wonderful characters. It is a well-rounded, smart and funny film that had a great deal of character development and cracking action sequences and while it lacks a strong third act, it is still a great film that is worth your time.
Rating: 9/10 (This is was and still is one of the finest comic book films)
So there’s my review people, only 10 more to go. So have you seen Iron Man and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!