Iron Man Review
Iron Man is a 2008 superhero film and the official first entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is not only the best in the trilogy, but also the finest Marvel movie to this date.
The plot is a regular origin story. But it succeeds at it is done with great detail, emotion, humor and it is overall very entertaining and engaging to watch. All of the sequences with the creation of Iron Man in the first half are solidly done and intense, albeit the terrorist angle is a bit annoying. But it quickly gets better in the second half with terrific romance and human drama as well which I always appreciate the most in these blockbusters. The fight at the end is the weakest plot point as it is just way too clichéd and overly aggressive. However, the conclusion afterwards is so refreshing not only because the two don’t end up together with their relationship hinted upon, but also because this is one of the rare films to not have a superhero in hiding as Tony Stark reveals himself as Iron Man in the end. That is all so refreshing for comic-book flicks and a very nice change in pace.
The characters are the highlights, so well developed and interesting. Tony Stark is magnificent and different than the usual protagonist which is so great. He is arrogant, not annoyingly but rather amusingly cocky. But I like how he also has a heart and a moral standing which was necessary for his superhero role. And the filmmakers balanced perfectly his emotional roles and the role of a hero with an arrogant, rich and self-centered prick he is. That is all due to some strong character development at play here. Pepper Potts is wonderful and such a great and thankfully more likable than usual love interest. She has both a brain and heart and is capable and greatly helped him in this film which is great. The two are such a great couple and their romance is absolutely magnificent and in my opinion one of the biggest reasons to see this film.
Unfortunately, the supporting characters pale in comparison to the lead ones. Rhodes is forgettable and Obadiah Stane is just mediocre. Yes, he posed more threat to our hero than most of Marvel villains up to date, but he is still way too cartoony, comic-booky, typical and over-the-top even. I disliked him and although he was quite a threat in some sequences, he was still annoying to me.
The acting is phenomenal. Terrance Howard and Jeff Bridges are solid in their roles, but it is Gwyneth Paltrow who surprised me the most as she was so incredibly sympathetic, so charming even and gave such a wonderful performance that is easily one of her best. And the chemistry between her and Robert Downey Jr. is evident. Speaking of whom, he is naturally the finest link here in probably his most defining role. He played the part with excellent comic timing, great charisma while also carrying the more emotional scenes quite well. He became his character which is so rare and so respectable.
The humor is excellent. Really good and providing a lot of smart, witty moments. The play between the two love interests is very amusing and realistic and of course the lead carries the film on his shoulders when comedy is concerned, providing us a lot of giggles.
The action sequences are okay, nothing too remarkable and not too interesting. The fight at the end is typical as is the villain and the action should have been better realized. But the direction from Jon Favreau is very good and the film is solidly paced. The special effects are very good as well having in mind that it is Marvel’s first film. The score is very forgettable as usual for Marvel movies, but the sound effects are great. The tone is excellent, being mostly comedy, but shifting to dramatic and emotional moments as well. Now, the dialogue is stupendous without a doubt. It is one of the reasons why I enjoy this franchise so much. It is so sophisticated and so playful that you instantly like both its humor and its characters. The script is predictable, but involving. And the film does have a heart and it is smart and refreshing in many ways. It is also one of the best superhero films I’ve seen and undoubtedly the finest Marvel movie to date. Rarely have their movies come close to this level of quality.