When you think of Marvel Comics, the first hero you probably think of is Spider-Man. That's great. That means someone at Marvel is doing their job right. What do I mean? Well...
Spider-Man is an underdog. He's a nerdy dude who lucked into becoming a slightly less nerdy super hero that can crawl on walls and make things sticky (don't you dare take that out of context, or I will find you). His story is very popular because we can relate to him. He's not that different from you or me. And despite being a smart guy, he made some pretty selfish (and admittedly stupid) decisions early on in his career. But that later balanced out, because after his actions led to the death of his Uncle Ben, he realized that with great power, there must also come great responsibility.
Now, what happens when you take everything that makes Spider-Man what he is and give him all of the power with none of the responsibility?
You get the subject of today's review, Anthony Stark, better known as Iron Man.
Tony Stark was gifted from a young age with a mind to rival the geniuses that came before.
Einstein? He's a chump.
Hawking? Please, Tony built a replica that rig he's got set up for himself when he was three.
Da Vinci? Tony doesn't need a flying machine, he has a metal suit.
Howard Stark? Well, I mean, uh...He's got a bit of a thing about his father, you see...Some issues with this and that--Let's, uh, let's just move on.
And since he was so smart, his reputation soon ballooned into him becoming a household name. And, just like any young child that gains an insurmountable amount of fame, he used his intellect for good. He made steps toward world peace, aided the fight to end world hunger, and even adopted a few kids of his own after he settled down with a woman he had met while volunteering at the local homeless shelter. His story is truly inspirational.
Except for the part where none of that happened, he was a weapons manufacturer, womanizer, and an all around douche canoe with a penchant for shirking responsibility.
He was basically three fourths every child star ever.
In the movie, we see as much. He lets his arrogance control him, and it ends up getting him captured by some individuals who aren't to happy that he makes things that go boom too close to them.
They basically tell him, "Hey, you like making things that go boom. We get it. But how about, and hear me out on this one...How about you make things that go boom for OUR side, and we kill everyone you ever loved and then come back for you. Everybody wins!"
Tony, seeing how much of a raw deal that actually was, makes a giant robot suit and escapes.
He then revises his suit, stops making weapons, and continues to fight for truth, justice, and the American way.
But as it turns out, his closest friend and business partner, Obidiah Stane, is a massive jerk and arranged the whole kidnapping from the start.
A fight then ensues between Tony and Obidiah, both in robot suits, but that's HARDLY important to the movie, am I right?
...Look, I'm trying to keep this review under 10,000 words, I can't go into every little detail.
THE ENDING FIGHT WAS SO COOL OMG. IT WAS LIKE PEW PEW PEW, BANG BANG, WHAM, BASH, BANG, SMASH, WHOOSH, I GOT YOU NOW! NO YOU DON'T! SMASH SMASH, CRASH, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM!
8/10. It was alright.
I'll spare you guys the full recap and tell you that he movie succeeds in a lot of respects.
The first being the casting. Not a single piece was out of place. Robert Downey Jr. is quite possibly the best man to play Tony Stark. I can't imagine anyone better suited for the role.
...Okay, that sounded bad, but I promise that wasn't a jab at his past. He's great. Honest.
The second is that the movie knows what it wants to be. It's got its fair share of "America, F Yeah" in it, but it knows when to stop. It knows when to shift gears from being about destroying the "bad guys", to beating the actual villain. Bonus points for the villain being someone Tony trusted, and not a foreign threat. Because that would be wrong.
In a world where tensions between nations run high, you tread on thin ice when you paint another race in a light that is unflattering in the slightest bit. But they didn't go too far with it, and pulled back before it got uncomfortable. And by the time we knew that Obidiah was the real villain, it all made sense.
The third is that it successfully laid the groundwork for the shared universe that is 12 movies strong at the time of writing this. There hasn't been a single flop in the line-up, and it's a wonder how Marvel does it.
The movie sets up one of the major players on the Avengers and does it so well that we actually are still being treated to more and more stories in the same realm. We've now got gods, super soldiers, double agents, archers (ugh), big green rage monsters, and so much more.
But it all started here, in 2008, with a man in a metal suit. It was the first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it was good.
And you know what?
I'm gonna review them all.
Join me next time when I talk about the second movie in the MCU, 2008's The Incredible Hulk.