The movie begins with Tony Stark living the high life of a billionaire, receiving awards, bedding beautiful women, and being generally an arrogant asshole. When he travels overseas to Afghanistan for a demonstration of Stark Industries’ new weapon, the Jericho missile, his Humvee is ambushed, Stark is injured, and taken hostage by a group of terrorists called the Ten Rings.
Stark agrees to build a Jericho weapon for the terrorists, only what really happens is Shaun Taub, who plays a doctor named Yinsen, helps Stark build the first Iron Man suit, and he escapes. (I’m a huge Shaun Taub fan.)
When he returns to America, Stark has a crisis of conscience, and decides that Stark Industries will no longer make weapons for war. It’s funny to watch Tony as he makes various prototypes of the new Iron Man suit and fails miserably (and painfully).
This is the one movie that Terrence Howard plays James “Rhodey” Rhodes before being replaced by Don Cheadle. Colonel Rhodes is part of the Air Force weapons division and Tony’s friend.
Obadiah Stane, Iron Monger, played by Jeff Bridges, is one of the leaders of Stark Industries. We find out he might not have Tony’s best interests at heart. (Okay, this movie came out in 2008. I hope we don’t have to worry about spoilers anymore. He ends up double-dealing with Ten Rings and is a real asshole.)
I noticed there was a moment towards the beginning where Tony has a one-night stand and Pepper utters a snippy one-liner about “taking out the trash” when the female says something about the way Tony treats her. It seemed like a similar petty moment to the scene from Captain America with Agent Carter. I don’t understand why writers must make females act this way to each other or present jealousy. Haven’t we moved past this? I guess not, but we need to.
I have one thing I need to say: Does everyone in Hollywood have these tiny little fey ear lobes? I just want to see a popular, youngish actor with fleshy protuberant free hanging lobes occasionally. Is it just me?
This has some heavy dramatic moments. One thing I noticed was that while it took Tony many hours to figure out how to use the suit, Obadiah seems to instantly know how his works. I guess we can assume he spent some time behind the scenes practicing.
Overall, I think Robert Downey, Jr. was brilliantly cast as Iron Man. There was a bit too much testosterone, fighting, shooting guns, and blowing stuff up with rock music playing in the background for my tastes. (Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine wrote some of the soundtrack, so that makes sense.) I’m also not typically a fan of movies with terrorism.
The villain and explosions and robots were all a bit too over the top for me. I enjoyed it but didn’t love it. I’m more of a fan of the Vision-style “robot” than the big clunky ones. Well, this was an origin story and Iron Man keeps improving his models.
(I skipped Captain Marvel, which takes place in the 1990s, because it releases next month and I missed it in the theater.)