Iron Man (2008)

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An enjoyable dose of high octane action. Tony Stark, a weapons company CEO and technology genius, builds and becomes Iron Man.

Beware the following will contain plot detail.

Like all well-known brands, iconic superheroes have their own logo.  Batman and the bat, Superman and the S, the list goes on and on. With Iron Man, there is a small peculiarity in that no such emblem springs to my mind, rather, I would say it’s his helmet. Another oddity that could catch out the unaware is that Iron Man has nothing to do with iron, which leads us nicely to explore what it’s all about.

Almost immediately we have gunfire and explosions, as Tony Stark (Downey Jr) is introduced in a convoy that is suddenly ambushed. With a brief flashback, we see parts of how Tony’s life came to this point including his lavish lifestyle having inherited his father’s weapons company. He has what is highly coveted in society: money and success. Following the ambush, he is taken hostage and forced to build a missile system for his captors. Using his ingenuity, he instead builds an armoured suit, packing more gizmos than a Bond car, to muscle his way out with firepower. Barely managing to escape, he works on a refined version back in his house, which has all the features a tech lover can dream of. Thus, the Iron Man suit is born. With this new state-of-the-art weapon, Tony heads out to uncover and destroy the terrorist group that captured him.

Now 3 films deep in its current iteration, Iron Man himself has translated from comic book pages to the big screen very well. There is a basic pleasure in watching buildings being demolished and blown up, which I think makes this film great for unwinding to. It’s not too serious either, you could ignore the plot and still be entertained because at its core is pulse pounding action. That being said, there’s nothing genre redefining, just the standard done very well, more brushed stainless steel than carbon fibre composite.

To me a key difference between this film and other superhero movies is that Iron Man doesn’t feel like one as it’s completely grounded in a reality of the future. Similarly, Tony not needing to care about concealing his identity has the same effect and reduces the feeling of danger. Nonetheless, I give Iron Man a silver medal.

 

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