“Iron Man” was directed by Jon Favreau, based on the Marvel comic book series of the same name and is the first film not only the “Iron Man” trilogy but the first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film stars Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges and Terrence Howard. The film also has a number of recurring characters like Clark Gregg, Jon Favreau himself and a special cameo from Samuel L. Jackson. The film was going to be the first under the new Marvel Studios but without the films to some Marvel’s more popular characters like “Spider-Man”, “The Incredible Hulk” and the “X-Men”, they had to make the best can with what they have.
After a weapons demonstration in Afghanistan, a group of terrorists attack a military convoy and kidnap a wealthy industrialist Tony Stark (Downey Jr.). While held captive, Tony builds a armored suit to help him escape. Once home, Tony takes his company, Stark Industries, in new directionthat doesn’t seem to fit with the board of directors. His personal assistant, Pepper Pots (Paltrow) and long time friend Colonel James Rhodes (Howard) are on his side with this new direction. As Tony begins on what later be known as the Iron Man suit, his long time business associate, Obadiah Stane (Bridges) has other plans which involve destroying the Stark Legacy after Tony’s suit shows some very promising performances and sees the opportunity to profit off of Tony’s new vision. As Stark tries to protect the ones he cares about, his fears are realized when Stane takes his ideas and attempts to keep making weapons of mass destruction. Stark must take a stand before Stane unleashes his “Iron Monger” and then all out war.
This was a fantastic film, from beginning to end. Robert Downey Jr. nails it as Tony Stark. Despite everything going into this one film in particular, Downey Jr. & Favreau did an incredible job bringing Iron Man to the big screen. Jeff Bridges was phenomenal as villain and with the exception of Tom Hiddelston’s “Loki”, has by far the best villain performance in the entire MCU to this day. From 2008 to 2017, the MCU’s villains have not been that great. Even though he only had one outing, Bridges’ performance still holds up. Paltrow & Howard also gave solid performances alongside Downey Jr. & Bridges. The visuals for this film were top notch. From Stark’s “Mark I” suit to his eventual Iron Man, all were amazing.
Overall, this was a great film and arguably the best one in the entire MCU and one the best comic book films ever. Downey Jr., Paltrow & Favreau would all return for the next sequels. Favreau would direct part 1 and 2 but only star and serve as producer on the third film. Downey Jr. would reprise his role several more times over the next decade appearing in the 4 “Avengers” films, 2008’s “The Incredible Hulk”, 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War” & 2017’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming”. Paltrow would also reprise her role in 3 of the “Avengers” films and “Spider-Man: Homecoming”. Favreau’s role would also appear in both of the MCU’s Spider-Man films. In a post credit scene, Samuel L. Jackson would make his MCU debut here as “Nick Fury” which sets up Phase 1 of the cinematic universe.