Thursday, April 30, 2015

Movie Talk - Iron Man in the MCU

Next up on the list is Iron Man. Now, I have to admit that I’m not that much of a fan of Tony Stark. I really wasn’t that exposed to the character in my youth. I did see the animated series from the 90’s but some of that show wasn’t really good. I will say that the show’s theme in the second season rocked. Since the movies have come out, I’ve gotten around to somewhat like the character.

I actually saw Iron Man through some unconventional means (it was bootlegged and I didn’t buy the bootleg either) back in 2008. I actually got to see both sequels through the usual conventional means when they were released in 2010 and 2013, respectively. I know I’ve seen Iron Man on TV somewhere. I know I saw Iron Man 3 again in the barbershop. Since I haven’t seen the movies recently, I decided to re-watch them… through conventional means. Kids, don’t pirate.

Iron Man
Iron Man was the first official entry in the MCU. It’s the origin of Iron Man. Tony Stark starts out as a genius playboy, philanthropist, billionaire who gets kidnapped by terrorists. During his captivity, they force him to create a weapon for them. Instead of doing that, Tony and another prisoner create a mechanical suit of armor. Tony uses the suit of armor to escape and is found by the US military. When he gets back to the US, he decides to continue advancing his suit and to go after the terrorists. He also has to deal with handling his company that’s in the hands of Obadiah Stane.

I thought this was a pretty good movie. Unlike that animated Iron Man movie I looked at last month, this one is a genuine origin. It also helped that Robert Downey Jr. pretty much owned the role of Tony. We see Tony in his good and bad moments. We also see him become another man after his captivity.  It’s a nice journey overall. The whole sequence of his captivity makes the movie worth seeing. Seeing him create and modify the suit was cool as well.

The supporting characters like Pepper Potts and James Rhodes were also pretty good. I especially liked how Tony and Pepper interacted. While Stane is your typical “bad white guy in a suit,” I thought Jeff Bridges played him well and provided a personal threat to Tony. The movie does its best to keep it light and be dark at points. It’s got good humor in it, and the action scenes are pretty good. The different armors that show up look really good and I liked that some practical effects were used.

 There’s really nothing egregious about the film. The final fight between Iron Man and Iron Monger wasn’t bad, but it was a bit anticlimactic. I also wasn’t a big fan of the reporter whose name I can’t remember. Other than those two things and a couple of other things, this movie is a blast.

Iron Man 2
Iron Man 2 was released in 2010. It takes place six months after the first movie. In it, Tony is dealing with the repercussions of revealing his identity (spoilers) in the last movie. The government wants his armor. He’s also dealing with a competitor by the name of Justin Hammer. His health is even not doing well because of the technology in his body. SHIELD even takes an interest in him. Things get serious when a Russian named Ivan Vanko has a serious beef with the Stark family and tries to take Tony out.
Easily the coolest part of the movie.

Even though most consider it to be pretty poor, I thought this was an okay movie. It’s not perfect but it is entertaining. I thought Robert Downey Jr. was the best thing in it. We still get to see the best and the worst of Tony Stark. I also liked Don Cheadle as Rhodey. While Terrance Howard is a good actor, I just liked Cheadle in the role better.  Gwyneth Paltrow was also fine as Pepper. I also liked that we got to see more of SHIELD this time around. While I have heard some not like this aspect, it as at least entertaining. Besides, Scarlet Johansson as the Black Widow was pretty cool and pretty in general.
I don't need to say nothing.

There were some things that were a bit mixed. The story was okay but felt a bit overcrowded.  The action scenes weren’t that good. In fact, there’s not a lot of good action in the movie. All we really get is the lame fight at Monaco, that stupid fight at Tony’s house (yes, it was stupid), Black Widow's fight, and the final sequence with Tony, Rhodey, Ivan, and the mech robots. I will say that the final battle and Black Widow’s fight were cool. While most of the humor worked, some of it didn’t gel with me.

Ivan Vanko was an interesting but poor villain. He was literally the evil version of Tony Stark. He could have been interesting but the movie failed on that aspect. Justin Hammer was too nonsensical to be taken seriously. At least Sam Rockwell made him funny. Overall, it’s an okay movie. It’s definitely a few steps down from the first movie, but it had some value.

Iron Man 3
Iron Man 3 was released in 2013 and takes place sometime after The Avengers. Tony is working himself hard while having issues from his near-death experience in The Avengers. When his bodyguard, Happy Hogan, gets hurt in a terrorist attack staged by the Mandarin, Tony speaks out about it and goads the Mandarin to come for him. Let’s just say things don’t work out for Tony because of that. Stripped down to his wits, Tony has to face the forces of the Mandarin and save the day.
Say hello to my instruments... of death!

I thought this movie was good. It has some faults but it also has a lot of good things in it. Of course, RDJ shined as Tony Stark. The story itself was pretty good. I liked the story-arc Tony went through in the movie. Pepper Potts also got some nice moments to shine especially at the end. I wish they gave Don Cheadle more to do in the movie but he still rocked as Iron Patriot… ugh. Someone scrub that paint off! At least he gets to save the President.

The humor was in overdrive here liked it was in Thor: The Dark World. Luckily, a majority of it worked for me. The action scenes were really good especially the scenes where Tony is without the suit. It goes to show that the man truly makes the suit. Heck, he made the suits. The final fight sequence was really good. While I’m on two minds about the twist with the Mandarin, I thought the villains weren’t that bad.
It would have been nice to get these guys earlier, but it's still a nice moment.

There are some things that irked me. While a lot of the humor worked, some of it didn’t. The kid from Tennessee (or North Carolina since that was where that part was filmed) had his annoying points but I did like how he interacted with Tony. While I liked the final sequence, we don’t get any reason on why Tony didn’t pull out his surprise when he got attacked in LA. That was kinda stupid on his part. Finally, I do kinda wish they stuck to some of the source material with the Mandarin. I guess Marvel wanted to do something different or they planned it this way since on of the short films revealed that there is a real Mandarin. Overall, this was one of the better movies from Marvel.


In the end, the Iron Man movies haven’t been perfect, but they have been fun. I don’t know if anyone could replace Robert Downey Jr. as the character since he truly made it his own. If they make anymore Iron Man movies, I might see them in the theatres since they tend to be fun. Well, I’m out. I’ll get to the Avenger movies eventually. Peace and God Bless.

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