A bunch of the other TTV cast members are doing a thing when they go through each MCU movie leading up to Civil War. I elected to do the same. But we’ve already done a ton of TTV Talks about the MCU, and we’re definitely going to do one on Civil War, so I wanted somewhere to put my other opinions. Which this site is for. So, without further adieu…
Iron Man (2008) | Rating: 6/10
(Note: before you complain about the score, my rating system is different from the usual 5 = bad 10= good system. I’ve developed a new one based on Max Landis’s rating system for movies)
1 - Too Bad to Finish
2 - Dull and Boring, Skipped Through Most of It
3 - Waste of Time
4 - Alright, Wouldn’t Watch Again
5 - Would See Again
6 - Good, Worth Ticket Price
7 - Really Good, Loved the Experience
8 - Great, Would Recommend
9 - Amazing, Would Pay to See Again
10 - One of my Top 10 Movies
I have a controversial view within the group, because I think that all of the Iron Man films get better with each sequel. The others say that this is their favorite, and they like each one less and less as they go. So I went into this with some fresh eyes, hoping to see what they saw.
Honestly? My feelings on this movie remained the same going out. I like it a lot, and I feel like it’s a stellar start to the universe - definitely the best origin story out of the Phase One movies.
Part of this has to do with just how well the actors work with each other. I mean, every main character here has actual tangible chemistry with each other. I did not realize just how much of this movie was improv, but watching it again, it’s more obvious in just how masterful it all is. Jeff Bridges confirmed in an interview that Marvel just set the release date and didn’t even have a script finished out when they did that, which led to them acting out a lot of scenes the day of shooting.
In fact, it’s almost amazing as to how this movie could have completely flopped. Kevin Feige pointed out in an interview with the Nerdist podcast that out of the two Marvel films coming out that year, Iron Man and Incredible Hulk, Iron Man was the wild card. The Hulk was a proven, very popular property, but Iron Man was an unknown, with a very questionable actor at the main role. Robert Downey Jr. had yet to prove himself again with his acting career, and they had a lot riding on it. Had it not been for the fantastic direction by Jon Favreau, the MCU might have faltered.
It’s because of this improv that all of the characters work as well as they do. Obadiah Stane is a very predictable villain, and without Jeff Bridges being as entertaining as he is, this movie would have really fallen short. I said in the latest TTV Episode that it would have been way better if the Mandarin was the villain in Iron Man, and then Obediah Stane be built up as the villain up until Iron Man 3. I still stand by that. We don’t get to see this character be the mentor he’s supposed to be for the last decade to Stark, and that weakens the character’s “betrayal”, since we have no reason to be shocked or have any investment in seeing him redeemed.
Tony Stark is the show stealer, as his character is easily the best part of the movie. There’s a lot of this that heralds into his journey as a character - for instance, once he had realized what his weapons are being used for, he immediately takes responsibility for it and pivots his entire company around not doing weapons anymore. This makes Civil War make way more sense in the long run - seeing what Ultron has done makes him immediately change his way of thinking as well. His acting and humor are just so quick and witty, and I do think that Favreau directs the best Tony Stark to date.
I also forgot as to how much the Tony and Pepper relationship is built up with this series - I don’t think they even kiss until the end of the next movie. The two actors have some great chemistry and moments together, and you can see why they work, which isn’t true for a lot of other superhero flicks. Tony’s “I don’t have anyone but you” is strangely poignant. Pepper is also the best when Favreau directs, I feel - her Avengers and Iron Man 3 appearances paint a different character than what she is here.
One thing that really got me, though, is a decently sized plot hole at the end of the movie. After Pepper Potts steals all of the data from Obadiah Stane’s computer, she leaves the Stark Industries HQ in LA with Coulson in tow. Obadiah watches her leave, then goes down to the Arc Reactor in the R&D lab to find out that, yes, Tony Stark built his in a cave with a box of scraps and yet they can’t do that.
The literal next scene is Tony getting a phone call from Pepper, which he is about to answer, but can’t because Obadiah paralyzes him.
How was Obadiah able to watch Pepper leave, go to the R&D Department, have a chit chat, then make the trip all the way from LA to Malibu and break into Tony’s house before Pepper made that phone call?
It’s this and the honestly lackluster action scenes that sink the ending for me. It’s alright, it’s just not anywhere near as captivating as every other finale that comes after it.
Overall, you have this great improv action comedy that’s a little on the underwhelming side when the film draws to a close. But it’s a great film that really heralded both the face of the MCU and the start to an entirely new way of filmmaking.
(Note: Movie review topics will be exclusive to only TTV members going forward, just to lessen the clutter if too many members decided to follow suit or something.)