Completed Reviews

Iron Man
Iron Man 2
Captain America: The First Avenger
Iron Man 3
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Avengers: Age of Ultron

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.)


A good review.
I may not agree on all points, but a good review.


What don’t you like?

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Ok. First step: Watch the Iron Man movies so you can get this.

BTW, Kahi, are you going to make a new post for each movie, or just have it all be on this giant post.

No, I like the review, and the format is great, I just don’t agree with a few little thing. ((Your ranking of the Iron Man movies) I actually like 1 best, then 3, then 2) (And the thing with Stane. I agree he was predictable, but I don’t know, I liked him)

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I remember Stain, he was probably my favorite of the generic MCU villains. :slight_smile:

I freaking love Iron Man. Personally I feel the greatest part of that movie was Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. For me, he is Tony Stark. Outside of saying that Downey feels like Stark, it’s hard to explain and I honestly don’t think I could explain it. Downey as Stark just feels right to me.

Also I love the freaking ending to Iron Man. I feel that that is a massive middle finger to every super hero film prior… in a good way!

I can’t say for certain how I feel about your score. I would have to watch the movie again (I haven’t watched it in a while).

Also thanks for inderectly reminding me about the review blog I am planning to make on Tumblr Kahi. I have been sitting on that idea for a while and now you have got me more motivated to make it.

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Totally agree with the origin story thing. Out of all Super-Hero movies, the only origin story ones I like the most (at least for Marvel) is Iron Man, Spider-Man and Captain America: The First Avenger. (Though Cap’s was a bit lackluster).

Also what do you mean like this? Are you saying that movie reviews won’t be allowed until Civil War is out?


Wow. Some excellent points here, but wow. For me it has to be 1, 3, 2. I thought the finale of 1 was better than the end of 2, 'cause betrayal. And 3 had the best just because of how awesome and bombastic all the suits flying around was. Still, excellent review. Looking forward to the rest.

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Downey embodies the spirit of the character and makes him alive in a way comics just couldn’t do before. You can see the influence of this in the way he’s written now.

I mean that topics that are like “BionicleFan reviews Civil War” aren’t allowed because they’d clutter the forum. They would all go into the Civil War topic.

The rest of the MCU films leading up to Civil War will be in here. I’m thinking about making a new topic for all of the new reviews, then merging them into one main topic once like a week or so has passed. That way, they’ll all be archived, the topic will still show up as new, but it won’t clutter up the forum entirely.

I really have to disagree, honestly. After seeing that movie again, the betrayal is seen from a mile away and the final fight is really lackluster. I can’t defend that, or the plothole.


Alright, that clears things up. :wink:


I still have to see Iron Man. I feel so ashamed.

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I’ve only seen the first half of Iron Man, but your review definitely makes me want to watch the rest.

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Iron Man 2 (2010) | Rating 6/10

Iron Man 2 is a vastly underrated film, in my opinion. It gets a lot of flak, and I’m not entirely sure why. I liked this movie a lot before I saw it again, and watching it again even the scenes I felt were kind of dull and drawn out added to the overall narrative.

It’s worth noting that the Iron Man films are notably the only MCU films besides Guardians of the Galaxy that feature numbered sequels and not a subtitle. I feel like that personally takes away from this trilogy. I’ve heard suggestions from Iron Man: Sins of the Father to Iron Man: Armor Wars, both harkening back to classic comic titles.

My personal favorite part of the Iron Man movies is seeing Tony Stark being Tony Stark. That either includes him being a witty, snarky, arrogant a-hole or doing some great engineering feats. The scene at the senate is one of my favorites out of the MCU: it’s about so many things. It’s about a hilariously outgunned government trying to deal with a post-superhero world and I love every moment of it.

But I feel like the film also contributes to the overall narrative of Tony Stark. Tony is the most well-versed, well-rounded character in the MCU, for a good reason. He goes through so much and he changes his character based on what he’s gone through. For instance, compare the scene I just talked about to his position on Civil War. When Tony is really confronted with one of his faults, he does try and immediately make up for it, even if it means going against what he’s always stood for. He did that for weapons, and he’s doing it for government intervention.

I’ve always felt sorry for Emily Blunt, having to pass up the Black Widow role for Gulliver’s Travels. Considering Civil War will mark the fifth major movie appearance for Scarlett Johansson in a leading female role, Emily definitely got the short end of the stick if there ever was one. Black Widow is a nice addition to Iron Man 2; I don’t think a lot of people remember just how it was like getting a major Marvel character who wasn’t always tied to Iron Man to appear in this movie. It’s no big deal now, with the Avengers franchise making literally Z-List characters like Yondu play big roles, but back then it was pretty exciting. Likewise, the inclusion of Nick Fury also starts shaping out the Avengers world that would see expansion in later movies. And of course, seeing Thor’s hammer as the after credits scene was exhilarating.

I feel like the final fight in this movie, including the bit with Tony evading War Machine and Black Widow breaking into the compound actually legitimately upped the stakes from before. Whereas I felt like Iron Man lost it’s legs near the end, I felt that that was properly addressed at the end here. I’ve heard that some people feel like the ending to Iron Man is better because of the personal confrontation between Tony and Obadiah, but I personally disagree. Obadiah’s character has completely jumped the shark, and he has become another ranting maniac instead of showing any hint of actual remorse, character or pathos.

Whiplash isn’t much better as a character, and fails to really address Tony’s conflicting dysfunctional relationship with his dad, as well as the consequences of Howard Stark’s actions. That being said, Anton Vanko has a much, much bigger part to play in the overall narrative. A huge deal within the Iron Man franchise has been about people vs drones. Rhodey makes a comment in the first film about a drone not being able to make the same calls as a pilot. Vanko disagrees, his two word “drone better” mantra to Justin Hammer results in a drone army that is fully functional and capable.

The important thing about this is that Tony actively takes Vanko’s drones to heart. He built remotely piloted Iron Man suits that improve on the design that Vanko had to aid him in Iron Man 3, and he will later create Avengers drones for use in Age of Ultron. It is, in fact, this idea of having a faceless universal calculated defender that encourages him to create Ultron, and he still embraces that design in making the Superhuman Registration Act. He and Cap fight over the ideal of who gets to make the actual calls: the pilot, or the drone, and that all starts here with Iron Man 2.

Overall, I’ve always enjoyed this film and felt that it held up in every aspect that I thought it held up previously. It does have some faults with pacing and direction, but it isn’t afraid to tread waters that other sequels fail to actually follow through with, and it’s an accurate evolution of a character that builds a foundation to the future and expands it’s world to boot.

I like it more than Iron Man, and I’m standing by that.


I disagree, but I don’t really blame you. I feel like Iron Man 2’s comedy and story might have resonated better with a different audience than that of Iron Man. Good review overall, though.

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Hmm… Interesting irony you found there. In all seriousness I find the conflict of pilot and drone very interesting as you pointed out. I didn’t even notice Iron Man was practically doing the same thing that he wanted to get rid of! It’s ironic, yes, but it’s an interesting ideal to wrap him around.

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) | Rating: 5/10

If you’re seeing a trend here with how I’m rating these early MCU movies, you’re spot on. It’s no secret that the MCU definitely gets better and better with each Phase. Phase I ended with the best movie (Avengers), Phase II has the best movie somewhere in the middle (Winter Soldier) and Phase III kicks off with the best MCU movie yet (Civil War).

And it’s also no secret that I think that the Captain America trilogy is definitely one of the best, most iconic film trilogies ever, with each installment legitimately getting better than the last.

Unfortunately, it means that First Avenger is also the one I like the least, for reasons that anyone who has seen all three movies will probably agree with.

The First Avenger is basically a fun, action adventure romp at it’s finest. Far from delving into the murky grey waters that it’s sequels would fall into, it instead is at it’s highest point giving you that uplifting, oorah America! feel. Things are simple and fun. Nothing is too complicated. The action isn’t too complicated, the characters aren’t too complicated, it’s just the Nazis vs. literally everyone who doesn’t want to be a Nazi, which is most people.

This movie is one of those movies that, in retrospect, really works within the trilogy, although you couldn’t tell that when it was released. The Captain America trilogy is all about a man’s role: a man’s role to the army, a man’s role to the government, and a man’s role to his family. The First Avenger is about that first role, and it does that especially well.

The main thing for me is, fun though it may be, it lacks the nuance and tact that the future installments have with what they’re going through. The movie does a lot to set up Cap and Bucky’s relationship, one that makes the core of the next two films, but tonally it just lacks the punch I feel it needs to push this past just a “good” movie for me.

Especially when compared to the action and choreography of the next few movies, the action is slower, methodical, and predictable. But there’s some great moments in it. I really do enjoy skinny Steve jumping over the grenade - that’s an amazing moment that I feel embraces the sheer bravery and naivety of that character.

It’s interesting to see Cap in this movie, because he does act much more young and childish, brave, but still unsure of himself. Once he undergoes the Captain America transformation, he settles into a more assured, commanding personality, but that’s honestly seen better in the upcoming films than it is here.

All in all, The First Avenger is alright, but it’s the foundation of an amazing film trilogy that is currently my favorite superhero trilogy of all time.

Favorite Quote: “I’m not kissing you.” - Col. Phillips


Seems legit.

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Interesting thoughts on First Avenger. At least you deem it as a ‘good’ movie, where I see a lot of the internet hating on it.

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