I am Iron Man
The film that started the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Iron Man was a revolutionary film for Marvel, and although you can say it was stuff like Blade, X-Men, and Spider-Man that paved the way for films like Iron Man, it was Iron Man that turned the Marvel films into a Universe.
This was a brilliant film, and it was fantastic from start to finish. Although I knew of Iron Man prior to this film having watched the 90's Animated series when I was a child, I wasn't really a huge fan of the character, but since watching this the first time I've went on to get stories like Extremis and Demon In A Bottle and Iron Man has become one of my favourite superheroes. Since 2000 Marvel have started making their comic book characters into films, but they were all done by different studio's, and distributors, whereas this was the first film that Marvel did themselves, and would start the chain reaction that would cultivate in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film was also brilliantly directed by Jon Favreau, and to be honest when I originally heard that he'd be directing it I was sceptical as I hated Elf, but having only seen one film that's totally different from this it's hard to criticise him for that, and he landed up doing a fabulous job on this film, making it very fun and dynamic.
The casting of Iron Man was brilliant, and there isn't anybody that could have played Iron Man better than Robert Downey Jr. Ever since I saw a still picture of Downey Jr. as Tony Stark I knew that they'd gotten the right guy, as he looked exactly like him, and after doing a little research I had every hope that he'd be brilliant, and he was more than brilliant, he was perfect. Everything from the way he looked, to the way he acted was perfect, and he was the way I'd always envisioned Tony Stark to be. Downey Jr. also has similar traits to Tony as like Tony, Downey Jr. has had his demons, and like Tony he's a very confident and outspoken guy, so even before looking the part he was half way there. I also loved the way Downey Jr. acted alongside the rest of the cast, as you could feel the chemistry coming of them, and it was brilliant.
The rest of the cast was also brilliant, and there was only really one cast member that I felt didn't suit the role they played, and that was Terrence Howard as James "Rhodey" Rhodes. I've never really been a fan of Howard as an actor, but if he suited the role I would have overlooked that, but he was a bit too jokey, and not serious enough for the part of Rhodey in my opinion. I never had these opinions in my first watch of the film as like I said I only knew what I'd read up on the characters, but since reading Rhodey in comics I've always felt that Rhodey was the more cooler head out the two, being the serious man, to Tony's comedic type. The rest of the cast was brilliant, as I loved Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, and director Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, feeling that they both suited their roles. I also liked that JARVIS was an artificial intelligence unit kind of like what he is in the comics now instead of a butler as it makes it more modern, and also gives a more technological feel to the film. I also felt that Paul Bettany voiced JARVIS perfectly.
The villain in this film was Iron Monger (Obadiah Stane) played by Academy Award Winner Jeff Bridges (Best Actor: Crazy Heart). Now I knew nothing about Obadiah Obadiah prior to the film, as he never appeared in the Animated series, and as I said I wasn't really a huge fan of Iron Man at the time. I had however seen Bridges in a couple of films before this (Tron being the biggest film) and I knew he was a good actor. I was however shocked that he played a character like Obadiah as Bridges is known for having long hair in a lot of films, whereas Obadiah's bald, so that was interesting. Besides all that I thought Bridges did a brilliant job of the type of character Obadiah was in the film, as he was a believable person, as in he looked to have Tony's best interest at heart, but there was still something fishy about him, and when he revealed his true colours Bridges acted even better as the bad guy, being awful menacing, and domineering, which was brilliant.
The origin of Iron Man was shown in this film, and boy did they do a good job. Every superhero has an origin, and it's always nice when you see that translated into the film. Fair enough it did take up a fair portion of the film, and it did slightly slow it down, but it was needed, and I actually felt that it was one of the thing that made the film as good as it was. What I liked most about the origin was how it was made more modern, and similar to the origin shown in Extremis. I also loved how the origin was very emotional, and how you could feel the growing bond of friendship between Tony, and the person that saved him, Yinsen played by Shaun Toub.
The armour in this film was also brilliant, and everything from the Mark I to the Mark III looked fantastic, and just like I'd hoped it would. Although the Mark III armour was probably the most sleekest, and nicest looking, it was the Mark I armour that I loved the most in the film, as for something so heavy, and ugly the designers made it look amazing, and it really helped make the origin of Iron Man even better than it was. I also really enjoyed the development stages of the armour and how Tony'd test them with his robots arms helping him, and there were some fun, and humorous moments during this sequence. The overall design of the armours were brilliant, and comic book artist Adi Granov, and illustrator Phil Saunders did an exceptionally good job on the Mark III, making it look amazing, and very beautiful.
The fight between Iron Man and Iron Monger was brilliant, and the perfect way to end this brilliant film. Every comic book film has a big fight scene, and although this film didn't have the best comic book fight scene of all time, the fight between Iron Man and Iron Monger was still very good. What I liked most about this fight was that before hand Obadiah had given Tony a handy cap making the him the stronger of the two, and if that wasn't all his armour was much bigger than Tony's. I liked this as this meant that Iron Man was technically the under dog, and although you can never could Tony out, especially considering he's super smart, it wasn't looking good for Tony at certain points.
Finally the post credits scene. If Iron Man as a film wasn't enough to show that Marvel were set to make many great films, the end credits more than confirmed that. Throughout the film there was the character Phil Coulson played by Clark Gregg who worked for an agency called the Strategic Hazard Intervention, Espionage and Logistics Directorate, or to you ans me, S.H.I.E.L.D. The end credits scene would show that S.H.I.E.L.D. would be the link that would link the Marvel Cinematic Universe together when Nick Fury played by Samuel L. Jackson appeared asking if Tony'd like to be a part of the Avengers initiative, and boy was this a brilliant way to end the film, and although it still took a few years to put the final pieces together the Marvel Cinematic Universe was born.
This was a brilliant film, and a fantastic way to kick start the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although not the best comic book film ever, it is still a fabulous film, and one that I can watch over and over again, enjoying it even more each time. I would highly recommend this film to anyone that's not seen it yet, as it was simply brilliant, and Robert Downey Jr. was the perfect Iron Man.