Ryan Easby

The Road To Endgame – Part 1: Iron Man

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Image result for iron man 2008 poster

So here we are, right back at the beginning.

It’s hard to believe it’s now been eleven years since this all started – the whole concept of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is ingrained in our cultural identity now.

Did we exist before the MCU? Did life matter before the MCU? What were we before the MCU? All important questions, but that’s not the one I’m here to answer today.

No, I’m here because we are little over a month away from Avengers: Endgame, possibly one of the most anticipated movie releases of all time. I’m here to take a look back, right back from the beginning and ask the core question about each and every one of these films. Are they any good? What’s the worst film in the MCU? What’s the best film in the MCU? Let’s take a dive into the original Iron Man and find out.

Iron Man is a peculiar film. It falls into the category of one of those films that’s extremely important, sure, but not exactly one I particularly enjoy or hate either. It’s an extremely middle of the road affair. Perhaps I feel that way because I’m sick of origin stories or perhaps it’s simply not a good movie, who’s to say? Oh wait, I am.

The plot of Iron Man is, as previously mentioned, an origin story. It’s the story of a young alcoholic billionaire who is blown up by one of his own missiles, the shrapnel embedding in his heart so that the only thing that will keep him alive is a massive power core in the middle of his chest. He then decides to use his considerable wealth and technological skill in order to build a suit that will allow him to become a one-man army. Thus, Iron Man is born. Oh, and there’s also a villain, Obadiah Stane. He’s so forgettable I’ve literally already forgotten about him, and I only finished the film about half an hour ago.

Regardless of the characterisation (or lack therof) of Stane, Bridges is great in the film. He’s a subtle actor, it’s just a huge shame that he’s utterly wasted here and his character is completely boring. However, let’s move away from the negatives and take a look at a few positives shall we?

Robert Downey Jnr is absolutely amazing in this film. He just captures the essence of what Tony Stark is so well, he shouldn’t be likeable in the film, yet somehow he is. His portrayal is sublime, and there’s a reason why he’s became an actor you cannot separate from one particular role. Gwyneth Paltrow is also great as Pepper Potts, despite her role feeling somewhat underutilised.

Also, Jon Favreau is utterly fantastic as Happy Hogan. He’s so fun and full of life, I can’t help but have a grin on my face whenever he’s on screen.  One casting choice I’m not too hot on however, and this may be because I know that eventually he’ll be recast and I’ll fall in love with him, is Terence Howard as Colonel James Rhodes. I’m not sure what it is about him, I just don’t really like him very much as Rhodes. Maybe it’s just me being picky.

Oh yeah, did I mention Clark Greggs in this film as Coulson? Clark Gregg is in this film as Coulson. And he’s just so good in the role.

Obviously, this being an action film at its heart, you’ll probably want to know if the actions actually, y’know,any good. It’s with a heavy heart I say that it’s only, well, alright. It’s pretty generic explosion fare, nothing special, but it could be far worse. Don’t expect anything too flashy from the film.

Overall I think this film is a decent starting effort, but when you look at the wider MCU, it’s a paltry film. It can’t be understated how important this is culturally and in the wider MCU, since it’s the start of literally everything. Check the film out, but don’t expect too much.

Oh and that post-credits scene? Get ready to meet something much bigger than just Iron Man. Get ready for The Avengers Initiative.

6/10