So it begins.
Yeah. I'm doing it. If only so I can get it out of my system. Believe it or not I actually have seen Iron Man quite a few times and even owned it on DVD back in 2008, long before I had any thought of such an expansive multi-connected series of movies. And for a beginning entry, I do say Iron Man ain't half bad. You know back in the day, I remember talking about this trailer in my music class of all things and nobody really had any idea what it was about, just that it was a Marvel character and it looked kinda cool. Oh how the times have changed, in just a bit over 10 years your average movie going person has come from who the hell is Iron Man to whoa, Iron Man is the shit! Can you believe that? The only Marvel characters I knew of, like ever, when I was a kid was The Hulk and Spider-Man and that was mainly due to the movies of Ang Lee and Sam Raimi with a dash of the 70s Hulk series with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferigno. And I thought the movie was okay back then and honestly my opinion hasn't changed much, it's not bad and genuinely has some good elements to it so here comes the dilemma with this series. Do I review the movies as standalone pictures or as part of a bigger universe? And the answer is as a lone movie. I like the story, Tony Stark is the head of a multi-billion dollar corporation specializing in weapons manufacturing and while in Afghanistan is ambushed by terrorists and held hostage for three months after having several pieces of shrapnel enter his heart. He's thankfully saved and quickly forms a plan of escaping his captors by creating a mechanized suit and pretty soon takes up the responsibility of regaining his company, stopping more weapons falling in the wrong hands, and kicks some ass while doing so. Get used to me bringing stuff like this up, but I got hardcore Batman vibes from this movie. Now is it possible Batman Begins had an effect on the story for this movie? Possibly! But Tony's dedication to a crusade of righting his company's wrongs and making sure no one is hurt by weapons of his own making just screamed Bruce Wayne at me, even though his teenage boy wiseass attitude makes him a unique and kinda fun character. Hell, Ms. Potts and Jarvis combined are Alfred, and Rhodey is simultaneously Jim Gordon and Robin so it really did strike me as familiar and accesible ground. I am slightly apprehensive about the special effects though in future films because...I hate the Iron Man suit being all CG. In fact, I absolutely looooove the original Iron Man suit, this total metal, clanky ass, crudely made shitbox looks way better than the red and gold suit. The fact they straight up made that full suit is amazing, it is friggin' real! It busts down doors, shoots fire, can take bullet storms, practical effects are an absolute highlight for me in this movie. But then here comes the fake CG bullshit, like not once do we see the red and gold suit as an actual costume which sucks majorly because I kinda like the design, there's a reason the color scheme is what it is, it's refined but still robotic and kinda bulky, it just has a good design. And I'm just scared the future movies are going to be roided up Prequel territory where, it's so dense every single image has so much going on, with the CG to the point where it's gonna just not hold my interest and look bad. Granted the characters are defined enough to where you have some sort of anchor in the real world and can identify with them, and I have to say the cast does admirable work. Though guys seriously? Jeff Bridges is your villain? Have you met that guy? I'm not saying he can't do it but he is way too much of a laidback cool cat to be villainous. Beyond that though, good cast. I like the arc Tony gets in this movie, being a very flippant and saracastic guy but goes through some events that reshape who he is, it's compelling and well executed stuff. But Jesus, Mary, and Joseph is this kinda dated. I mean they drop MySpace into the script. Can you guess what year this was filmed kiddos? And the whole war in Iraq thing while topical at the time, hasn't aged well for the movie. It is very much a product of 2008. Which was a big year for comic book movies, I mean The Dark Knight hit like a thermonuclear bomb and blew everybody away, and Iron Man was planting the acorn and watching the tree grow for a long running series of films. I have big issues with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, believe me I could rant about it for awhile but we're in early days right now so I can enjoy them as just neat little comic book movies. I just sorely miss those times when movies were just movies and they didn't have to be expansive events lasting dozens of movies building an all encompassing world. But regardless I think Iron Man is an okay movie, it's nothing fantastic and I have certainly seen worse in my day. 3 stars, a solid 7/10, and tomorrow we see the not so jolly green giant in his second theatrical film.